Editorial: World Events Raise Urgency of Justice for Armenian Genocide

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The cover of the Asbarez 2017 Genocide Special Issue

The cover of the Asbarez 2017 Genocide Special Issue

The elections in Turkey on April 16 reversed what one expert called the country’s 100-year experiment in democracy and cemented the fact that successive Turkish governments will continue to deny the Armenian Genocide.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s dream of architecting a Turkey in the 21st century based on its barbaric Ottoman past won narrowly during Sunday’s referendum, effectively giving him carte blanche to continue his persecution of minorities and violent breach of human rights. The stage is being set for a repeat of the 1915 events, as once again world powers turn a blind eye to this situation.

Here in the United States, the new administration’s actions, or lack thereof, raises the uncertainty over any official action regarding the Armenian Genocide, despite bi-partisan Congressional calls on the Trump administration to recognize that crime.

The passage of a resolution last June in the German Budenstag that not only recognized the Armenian Genocide but also highlighted German complicity in its genesis brought Europe a step closer to advancing justice and human rights in the face of resistance by Turkey and the United States.

Having said that we are far from proclaiming victory on this front. Other world events, such as the war in Syria, are shifting the balance in the region and affecting the posturing of world powers toward Turkey.

At the same time, the tenuous and fragile situation on the frontlines of Artsakh following last year’s “Four-Day War,” continues to threaten the security of Armenians in Armenia and Artsakh. At the same time, the international community’s refusal to properly condemn Azerbaijan for its heinous actions, only emboldens Baku—and by extension Ankara—to continue its barbaric policies toward Armenians.

Outside of world capitals and power centers, however, a new wave of Armenian Genocide recognition has emerged, continuing a trend that started in 2015, with the centennial, when major media outlets in the United States and around the world began urging Turkey to recognize the Genocide. This, coupled with the pope’s reaffirmation of the Genocide not only in 2015 at the Vatican, but also during his visit to Armenia in June 2016, as well as an urgent interest by members of the entertainment community has created a groundswell—and even more popular—of support for the just recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

This year, the premiere of the film “The Promise,” which was produced by Kirk Kerkorian’s Survival Pictures, has turned the conversation from denial to absolute recognition, with Hollywood A-listers lending their voice to the cause of advancing justice for the Armenian Genocide.

The climate that efforts like “The Promise” have created, and the resulting crescendo on social media, should not take the place of activism and the proper articulation of our just demands, which include reparations and restitution for the crime of the Armenian Genocide, the advancement of which requires recognition by Turkey, which can be hastened by the United States stepping up.

On April 24, Armenians around the world will commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, with most Diasporan communities focusing their protests at Turkish embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions. The target of our demands is the Turkish government and we must continue our demands for justice.

World events, especially developments in the region, have raised the urgency of Genocide recognition and advancement of justice. Each and every Armenian must pledge to fight for this not just on April 24 but every day of the year in order to guarantee that the just aspirations of the Armenian people are realized.

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6 Comments

  1. Raffi said:

    Genocide perpetrators don’t admit their guilt, Pol Pot never admitted that he did the Cambodian genocide, it is the UN and the world community’s responsibility to condemn and bring to justice the perpetrators, unfortunately countries like UK, US, and others find an opportunity to make few $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ from these atrocities, it is sad to see how Donald Trump follows his predecessors, instead of taking a firm stance an make Turkey respect President Woodrow Wilson’s treaty and save US from Turkey’s gag rule.

  2. Alek Frendian said:

    Seriously, you did not expect this man to use the term Genocide for the brutal killings of Armenian men, women, Pregnant Women, and children. Bet you he can not even point to Armenia on the world map.

    He and his predecessors do not have the guts to stand against the Turkish government and brown nose their new dictator Erdogan!

  3. Raffi said:

    ….. Bet you he can not even point to Armenia on the world map…. JaJaJaJa

  4. Arn.Sweden. said:

    Wold Powers only have Egoistic interessts and none morale.
    The World Powers only Recognice Vitors and Victory.
    Until Armenia by Herself has that – dont expect any Recognition.
    Justice will only be served by the Sword.

    Arn.Sweden.

  5. Red-neck Robert said:

    Which among these commenters made any such belittling comments during (and concerning) previous administrations, I wonder? Democrat and Republican elite for generations are equally guilty of betrayal of the very memory of the Armenian genocide, to be sure. You spend your time decrying the political establishment at the top where you cannot reach. You might as well be baying at the moon.
    Last Sunday I (uncharacteristically) went to the local Jewish synagogue to hear a talk about the history of Chanukah given by a local prominent mathematician. Having been slightly acquainted with him beforehand, I engaged him in conversation afterward. The subject of Armenia came up, which I termed no less a remnant nation than Israel itself. Identifying myself as non-Jewish, I said that I could not fully sympathize with Israel while it stabs Armenians in the back. I think he knew that Israel was supplying weapons to Azerbaijan; but when I mentioned the report that two Azeri war planes had landed in Israel during the four-day war, it seemed he did not know, asking where I had read that. He seemed less doctrinaire that I had anticipated.
    The point of all this is that, in the context of a present day situation in which the relationship of not only Israel, but the entire West, with Turkey seem in flux to an apparently greater degree than in over a century, possibly a good way of making progress is by engaging one person at a time in civil discourse.

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