Editorial: Our Path to Justice is Set by Our Roots

APRIL 24 2019 English out
Our path to justice is set by our roots

Our path to justice is set by our roots

The White House, once again, opted to side with Turkey and continue its complicity in Ankara’s campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide. Furthermore, President Donald Trump chose to ignore the will of 49 states of our union that have justly and rightfully recognized the Armenian Genocide, and issued a statement on Wednesday further cementing the administration’s tone deaf to this issue.

However, as Armenians around the world commemorate the Armenian Genocide, they will be joined by the people and government of France, which, for the first time, is commemorating the Genocide as a national day of remembrance. France joins Argentina and other countries whose leaders have seen beyond Turkey’s arrogance and lies and have marshaled their citizens to stand on the side of truth and justice.

Few weeks after President Emanuel Macron of France announced his intention to declare April 24 a national day of commemoration for the Armenian Genocide, Italy’s Chamber of Deputies overwhelmingly adopted a resolution recognizing the Genocide, joining a growing list of European countries to advance an agenda that values humanity and human rights.

The Armenian people’s struggle to attain international recognition for the Armenian Genocide, which began in earnest in 1965—the 50th anniversary—has morphed into not only legislatures and presidents acknowledging the truth, but also in some instances governments taking responsibility for their role in advancing the Ottoman Empire’s state policy to eradicate Armenians. The resolution adopted by Germany’s Bundestag a few years ago demonstrated the willingness of nations to come to terms with their pasts.

Ankara believes that perpetuating this lie will somehow make the events of 1915 disappear. Then again, if Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recognizes the Genocide, he would have to rethink his current policies of silencing its own population, which mirror the strategies employed by his predecessors when they set out to destroy the Armenian population.

The will of the people to advance the cause of justice for the Armenian Genocide has not wavered and that will has only proliferated around the world, most notably in Turkey, where for the past several years concerned Turks are joining Armenians to not only commemorate the Armenian Genocide but demand justice from their government. Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish Parliament representing the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), called on his fellow lawmakers to take up the issue of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey’s Grand National Assembly. The mere mention of this a few years back from the dais of Turkey’s legislature would have resulted in his arrest and much worse.

The fact remains that stories of survivors that over the last century or so have been passed down to younger generations have cemented the Armenians’ will to not only survive adversity but to advance the cause of justice. Although we faced similar horrors at the hands of Azerbaijanis when beginning in 1988 and in response to Artsakh liberation movement, they carried out systematic massacres of Armenians in Sumgait, Baku, Kirovabad, Maragha and Shahumian, employing the same vile and brutal tactics as their Turkish cousins, our resilience as a nation proved to be a potent force against the perpetrators who were advancing a genocidal policy. Artsakh was liberated and is now the crucial link in the chain that is the Armenian Cause and the aspirations of the Armenian Nation.

Today all facets of our society have lined up behind the truth. Publications such as The New York Times, the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, which a decade or so ago hesitated—and refused—to use the word “genocide” to describe the events of 1915 have all called on the White House to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Public schools are including the study of the Armenian Genocide in their curricula, while historians are tackling the issue from various angles and perspectives to paint a more accurate picture of the 20th century.

All of these advances have happened because the Armenian people have been adamant and they have parlayed their righteous convictions into decisive action to advance and pursue the Armenian Cause.

As we remember the victims of the Armenian Genocide and those who perished in similar massacres before and after 1915, we must be cognizant that our collective will to right the injustices of the past is a potent catalyst in advancing our cause and brick-by-brick shattering the wall of lies and silence that continue to stand in the way of recognition, reparations and restitution for the Armenian Genocide and the ultimate aspiration of our Nation—a Free, United and Independent Armenia.

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6 Comments

  1. Telo said:

    Thank you, Asbarez. Our story does not end when or if Turkey recognizes the Genocide. We still aim to retrieve our lands, our homes and properties, our businesses, our churches and our institutions in occupied Western Armenia.

  2. State of Emergency said:

    I don’t understand why we’re so adamant about US recognition. It’s just but 1% of what needs to be done. There is a mountain of work that needs to be done for reparation that is being completely ignored. It’s almost as if we can’t see the forest for the trees. France, Germany, Russia, et al. have officially recognized the AG yet they continue to deal with Turkey as usual. What is really going to change if the US recognizes it as well? It’s not a magic bullet. It’s not a means to the end. It’ll be business as usual the exact next date. Time, money, and effort can be better spent by laying the foundations for our cause in a more constructive and meaningful way. No amount of protesting, begging, and shouting will change anything. We must provide incentives to tilt the pendulum in our favor. It’s an insurmountable effort but at least it’s in the right direction. Right now, we’re simply defining insanity. Looking for a different outcome each and every year.

    • Hye orti said:

      State of Emergency Very well said we have to change the way we look at the situation .

  3. David said:

    The US Govt. by its coddling (and arming) of repressive States like Turkey and Saudi Arabia has
    lost any moral authority it once had in defending
    human rights and justice.
    The President has become nothing more than the
    Chief weapon salesman for the defense industry.
    He lacks the integrity and courage to be a truly great President as evident in his inadequate and condescending “statement” on the Genocide.
    Any “suffering” of the Turks (while committing genocide) was well-deserved.
    We don’t hear of the “suffering” of the Nazis for their
    crimes against humanity-do we?

  4. Sarkis Ghazarian said:

    All these sympathetic words expressed by the various governments and publications referred to in your editorial has not changed the reality on the ground that Turkey continues to deny the Genocide and continues to rule over the ancestral homelands of the Armenian people in today’s eastern Turkey.
    How many of the countries that have come out with wonderful proclamations about their recognition of the Armenian Genocide have also reduced their foreign aid or sale of military weapons to Turkey?
    Have Armenian organizations that spend their human and financial resources to obtain these supportive proclamations also spend the same resources to call upon elected officials to put forward resolutions in their respective legislative bodies to reduce their respective governments foreign aid to Turkey or call for the banning of the sale of military weapons or call for economic sanctions against Turkey for their continued abuses of human rights against its currents citizens?
    Actions speak Louder than Words as well as the expression that Money talks & BS Walks are vital to remember.
    We have allowed the sympathetic words from these governments and their elected officials to placate us and deny any concrete actions to be taken against Turkey and impact Turkey where it hurts their economic interests.

  5. heratch said:

    Much more important of US recogniction is the action in Turkey by supporting parties who try to develope their citizen cultural develope.
    We need and should support figures like HRANT DINK who was following the above statment ; if one day (hope soon) the cultural developed people will be majority then they will recognize their past history and will be possible to have all reparation that they must give for reparation of looses caused by their ancient. I belive this is the direction which we have to support

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