Agos' archive: “a German treat” from Hrant Dink

Today, in Agos' archive, we go back to 2005, when Germany brought the Armenian Genocide to the parliamentary agenda for the first time. Here is Hrant Dink's article “a German treat”*.

The unanimous decision on the Armenian question made by Bundestag is different from the ones made in French or other parliaments. 

It is a distinct decision.

It causes serious confusion.

That is why Turkey, which reacted against such decisions with the same old attitude, cannot reacted in the same way this time. We saw the same attitude only on the first day, but Turkey had a hard time sustaining it.

Though we witnessed the anger in the protests in front of German Embassy in Ankara and then Prime Minister Erdoğan's accessing Schröder of being “a spineless politician” on the first day, we came around very quickly on the next day.

We realized that the same old attitude doesn't mean anything this time.

Because the German decision is really different than the others.

It is a German treat after all.


The previous decisions were only against Turkey. Their target was Turkey alone.

They were accusing Turkey and urging Turkey to recognize the genocide.

They were enforcing the acknowledgment of the history. However, German decision wasn't like that.

I guess this is what they call “a German treat”.

Probably out of their selfishness (!), they divided the responsibility fifty-fifty.

They haven't laid the whole burden on Turkey.

They took the half of it.

They say, “We are guilty, too.”


Well, what will Turkey do in face of this treat?

Which treat will they use in response to it?

Saying “Armenian lobby in Germany influenced the Bundestag” is not credible even for themselves, because there are at most 25.000 Armenians living in Germany. And officially, over 3 million Turks live in Germany.

Saying, “Germany treats us as an enemy” would be showing ingratitude. Germany is an eternal ally to Turkey.

And especially during the blood-soaked days of 1915, they were like “buddies.”


They could have said, “Merkel doesn't want us anyway, she did this”, if it wasn't a unanimous decision. They could have pulled off such a trick, but they cannot do it, since this decision hasn't made only by Merkel's party; there is a complete unanimity.

Greens and Social Democrats, who support Turkey, agree on the decision as well.

Some people say, “Germans are genociders anyway, they try to find genocider partners with this decision”, but this is nonsense.

Because people would say, “Now that you know they are genociders, why are you an eternal ally to them?”

After all, there is a saying: “Rotten apple spoils the barrel."


For good and all, these people betrayed Turkey.

They didn't use the term "genocide", bu they caused an even worse situation.

The worst part is that they broke the routine in Turkey.

And Turkey is at a loss.

If they said “You committed genocide”, it would have been better.

Since they know how to respond to that.

They could say, “No, we didn't do such a thing. Armenians killed us, here are the mass graves.”

But now, Germans say, “We also have a hand in it.”

What could you say to those genociders?

Is it possible to say, “No, you are good people, please reconsider it, you cannot have a hand in it”?

In short, betrayal of “the buddy” is the worst of all indeed!

*This article was published on June 24, 2005 on Agos.

** “German treat” is a term used in Turkish indicating that each person participating in a group activity pays for themselves, rather than any person paying for anyone else, particularly in a restaurant bill. In English, it is called "Dutch treat" or "going Dutch".  


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