Talking Points: Daily Sabah Op-Ed, Western Artsakh backing controversy

"File:Dashnak Stepanakert office.jpg" by Yerevantsi is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

By | Rachel Brooks
December 3, 2020

Image credit” “File:Dashnak Stepanakert office.jpg” by Yerevantsi is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Cities in foreign countries, especially in France and Australia, have condoned the former Armenian settlement in the Karabakh. The Armenian settlement was the informal government of Artsakh, a proxy of the Armenian republic. The capital of the informal republic was known by Armenians as Stepanakert and was located in the city of Khankendi. Recent controversy has sparked over the recognition of the region as Armenian despite the repatriation of the region to the Azerbaijani republic.

The western partiality against Turkic people and pro Armenian interests prompted an opinion article in the Daily Sabah, a Turkish-pro government daily. The article was written by Andrew Plough.

Op-eds surrounding French-Turkic politics add strain 

The op-ed notes that France, with its rivalries in Turkey, has sought to promote the ban of Turkish groups, partnering with the Armenian diaspora to realize this intent. France has been a voice against the Turkish organization Grey Wolves, or Idealist Hearths, which is a Turkish nationalist movement.

The Grey Wolves have been described as “ultra-nationalist.” France, influenced by Armenia, has taken a stance against Turkish nationalism possibly as part of its larger need to tackle extremist organizations. The article argued that the French motioned to ban the Gray Wolves over a “simple act of vandalism.” Turkish sentiments regarding French reactions to nationalism may be an oversimplification of the internal motivations of French politics.

Partiality between Armenians and Turks in the West__Plough’s argument

The op-ed by Plough drew a line of criticism between how France had condoned the Armenian community despite its ties to the radical Dashnak party, but dismisses or condemns the Turkic community. Plough argued that, in Australia, France, and the United States, the western community walks blindly to the beat of the Armenian propaganda drum without having any concept of how deep the roots of Armenian nationalism runs. He drew comparison to the Turkic groups these nations condemned and the Armenian nationalism movements  that slip through the cracks of western denunciation.

These included the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, and the Armenian Youth Federation, both of which have been classified by the the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency as terrorist affiliates networks. Plough argued that France did nothing to look into the presence of the assembly of these organizations, despite their history, even while condemning the Turkic organization. Plough argued partiality with this comparison.

Armenia has been known to politically exploit the Islamic roots of the Turkic peoples and promote the ideation of pan-Turkism, filling the western world with a fear that pan-Turkism will rise to create the Turkish Islamic Republic that would include arch-rival Azerbaijan.

Facts about Azerbaijan 

Yet, the western world fails to understand that Azerbaijan, while Turkic in national ethnic identity, is also a multicultural nation that is the most secular state of those with a Muslim majority. Azerbaijan’s self-containment and reluctance to affiliate with the Muslim Brotherhood has been causing tensions with southern neighbor Iran.

Azerbaijan, while considered a brother state of Turkey for shared Turkic roots, is not likely to join with any more radical nationalism movements from the Turkish government. Likewise, Azerbaijan enjoys a proactive relationship with Israel, something that is met with skepticism and disdain by its Islamic nation counterparts.

The controversy of Gray Wolves

The Gray Wolves organization is considered a terrorist group by the Terrorist Research & Analysis Consortium. It is considered the “unofficial militant arm” of the Nationalist Movement Arm. While the banning of the movement itself in France may be justified, the partiality toward Armenian groups that likewise have affiliation to terrorism organizations are problematic.

Talking points: 

How can the western world promote anti-terrorism without partiality?

Why is the western world biased toward to Armenian interests and against Azerbaijan, if Azerbaijan is a separate nation from Turkey?

How can the west promote equal diplomatic relations for nations in the Caucasus?