YEREVAN (Armenpress)—On December 16, just a week after Turkish human rights activist, Ragip Zarakolu was awarded with Denmark PL Foundation Peace Award where he dedicated the award to the late Armenian “Agos” newspaper editor Hrant Drink and to long-term imprisoned Armenian-Turkish journalist, and linguist Sevan Nishanian, Zarakolu discussed the burden that the Turkish Republic still faces for the Armenian Genocide.
PL Foundation President Poul Sogaard’s speech at the official ceremony at the National Museum of Denmark pointed out that the “Peace” award was given to Ragip Zarakolu for his many years of fighting against struggle in the field of human rights and for his work on raising awareness of the Armenian Genocide, for what he was prosecuted and imprisoned for several times.
In Zarakolu’s response to Sogaard’s speech, he dedicated the award to Armenian “Agos” newspaper editor Hrant Drink, killed several years ago and to long-term imprisoned Armenian-Turkish journalist, linguist and architect Sevan Nishanian.
Zarakolu stated that the Republic of Turkey remains under heavy burden today for the atrocities it committed. Confronting the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide was an important moment for the Turkish Republic. Leaving aside the apology, compensation, the state could not even respect the pain of the Armenian people. But did Armenian people have a loss from all of that? No. Turkey was again the one to lose according to Zarakolu.
“The Republic of Turkey, which persists not to be changed, took confident steps not towards democracy but – totalitarianism during the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Throughout the history of the Republic, the denial of the Armenian Genocide became an integral part of totalitarian ideology. For this reason, the main conditions for the democratization of Turkey are the recognition, apology and compensation of the Armenian Genocide,” Zarakolu mentions in his statement, emphasizing that the recognition of the Armenian Genocide is important, not for its victims, but in terms of the existence of the Turkish state.
“This country keeps repeating the same mistakes and it causes instability and a threat not only for the country but also in terms of neighboring countries,” the Turkish intellectual wrote.
He notes that the Genocide launched 100 years ago, is still continuing today in Syria and Iraq, where 3rd and 4th generations of Armenians, Assyrians, and Yazidis are under target.
“The victims stopped being just victims; they are martyrs after the Canonization ceremony of Armenian Genocide victims in Etchmiadzin on April 23. Their graves are not already open; they were buried in the heart of the people. They are already in hearts of the world people.
But the Turkish Republic will continue to remain under heavy burden of the implemented heavy crime against humanity. It has not established a peaceful society for 100 years, especially since it was never able to say “never again” but continued to threaten saying “I’ll do again.”
And as long as this mentality has not changed, and there has been no confrontation with history, no apology, and no compensation, these bloody lands will not find their peace.
The struggle for the reality will continue and conscience will win in the end.” Zarakolu concluded the statement.