Some things Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is surely not short of are surprises. Also, without any doubt, he is a very shrewd politician — the shrewdest Turkey has had, perhaps, over the last few decades. His “condolences” to the victims of the Armenian genocide of 1915 were a virtuoso move.
Although he never used the “G” word, and declined to define the tragic events that led to the Armenian community perishing almost in its entirety from its traditional national homeland as a “massacre,” nevertheless his offering condolences to the “grandchildren” of those who lost their lives in those last years of the Ottoman Empire and depicting it as “our common pain” were unprecedented. Never had a Turkish leader gone that far.