ARF’s Statement of Demands For Justice for the Armenian Genocide

Mt. Ararat


MONTEBELLO–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US’s 49th Regional Convention on Sunday unanimously approved a statement delineating the organization’s list of demands for justice on the eve of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide. Below is the text of that statement:

Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western U.S.A. Statement Of Demands For Justice For The Armenian Genocide

WHEREAS, the Armenian Nation was subjected to a systematic and premeditated Genocide officially beginning on April 24, 1915, at the hands of the Young Turk Government of the Ottoman Empire from 1915-1919 and continued at the hands of the Kemalist Movement of Turkey from 1920-1923 whereby over 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children were slaughtered or marched to their deaths in an effort to annihilate the Armenian Nation in the First Genocide of modern times, while thousands of surviving Armenian women and children were forcibly converted and Islamized, and hundreds of thousands more were subjected to ethnic cleansing during the period of the modern Republic of Turkey from 1924-1937; and

WHEREAS, the planning and implementation of Genocide is indisputably recognized in international law as a Crime Against Humanity and is punishable as such; and

WHEREAS, this Genocidal Crime Against Humanity has remained unpunished for nearly one hundred years, as the Government of Turkey is allowed with impunity to distort history and to deny the Genocide and its consequences perpetrated both by its Ottoman predecessor and its own predecessor regimes despite international recognition of the Armenian Genocide by 23 countries, including the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, Armenians were the indigenous and native inhabitants of their ancestral homeland for thousands of years preceding the Armenian Genocide as evidenced by the ruins of hundreds of ancient Armenian churches, monasteries, cemeteries and other readily identifiable religious and cultural structures, sites and antiquities still remaining on such land as proof of their ongoing presence there up until the Armenian Genocide; and

WHEREAS, the ancestral homeland of the Armenian People, and especially the six historically Armenian regions of Van, Erzerum, Kharpert, Bitlis, Dikranagerd-Diyarbakir, and Sepastia-Sivas, all within the current borders of the Republic of Turkey, have been stripped of their native inhabitants by virtue of the Armenian Genocide, except for thousands of Islamized or hidden Armenians who have been subjected to silent oppression, while some of whom have recently begun to acknowledge their true ethnic identities and should be encouraged to return to their roots; and

WHEREAS, the ancestral Homeland of the Armenian People continues to be illegally occupied by the Republic of Turkey which makes every attempt to erase any proof of the historic Armenian presence on such land; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian Nation survived the Genocide despite the attempt by Ottoman Turkey and the modern Republic of Turkey to exterminate it; and

WHEREAS, the survival of the Armenian Nation from the horrors of Genocide was due in significant part to American and international efforts spearheaded by Near East Relief, an organization created and sanctioned in 1916 by the United States Congress which rescued over 132,000 Armenian orphans and hundreds of thousands of Armenian refugees who went on to survive and thrive outside of their ancestral homeland all over the world and specifically within the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, the First Independent Republic of Armenia was internationally recognized in the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide through the Treaty of Sevres; and

WHEREAS, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, issued his final and binding Arbitral Award on November 22, 1920, restoring some of the territorial rights of the Armenian Nation taken from it by the Government of the Ottoman Empire as a consequence of the Armenian Genocide, by redrawing international borders to include the provinces of Van, Erzerum, Bitlis, and Trabzon with access to the Black Sea within the Republic of Armenia; and

WHEREAS, despite its legally binding terms, the Wilsonian Arbitral Award was never enforced, and the Turkish occupation of the lands which legally belong to Armenia continues in blatant violation thereof to date; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian People, individually and collectively, have been deprived of their real and personal property, culture and life on their ancestral Homeland for nearly a century since the Armenian Genocide; and

WHEREAS, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation of the Western United States consists mostly of members who are the direct descendants of those survivors of the Armenian Genocide who eventually immigrated to the United States of America and who, as U.S. citizens, and as the largest organized community of the Armenian Diaspora, have the right to demand justice in the name of the Armenian Nation, including but not limited to the implementation of the Wilsonian Arbitral Award, and petitioning the U.S. Government at local, State and Federal levels to do so; and

WHEREAS, the Government of Turkey continues its predecessor governments’ campaign of Genocide and attempted destruction of the Armenian Nation with impunity by:
(a) illegally occupying Western Armenia;
(b) illegally blockading the western border of the current second independent Republic of Armenia;
(c) aiding and abetting the Republic of Azerbaijan, its co-conspirator and accomplice, in its illegal blockade of the eastern border of the current second independent Republic of Armenia;
(d) aiding and abetting the Republic of Azerbaijan, its co-conspirator and accomplice, in its illegal blockade of the current independent Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh);
(e) aiding and abetting the Republic of Azerbaijan, its co-conspirator and accomplice, in its attempt to erase any proof of the historical presence of the Armenian Nation and its rightful claims to Nakhichevan, including but not limited to the destruction with impunity of the ancient Armenian cemetery at Djulfa by the Azeri military;
(f) aiding and abetting the Republic of Azerbaijan, its co-conspirator and accomplice, in perpetrating and then engaging in a campaign of denial and distortion of massacres perpetrated against the indigenous Armenian populations of Baku, Sumgait and Kirovabad;
(g) aiding and abetting radicalized militant action and ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Armenian population of Kessab and other parts of Syria;
(h) failing to bring to justice the perpetrators of the murder of Hrant Dink, a crime linked to the highest levels of the Turkish State;
(i) continuing its silent oppression and intimidation of hidden and Islamized Armenians, most of whom fear revealing their true identities or practicing religious freedom under threat of retaliation; and
(j) generally taking any and all steps within its power to eradicate any proof of the historical presence and valid claims of the Armenian Nation as a consequence of the Genocide perpetrated against it; and

WHEREAS, the Peace & Democracy Party (BDP), the current leading party of the Kurdish population of Turkey, should be acknowledged and encouraged for its formal adoption as a part of its party platform an acknowledgement and apology for the role of the Kurdish population in the Armenian Genocide, a plan to try to restore some of the property rights of the Armenian Nation, and a call upon the Government of Turkey to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and offer restitution; and

WHEREAS, the municipal government of the City of Diyarbakir (Dikranagerd) in Turkey, democratically controlled by the Kurdish Peace & Democracy Party, has in fact recently taken concrete steps toward reconciliation by restoring the Armenian Sourp Giragos Cathedral, erecting a monument to victims of Genocide, allowing and encouraging Armenian language and religion classes to be held for Islamized or hidden Armenians, erecting a highway welcome sign into the City in Armenian, and other such measures for which it should be commended and encouraged; and

WHEREAS, the current geopolitical conflicts in the Near East and Middle East have the significant potential of resulting in a redrawing of international borders in the region which can and should include the Western Armenian homeland and an independent Kurdistan which would necessitate dialogue, cooperation and peaceful co-existence based on a concrete framework for reparations and restitution as outlined herein;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that on the eve of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide widely recognized as April 24, 2015, and on behalf of the descendants of the Armenian Genocide currently living in the Western United States of America, the Regional Convention of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation of the Western United States hereby delineates its Demands for Justice for the Armenian Genocide, as follows:

1. The Republic of Turkey must unequivocally acknowledge and bear the consequences of the Armenian Genocide planned and implemented by the Young Turk Government of the Ottoman Empire from 1915-1919, continued to be perpetrated by the Kemalist Movement from 1920-1923, and leading to ethnic cleansing by its own predecessor regime of the modern Republic of Turkey from 1924-1937.

2. The Republic of Turkey must take prompt and meaningful steps toward restitution to the Armenian Nation for its Genocidal Crime Against Humanity, fully acknowledging that any attempt at restitution cannot possibly restore the Armenian Nation to the quality of national life and quantity of numbers it would have enjoyed but-for the Genocide perpetrated against it, but nevertheless showing good faith in attempting to right the wrongs of history by restoring all rights taken from the Armenian Nation.

3. Restitution of territorial property rights of the Armenian Nation shall include the redrawing of international borders on the basis of the final and binding Arbitral Award of United States President Woodrow Wilson issued on November 22, 1920, including but not limited to reunification with the Republic of Armenia of the territories and provinces of Van, Bitlis, Erzerum and Trabzon to provide unrestricted access to the Black Sea, as well as the regions of Kars and Ardahan from within the borders of the First Independent Republic of Armenia, and including Mount Ararat and its surrounding territories.

4. Complete and unequivocal restoration of territorial property rights of the Armenian Nation shall include recognition of the independence and international sovereignty of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) and its current borders.

5. Complete and unequivocal restoration of territorial property rights of the Armenian Nation shall include Nakhichevan.

6. Complete and unequivocal restoration of the aforementioned property rights shall include unrestricted and free access and use of all natural resources and natural and man-made avenues of transportation, movement and land use.

7. The Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan shall acknowledge, protect and preserve the hundreds of ancient Armenian churches, monasteries, cemeteries and other historical and cultural structures, sites and antiquities within their current and future borders at their expense and shall refrain from making, encouraging or tolerating any attempts to destroy, deface, or eradicate them.

8. The Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan shall immediately remove any and all blockades of Armenia and Artsakh and allow unrestricted access through their borders and take other such good faith measures to normalize and cultivate relations amongst said countries anchored in a full and complete acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide, its consequences, and an overall plan for just reparations as outlined herein.

9. The Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Azerbaijan shall refrain from taking any military or other action to provoke cross-border violence or in any way disrupt the peace with the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh.

10. The Republic of Turkey shall restore to the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul, the Holy See of the Great House of Cilicia, and/or any other entity designated by duly appointed representatives of the Armenian Nation full and unencumbered property rights and access to all Armenian churches, monasteries, cemeteries and other religious, faith-based, historical or cultural structures, sites and antiquities within its current and future borders, waiving any demands and exempting them from any past and future property taxes or other such potential obligations as a part of its measures toward restitution.

11. The Republic of Turkey must make financial restitution to the descendants of the victims of the Armenian Genocide or their designated community or organizational representatives and provide economic assistance to the Republic of Armenia in amounts and manners to be determined by a duly appointed international tribunal assembled for this purpose.

12. The Republic of Turkey shall provide unrestricted access to its judicial system and courts for any descendants of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, individually and collectively, or any representative organizations or entities of the Armenian People to assert real and personal property rights without regard to and with a complete waiver of any statutes of limitation, theories of abandonment, adverse possession and/or any laws which existed either during the Ottoman period and/or post-Ottoman Republic of Turkey, or any other legal hindrances that may affect the validity of such claims.

13. The Republic of Turkey shall adopt as a part of its national educational system a full and complete acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide and the consequences thereof and shall allow and encourage open and frank dialogue and research concerning this dark chapter of its history.

14. The Republic of Turkey shall take all steps necessary to reverse, prevent and punish any attempts to discriminate against, intimidate, or harass ethnic Armenians because of their ethnicity, within its current and future borders and to allow without any hindrance hidden and/or Islamized Armenians to return to their true identities if they so wish and to practice religious and ethnic freedom without restriction or fear of retaliation;

15. The Republic of Turkey shall designate April 24 of each year as a Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide and shall permit and encourage unrestricted commemorative events within its current and future borders, starting with April 24, 2015, the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.

With full and prompt implementation of these aforementioned Demands for Justice for the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian Nation can finally move toward a genuine, durable and lasting reconciliation and peaceful coexistence with the Turkish, Azeri and Kurdish populations of the region.

June 22, 2014

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12 Comments

  1. Hratch said:

    I don’t see anything in this statement demand accountability from the current Armenian government and its cronies.

  2. Vindicated Man said:

    Very well done, includes the Arbitral Award that prescribes the de jure borders. This alone says a lot. Good job, I am impressed!

  3. karen mikaelyan said:

    ինչու չսպասել և հայտարարություն անել գոնը ամբողջ կուսակցության անունից? Իսկ խոսել հայության անունից – սխալ է։ Կարելի է խոսել արևմտահայության անունից։ Այսօրվա ՀՀ -ը Արցախի հետ արևահայերի, ռուսահայերի պետությունն է, Խորհրդ․ Հայաստանի իրավահաջորդը, լիազորված չէ ներկայացնել և հանդես գալ արևտահայության, առավել ևս համայն հայության անունից․ Համահայկական կառավարություն ցհաջողվեց ձևավորել 1920 թվին “հայ – հայկական” բանակցությունների ձախողման հետևանքով։ Մնում է աշխատել 2011 թ Փարիզում հիմնադրված ԱԱՀ-ի սահմանագծում, որ կարող է լիազորված լինել և պահանջներ Թուրքիային։ Արևմտահայության – Օսմանյան կայսրության նախկին հայ քաղաքացիների – անունից չի կարող խոսել ոչ մի կուսակցություն, կամ նույնիսկ ՀՀ -ն իշխանությունները, այնքան ժամանակ մինչև հանրաքվեյով նոր սահամանադրություն չընդունեն, հայտահարեն իրենց իրավահաջորդը Առաջին Հանրապետության, և ստանան լիզորություն Արևմտահայերի Համագումարի կողմից՝ եթե իրենց շահերի և իրավունքների պաշտպանությունը հանձնեն ՀՀ-ն իշխանությունների՞ ինչպես դա արվեց 1919 թ Արևմտահայերի Երկրորդ Համագումարում։

  4. karen mikaelyan said:

    ինչու չսպասել և հայտարարություն անել գոնը ամբողջ կուսակցության անունից? Իսկ խոսել հայության անունից – սխալ է։ Կարելի է խոսել արևմտահայության անունից։ Այսօրվա ՀՀ -ը Արցախի հետ արևահայերի, ռուսահայերի պետությունն է, Խորհրդ․ Հայաստանի իրավահաջորդը, լիազորված չէ ներկայացնել և հանդես գալ արևտահայության, առավել ևս համայն հայության անունից․ Համահայկական կառավարություն ցհաջողվեց ձևավորել 1920 թվին “հայ – հայկական” բանակցությունների ձախողման հետևանքով։ Մնում է աշխատել 2011 թ Փարիզում հիմնադրված ԱԱՀ-ի սահմանագծում, որ կարող է լիազորված լինել և պահանջներ Թուրքիային։ Արևմտահայության – Օսմանյան կայսրության նախկին հայ քաղաքացիների – անունից չի կարող խոսել ոչ մի կուսակցություն, կամ նույնիսկ ՀՀ -ն իշխանությունները, այնքան ժամանակ մինչև հանրաքվեյով նոր սահամանադրություն չընդունեն, հայտահարեն իրենց իրավահաջորդը Առաջին Հանրապետության, և ստանան լիզորություն Արևմտահայերի Համագումարի կողմից՝ եթե իրենց շահերի և իրավունքների պաշտպանությունը հանձնեն ՀՀ-ն իշխանությունների՞ ինչպես դա արվեց 1919 թ Արևմտահայերի Երկրորդ Համագումարում։

  5. Berge Jololian said:

    Acknowledgment with Accountability – land, reparation and restitution.

  6. Ararat said:

    I will add the following points to the list:

    1. According to the fascist Turkish government, the lives of those 9 or 10 Turkish terrorists on the flotilla killed by the Israelis are worth a billion dollars. That’s the amount the Turkish government is demanding from the state of Israel for wrongful death. That amounts to about $100 million dollars for the life of each Turkish terrorist. Even if we, in our most generous and conciliatory mood, equate the life of each killed Turkish terrorist to the life of each murdered innocent Armenian man woman or child, the total dollar amount owed to the Armenian nation by the Turkish government for the murder and the genocide of 1,500,000 Armenians amounts to $150 Trillion dollars. With the average Turkish annual GDP equaling to $0.75 Trillion dollars, this equates to 200 years’ worth of their annual GDP.

    2. Give $50 Trillion to the direct descendants of all the Armenians affected by the genocide and donate the rest to various Armenian relief societies to help the needy among the Armenians.

    3. Use another $50 Trillion to help expedite all infrastructure creation both in Artsakh and Armenia, as well as rewarding with free houses any Armenian family that moves and relocates to Artsakh from the Diaspora.

    4. Use the remaining $50 Trillion to not only match but to triple or quadruple Armenia’s and Artsakh’s combined annual military budget to that of the artificial state of Azerbaijan.

    5. Consider all Turks remaining on the liberated six Western Armenian provinces as threat to the Armenian homeland, round them up, expel and deport them into the Syrian Desert. What should happen to these Turks during their deportation process, I leave that to your imaginations!

  7. Pingback: ARF’s Statement of Demands For Justice for the Armenian Genocide | FlipsPops

  8. helen takessian said:

    let me remind readers that the 1.5 million figure countlessly flaunted world wide now came about by t6he lessening of numbers enforced each time a genocide bill was introduced into the con gressional voting system. Each time it was promised by bill sponsored that this time if we agree to this or that lower number murdered then it is believed to be in the bag for passage. Well the bills never passed and the numbers dwindled to i.5 million. with the approval of our desperate political lobbyist. ALL THOSE BARBARIC ACTS SWEPT ASIDE AND WITH THAT REPERATIONS ALSO DESERVED SWEPT ASIDE. What was not savy tour lobbyist was the notion of trial balloons to see how low we were willing to go. Since none od the bills with varying numbers didn,t pass I say we go back t6o the first numbers # million

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