ANCA’s Hamparian Points Out ‘Particularly Vicious’ Trend

Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America, Aram Hamparian.

BY ARAM HAMPARIAN

It’s particularly vicious to hear people preaching that Armenians should only be working for change from within Turkey.

We once had this chance, and, despite great challenges and even greater risks, played a courageous and consequential role in reforms — until 1915, when Turkey massacred and exiled us, effectively ending our ability to press for progress as citizens of that state. It takes a very cruel or equally calculating heart to lecture the brutalized victims of a crime about their failure to rehabilitate their attackers.

Given the vast post-genocide power asymmetry between the Turkish state and the surviving Armenian citizens of Turkey — or between Turkey and landlocked, partitioned, and blockaded Armenia for that matter — arguing that the Armenian Genocide should be a matter between Turks and Armenians is just a harsh way of saying leave Turkey alone to consolidate the fruits of its crime. Turkey’s preferred “lion and lamb” formulation is all the more one-sided by virtue of the added power Turkey secured through genocide and the incalculable harm caused to the Armenian nation by this still unpunished crime. This approach, of course, stands at odds to the basic conceptions of justice held by nearly every culture on earth. Genocide may be the worst of all crimes, one with serious geopolitical implications, but it remains a crime. And the answer to crime is justice. Justice that punishes the perpetrator, makes the victim whole, and prevents future crimes.

It is to our credit that decades of diasporan advocacy for justice — undertaken in countries around the world in the wake of our near annihilation — has started to break down walls of denial in Turkey and sparked a small but growing domestic movement for a truthful and just resolution of the Armenian Genocide.

Having “forced the Spring,” we are now — with increased resolve — waging our struggle on two mutually reinforcing fronts: one in Turkey, one in the rest of the world.

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6 Comments

  1. Pingback: Глава АНКА: Порочные тенденции в вопросе Геноцида – в чем роль правосудия? » News

  2. Aram Suren Hamparian said:

    Get ready:

    This coming year, we will – as Armenians – be lectured without end about our responsibility to meet Turkey half-way on the Armenian Genocide, to accept the patently false and immoral premise that the truth lies somewhere between two “narratives,” to forgive without repentance and to “move on” without reparations.

    Ask yourself, would any of the experts, politicians, PR professionals, or other self-righteous types pitching this self-serving trash counsel the same if it were their families who were mercilessly killed and/or driven from their homes?

    Genocide is a crime, not a conflict.

    The Armenian Genocide requires a truthful and just international resolution, one that punishes the perpetrator state, restores the victim, and prevents future genocide. In a word: JUSTICE.

  3. Serge Samoniantz said:

    Armenians who preach cooperation with the Turkish deniers are fools who have no learned their own history. They are vacuous thinkers who assume that the Turkish state has changed since 1915. Ataturk modernized Turkey’s appearance before the West, but the diehard pan-Turanian Turks have not changed. Change the spots in the leopard, but you will not change the nature of the beast.

  4. arziv said:

    Meeting Turkey half way ? It sounds esoteric and utterly senseless. There is no half ways in this catastrophe. There is only one way. Armenians still living in Turkey have already been assimilated into the Turkish dough. Their predicament is understandable. Half way, ? whoever concoted that term is an apologist and a denier.

  5. Berge Jololian said:

    REFORM’S WRECKAGE

    Serious reforms were first attempted during Ottoman Turkey’s Tanzimat (Reorganization) period of 1839 to 1876. Pushed by Europe, Turkey declared measures, quickly proven ineffective, to safeguard the rights of its subjects, including Armenians.

    A Turkish constitution was then declared in 1876 but suspended, along with parliament, just two years later.

    Article 61 of the Treaty of Berlin, signed in 1878 by the European powers, Turkey, and Russia, guaranteed the safety of Ottoman Armenians but was dead before the ink dried.

    Turkish “reforms” reached new levels in the 1890s with massacres of hundreds of thousands of Armenians.
    In 1908 came the “reformist” Young Turk party. Inspired by European ideals, it pledged liberty, equality, and fraternity. “Reform” culminated in the cataclysm of 1915.

    Turkey’s next European-inspired “reformer” was Kemal Ataturk, who all but finished off the country’s remaining Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian Christians, not to mention thousands of Muslim Kurds.

    He seized historical western Armenia, which Europe had promised to Armenians, and attacked the just-reborn Armenian Republic while Europe looked on.

    Ataturk’s “reformist” legacy endures to this day: Genocide denial, the blockade of Armenia, and 80 years of military coups, human rights abuses galore, and even massacres, all tolerated by Europe.”

    Quoted from article “Ship of Fools: Turkey and the European Union”

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