On January 16th, 2013, there was a meeting held between several Assyrian organisations in Sweden and the Turkish EU minister Egemen Bagis at the Turkish ambassador's residence in Stockholm. Neither of the participating Assyrian organisations have released any detailed information about this meeting. But now some information about the meeting has leaked out -- the Turkish EU minister compared Seyfo, the genocide against Assyrians, with the satisfaction of masturbation.
It seems that the meeting was set up by the Turkish government after they gathered the mentioned organisations. By tradition and according to the unofficial protocol between Turkey and the Assyrians, the last mentioned never get to have their questions or requirements pitched to have a meeting like this, especially when there is a minister who is attending the meeting.
The interesting part is why all of a sudden the Turkish government is interested in meeting with the representatives of the Assyrians?
The answer is as simple as complex. The Turkish power elite with the interests which they represent is very bothered and has a negative attitude towards the Assyrians in Sweden. The reason for this is because the Assyrians pursue the question about Seyfo -- the genocide of 1915 of the Assyrians as a historical fact. Another reason for the irritation is the attention surrounding the Kafka-like process against the St Gabriel monastery in Turabdin, Turkey. This is where the Turkish government is trying to confiscate a monastery that has been active since the 4th century AD.
The mentioned meeting developed according the leaked information into a meeting with an unpleasant atmosphere where the Assyrian representatives literally where lectured by the Turkish EU minister. Assyrians, who don't even exist officially in Turkey, are considered to be second classed citizens in the country.
According to the leaked information, Turkey's main negotiator with the EU, minister Egemen Bagis during the meeting turned to the member of Swedish parliament Yilmaz Kerimo (s) saying the following:
"What have you Assyrians accomplished by using the Seyfo question like masturbation by proclaiming it in the media and in the Swedish parliament? Why do you involve the Pontic Greeks into the question?"
After a moment of silence in the meeting room, the Turkish minister turns around to the Turkish ambassador ZergÃ¼n KorutÃ¼rk and apologizes for his language, because she is a woman and the minister has realized that his choice of words was of peculiarly improper character.
How should the Turkish minister's behaviour be interpreted?
It is not the first time that minister Egemen Bagis mocks and insults victims which were murdered during the genocide of 1915. Just after Switzerland criminalized the denial of the genocide 1915, Egemen Bagis demonstratively travelled to ZÃ¼rich, Switzerland to publicly deny Seyfo- the genocide 1915, and thus violating the laws of Switzerland in a blatant way.
If a minister, which is negotiating the conditions for Turkey's membership application to the European Union acts like this, well then you can't help but wondering; what can we expect from the rest of Turkey?
On 11-13th March 2013, Turkish president Abdullah GÃ¼l is making his first official visit ever to Sweden. Assyrians are planning to show their discontent by demonstrating at this visit.