The assault on innocent protesters in the streets of Washington, D.C., is entirely consistent with the impulses of an autocratic Turkey. It has unmasked President Erdogan for the bully that he is and offers Americans a teachable moment on the character of official Turkey. It reflects a deeply imbedded reflex that, in the modern era, has brought the world, among other things, the unlawful invasion and occupation of Cyprus, the Armenian genocide, and the violent repression of the Kurdish people.
In March of 2016, Congress declared in unequivocal terms that the persecution of Christians, Yezidis, and other ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq and Syria by ISIS constituted genocide. This was a seminal moment in the U.S. Congress because it’s only the third time in history that Congress has declared a genocide. Unfortunately, the conditions for the tens of thousands of survivors of these crimes against humanity grow worse each day.