Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, has accused the EU of declaring “enmity” on his country as next week’s centenary commemorations of the massacres of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire descend into bitter rows over what to call them.
Both the European Parliament and Pope Francis this week referred to the killings as a genocide, a term recognised by much of the rest of the world but fiercely disputed by Turkey.
The European decision prompted a furious response from Mr Erdogan.
“Such decisions are nothing but expressions of enmity against Turkey by abusing Armenians,” he said while on a visit to Kazakhstan. “Come on, let’s leave history to historians.”
Earlier he had made an implicit threat to deport Armenian citizens, many of whom work in Turkey.
Well, it’s been 100 years so it kind of has been left to the historians, and the historians tend to refer to it as a genocide. Those who don’t usually opt for “Armenian holocaust” instead.
Here is another classic example of a dictator used to tightly controlling the messaging at home getting upset when he bumps into the big, bad, connected rest of the world.
President Erdogan can take comfort in the fact that Russell Crowe seems to be on his side.
Erdogan will be fine. After all, being a Holocaust denier really never hurt Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s United Nations or Ivy League speech opportunities.