A Turkish Daily News Column by Orhan Kemal Cengiz (“Kunta Kinte, ‘Armenian Seed,’ the Denial of Racism,” June 22, 2007) resonates with the recent revealing of racist denier “Holdwater” (the ghostmaster of TallArmenianTale.com hatesite) as cartoonist Murad Gumen.

Cengiz writes:

I have never come across any Turkish person who considers himself a racist. However, racist remarks are just flying in the air in the daily conversations in this country. Our language is full of racist remarks. For example, Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, is called an “Armenian seed” (Ermeni Dölü). If you consider how much Öcalan is hated in this country then you can imagine how “flattering” being an “Armenian seed” may be. “Jews are cowards!” “Arabs are back stabbing people”! Not to mention very offensive vocabulary about the Roma people!

What Cengiz says is true, but not only for Turks. I don’t think any person in this world would admit they are racist, not even a single member of the Ku Klux Klan. Yet Cengiz is particularly upset with the denial of racism in Turkey for the simple fact that Ottoman Empire’s desendant Turkey sees itself a victim and hence doesn’t see its minorities as vulnerable to hate in Turkey:

I believe this feeling of ‘being a victim’ serves as a kind of block in our collective unconscious. It is a way of turning upside down some historical facts in this country. It is a way of not confronting what had happened to non-Muslim citizens of this country. “I am the victim, not the Armenian, or Greek, or Jew!” Today we still have this feeling and it is getting stronger. We are again the victims of the Western powers’ conspiracies against us! We are the Kunta Kintes of the modern times, surrounded by enemies and about to be victimized again by the white man! Are we really!?

Interestingly, racist Murad Gumen has been doing exactly whatCengiz writes about.  Shamelessly comparing Armenians to rodents (“Armeni-lemmings identify with this [photographed] rodent”) and hatefully denying the Armenian Genocide (“I have 100% hatred of the deception of Armenians’ age-old propaganda”), Murad Gumen is fast to proclaim he is not a racist (“I have zero hatred of Armenians”).  You are what you do, would respond the French philosopher.