Thursday, July 18, 2024
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How Sadanand Dhume passed off a Turkish ethno-supremacist as just another international figure

Ozil is not your average “international figure” as Dhume and some others would like us to believe. This is a man infamous for being a supporter of Erdogan. The same Erdogan who is on warpath against India over Kashmir.

As India grows more powerful, our enemies become more and more sophisticated. Here is a recent example that went relatively unnoticed.

Sadanand Dhume’s tweet

At first, this may look like just another page from a now familiar script. Some activist, pornstar, footballer, actor whatever from some foreign land (Germany, in this case) tweets about supposed human rights violations in India, especially those of Muslims. Of course, this gets retweeted like 30,000 times on social media. Some angry Indians also show up in the mentions, asking what the hell these people are talking about. And then some Indian Gunga Dins with blue ticks, or at least some Indian heritage, show up to defend the “international figures.” Their defense is peppered with condescension for the political culture of India. We Indians are trolls, we are Whatsapp University, and so on…

But this one is different. Because Mesut Ozil is not your usual actor, activist, footballer or pornstar. We need to talk about who this individual is. Because that will give us a full picture of the kind of people who have been mobilized for propaganda against India. And then you can draw your own conclusions about the motivations of the Indian liberals who have been lined up to support and amplify his message.

First, we need to know this.

Ozil supporter Azerbaijan

Now, Ngorno-Karabakh is not a name that would be familiar to most Indians. I wonder how many of us could pronounce it correctly, or would be able to say if it is a real place. But as we have seen during the Ukraine war, places whose names are difficult to pronounce can have a huge impact on our lives. At least anti-India propagandists realize this. We have to catch up.

So here is a two minute version of the history of this region. Ngorno-Karabakh is a disputed region claimed by both Armenia and Azerbaijan. As long as both countries were part of the Soviet Union, it was no big deal. What makes the situation particularly complicated is that the Azeris are Turkic Muslims, while the Armenians are Christians.

So in 2020, when the world was focused on Covid, Azerbaijan took the opportunity to launch a full scale invasion of the disputed region. No, these weren’t “clashes” like the Turkish govt puppet outlet Daily Sabbah claims in the article above. This was a full scale invasion, launched by Azerbaijan with the backing of Turkey’s Erdogan. Because Azerbaijan is one of the six Turkic states, the others being Uzbekistan, Kyrghystan, Kazakhastan, Turkmenistan and Turkey itself.

The result? Some 90,000 ethnic Armenians, according to the UN, had to flee their homes in Ngorno Karabakh and take refuge in Armenia. And let me repeat, the Turks did this at a time of Covid. The Azeris uprooted an entire population and turned them into refugees. They destroyed historical sites of relevance to the Armenians, including churches. That is what ethnic cleansing actually is, unlike the lies what Mesut Ozil is spreading about India. And don’t forget they did this at a time of Covid.

Mesut Ozil is a Turk. No, he is not just any random member of the large Turkish community in Germany. Ozil is a hardcore Turkish supremacist, seen here with Erdogan.

Mesut Ozil with Turkey President

This photo was released shortly before the presidential election in Turkey, where Ozil is widely loved as a star. And even though it was not an official political endorsement, everyone understood the political messaging. This was widely reported in even liberal media at the time. In fact, the backlash over this photo in Germany was so severe that Ozil had to quit the German national soccer team.

Ozil getting backlash in Germany

And here is Erdogan more recently… officiating as “best man” at Ozil’s wedding.

Turkey President at Ozil’s wedding

So, Ozil is not your average “international figure” as Dhume and some others would like us to believe. This is a man infamous for being a supporter of Erdogan. The same Erdogan who is on warpath against India over Kashmir.

The same Ozil who endorsed genocide against Armenians in 2020 is spreading propaganda against India. What a surprise!

Did I say genocide? Yes I did. Because the historical context of the oppression of Armenians by Turks is among the darkest in history. In 1915, then Ottoman Turkey carried out a genocide of 1.5 million Armenians living within their borders.

So, Ozil’s ancestors have been trying to finish off the Armenians for a while now. As such, Ozil endorsing Azerbaijan in 2020 is essentially like an ethnic German footballer today endorsing a war of extermination against Jews. Now tell me how the world would react to such an endorsement? Would he still be seen as just an “international figure,” as folks like Dhume say?

I should note here that the Turkish government even today continues to deny the Armenian genocide. And Erdogan is especially vocal about it. In fact, acknowledging the Armenian genocide continues to be a criminal offense in Turkey even today, and carries severe consequences. And before you ask, Mustafa Kamal of Turkey was Hitler’s idol. The Nazi state was modeled on the genocidal Turkish state.

But in India of 2020, Turkish ethno-supremacists and genocide supporters are trotted out as “international figures” who are concerned about human rights violations in India! That’s modern liberalism for you. For that matter, after World War 1, the Indian National Congress endorsed the demand to restore the Caliph of Turkey who had carried out the Armenian genocide. That’s what the Khilafat movement was all about. So, I guess Indian liberals joining hands with Turkish ethno-supremacists is not new after all.

The average Indian could be forgiven for not knowing about Ozil’s past, his agenda, the ethnic cleansing in Ngorno-Karabakh or the Armenian genocide. But the threats of the India of new, just like the India of old are many. We need to be aware of these threats, and actively counter them. Don’t let the elites shame you into submission by calling you troll or Whatsapp University. Check out their histories and their motivations. Most of the time, what you will uncover is really ugly.

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjeehttps://dynastycrooks.wordpress.com/
Abhishek Banerjee is a columnist and author.  

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