Posts tagged ‘International Holocaust Remembrance Day’

September 19, 2014

(Ab)using the Holocaust: Commemoration and Politics of Denial in Turkey*

by Azad Alik
Commemoration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo: courtesy of Șalom newspaper in Turkey)

Commemoration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27 at Kadir Has University in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo: courtesy of Șalom newspaper in Turkey)

Corry Guttstadt

This year marks the first time that the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27, the day of the  liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army, was commemorated in Turkey in a semi-official manner.[1] The Deputy Foreign Secretary, Naci Koru, attended a ceremony at Kadir Has University; Foreign Secretary Ahmet Davutoğlu and the secretary in charge of EU membership negotiations, Mevlüt Çavușoğlu, sent statements but were not present in person. It is astounding that both the Turkish-Jewish newspaper Șalom and several English-language newspapers and blogs reported almost gushingly on the ceremony. Yet, if one reads these politicians’ statements, it becomes evident that the Holocaust Remembrance Day is misappropriated here in order to – once again – deny the existence of anti-Semitism, as well as of racism and discrimination in general, in Turkey, to celebrate the myth of Turkey’s “rescue of the Jews,” and to deny the Armenian genocide.

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