Applauding Turkishness

There seems so little to applaud in the world today it is worth warming our hands against each other when the occassion is offered. The reactions being reported over the past several days to the assasination of Hrant Dink in Turkey, reactions of sorrow, of condemnation, of reaction against the ultra nationalist hatred of Armenians, are signs of hope. Even where ethnonationalism seems the most deep-rooted and the purveyors of it the least shameless progress is being made.

More than 50,000 mourners, including senior Turkish and Armenian officials in a rare display of unity, poured into the heart of Istanbul on Tuesday to bid farewell to Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian journalist who was gunned down outside his offices last week, a death that many Turks hoped would be a catalyst for change.

…normally chaotic sections of Istanbul were subdued as ethereal Armenian music played from loudspeakers along Republic Avenue; Turks of various ethnicities stood shoulder to shoulder, many in tears.

Many mourners waved circular placards reading “We are all Hrant Dink” in Turkish on one side and in Armenian on the other.

Still other signs read “Murderer 301,” a reference to the law under which scores of writers and intellectuals, including Mr. Dink and the Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk, have been prosecuted in lawsuits filed by nationalists.

Enmity Fades

My notion on the contentious use of “genocide,” a word invented in the 1940s, is to replace it with something like googolcide… meaning the collective murders of very large numbers. Stop making the imputed horror that the extermination of a race is intended; make it that very large numbers are being exterminated, never mind the motives.

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