Sis2 just called to tell me that CNN is reporting that Turkey has recalled its ambassador to the US over this:
House Bill on Armenian Genocide Angers Turks
A House committee has voted to condemn the killing of more than 1 million Armenians in Turkey in World War I, explicitly calling the event "genocide." The Turkish government opposes the resolution — as does the Bush administration, which warns that relations with a key ally could be damaged.
The House Foreign Relations Committee's vote on the 1915 massacre infuriated Turkish officials. It also prompted protests in Ankara, where crowds of people marched on the American embassy.
Sis2 works in an office full of Turks and they are all worried. Turkish opposition to any mention of the words "Armenian" and "Genocide" anywhere near each other in any context is just about legendary. There are laws in Turkey to prosecute people for insulting Turkishness by talking about the Armenian genocide. I don't understand it but I'm from a place where people can make a very good living off of insulting the government and the culture.
It seems that the House Foreign Relations Committee has just dropped us right in the middle of the long standing feud over the Armenian genocide (most everyone in the world who cares believes that it was a genocide while Turkey insists that it absolutely was not). Way to go people, it's not like we have anything else to do.
From the CNN article linked above:
A top Turkish official warned Thursday that consequences "won't be pleasant" if the full House approves the resolution.
"Yesterday some in Congress wanted to play hardball," said Egemen Bagis, foreign policy adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "I can assure you Turkey knows how to play hardball."
The administration is expected to try to persuade the Democratic leadership not to schedule a vote by the full House, according to The Associated Press.
But House Democratic leaders said earlier if the Foreign Affairs Committee passed the resolution, they intended to bring it to the House floor.
Bagis said since a French Parliament committee passed a similar resolution last year, no French planes have flown through Turkish airspace.
He said the response to the U.S. might not be the same, but warned if the full House passes it, "We will do something and I can promise you it won't be pleasant."
Part of me wants us to go toe to toe with the Turkish government and part of me wants to smack the House Democratic leaders for putting us in this position while we are in the middle of a war (that they seem to be doing their best to make us lose). I wouldn't mind doing both.