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World View: Turkey and Armenia Schedule Conflicting WWI Centennial Commemorations

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This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Turkey and Armenia schedule conflicting WWI centennial commemorations
  • China continues its double-digit military spending increases

Turkey and Armenia schedule conflicting WW I centennial commemorations

British soldiers just before landing at Gallipoli in 1915
British soldiers just before landing at Gallipoli in 1915

A major battle of World War I was the Battle of Gallipoli, which ran from April 25, 1915, to January 9, 1916. Turkey has commemorated the battle in the past on April 25.

According to Armenia, Turkey (the Ottoman Empire) committed a genocide against Armenians, and the genocide began on April 24, 1915, when the Young Turks government began deporting Armenians. Turkey denies that there was a genocide. Armenia had scheduled a centennial commemoration of the start of the deportations for next month on April 24.

Turkey responded last month by rescheduling its commemoration of the Gallipoli campaign to April 24. Both countries have invited dozens of international country leaders to their respective commemorations, forcing every government to make a choice.

So far, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron have already accepted Turkey’s invitation; meanwhile France’s President François Hollande plans to attend the events in Armenia.

In this context, Armenia is canceling an American-mediated 2009 agreement, the “Zurich Protocols,” which would re-establish diplomatic relations between the two countries, and re-open their mutual borders. The agreement was signed in 2009, but neither country has ratified, and now Armenia is canceling it once and for all.

A major reason why the Zurich Protocols were never ratified was opposition by Azerbaijan. From 1988 to 1994, Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a war over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave of Azerbaijan, which has a large Armenian population. Armenia won the war, and gained control of about 15% of Azerbaijani territory, creating hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijani refugees. That was the time when Azerbaijan and Turkey closed their borders with Armenia and imposed a blockade, closing off Armenia’s trade routes to Europe and Asia. Today’s Zaman and Daily Sabah (Turkey) and Jamestown and News (Azerbaijan)

China continues its double-digit military spending increases

China announced on Wednesday that military spending will grow by 10.1% in 2015. With the country’s slowing economic growth, this was lower than last year’s growth rate of 12.2%, but it still comes after years of very rapid military growth through double-digit increases. The increases are thought likely to go towards increasing naval power with anti-submarine ships and aircraft carriers, to further China’s strategy of using military power to annex territories in the East and South China Seas that have historically belonged to other countries.

According to China’s premier Li Keqiang:

We will comprehensively strengthen modern logistics, step up national defense research and development of new- and high-technology weapons and equipment, and develop defense-related science and technology industries.

Although America’s military budget has been declining, China’s aggressive military growth has spurred military budget increases in many countries in the region, with significant increases in India, Vietnam and Japan.

But China has been rapidly building its military for years with a variety of weapons and missile systems that have no other purpose than to preemptively strike American aircraft carriers, American military bases, and American cities. Generational Dynamics predicts that China is preparing to launch a pre-emptive full-scale nuclear missile attack on the United States. AP and Reuters

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Armenia, Turkey, Ottoman Empire, World War I, Gallipoli, Azerbaijan, Zurich Protocols, Nagorno-Karabakh, China, Li Keqiang, India, Vietnam, Japan
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