Ankara’s Latest Propaganda Campaign Serves to Undermine The International Recognition of the Armenian Genocide

"Droshak" Editorial (February 20-26–2001) "Droshak" is the official publication of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau It is becoming more and more evident that the recent recognition of the Armenian Genocide by France–has resulted in panic and rage in the leadership of Turkey.

It is equally evident that in the weeks following France’s pro-Armenian adoption of the resolution/law–Ankara continues to utilize all opportunities to "punish" France–and threaten those governmen’s that may follow suit.

However–the underhanded and subtle political and public relations campaign being waged by the Turkish government to negate the facts of the Armenian Genocide–in the wake of this new recognition climate–are not noticeable at first glance.

It is no secret that even during the era of the Ottoman Empire–the highest echelons of the Turkish government have always been the torchbearers of deceitful politics. It is this same approach which feeds the current misinformation campaign being waged–according to which the recognition of the Armenian Genocide is not the simple affirmation of justice–but rather an effort to destabilize the current geopolitical status-quo–in order to obstruct the stability of the entire region.

The Turkish leadership is well-aware of the sensitivity of world powers toward attempts to redraw geopolitical boundaries–especially when proposals for such border revisions do not emanate from the said powers. Furthermore–we have witnessed during the Karabakh struggle–Turkey’s experience and knowledge at instigating discord and sounding the alarm regarding efforts to preserve the fundamental principle of national self-determination–veiled as a concern for the international concepts of inviolability of international borders and territorial integrity.

It is through this deceitful diplomacy that the leaders of Turkey are simultaneously gesturing threats against France–but at the same time–waging an indirect and unofficial campaign aimed at shifting public opinion and international attention from the real issue: its guilt in masterminding the Armenian Genocide and ridding the area of its Armenian population.

This new misinformation attack is also aimed at cornering the Armenian side. It was not a coincidence that one of the most visible members of the Turkish press and a so-called staunch advocate of historic realities–suddenly asked to interview the Armenian president. In an interview conducted immediately following France’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide–the Turkish reporter succeeded in sucking in the Armenian president in Turkey’s diplomatic game.

With pointed questions like "Doesn’t the recognition of the Genocide automatically precede territorial deman’s," and by the forced articulation or attribution of "In the event of Genocide recognition–Armenia will not have any territorial deman’s" to the Armenian president–the Turkish misinformation effort succeeded in distancing Turkey from the uncomfortable mandate of recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

Everyone knows–especially the perpetrator of the Genocide–that the premeditated government plan of the Armenian Genocide was a political crime–which aimed at the depopulation of the lands of their indigenous people–the Armenia’s–and–once and for all–burying the Armenian Question–by aggressively taking over Western Armenia.

It is equally evident–especially to Turkey–that the Republic of Armenia–with its current problems–naturally cannot place the just struggle for its rights as a priority on its agenda.

It is based on the aforementioned realities that the Turkish misinformation campaign aims at creating artificial contradictions between the Genocide recognition effort and territorial deman’s.

This strategy is nothing new. Its roots date back to the Soviet era–when in efforts to quell Armenian Genocide recognition and reparation deman’s–Ankara attempted and succeeded in obtaining memoranda from the Kremlin proclaiming no "territorial deman’s from Turkey." This same strategy was successfully implemented in 1987 following the European Parliament’s decision to provide a political solution to the Armenian Question. This became evident during the era when Armenia was struggling to gain independence. At that time Ankara was able to obtain guarantees from Armenia’s ruling circles led by the Pan Armenian Movement–to leave the issue of the Genocide to historians at the price of establishing friendly-neighborly relations with Turkey.

Following such a rancid experience–the Armenian political thought no longer has the right to ignore or underestimate the deceitful intentions of Turkish diplomacy–which adopted a policy of creating dichotomies within the Armenian political struggle–and as a consequence escaped judgment by the international community.

Thus–the Armenian political psyche does not have the right to ignore the current Turkish threats–which aim at undermining Armenia’s current leadership’s consistent and continued efforts to advocate for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

This is true especially when the current tactics used by Armenia’s president are utilized by Turkey to benefit its misinformation campaign. Furthermore–departing from the current regional and international political realities–these tactics aiming for the constant pursuit of the Armenian Genocide–do not allow for the inclusion of territorial deman’s as a primary issue with political immediacy in the foreign policy of Armenia.

During statemen’s in Strasbourg–then later through the interview with the Turkish journalist and later in an interview with the Paris-based Le Figaro newspaper–the Armenian president–on three different instances–publicly articulated this diplomatic move–following the French government’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

We understand that during his remarks in Strasbourg and in his interview with Le Figaro–the Armenian president provided explanations that the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide does not provide a legal basis for territorial deman’s; without specifically saying that Armenian territorial deman’s are legitimized both historically and politically. We do not–however–share or accept the statemen’s attributed to the Armenian president by the Turkish reporter.

Thus–we are concerned about the manipulation of the president’s remarks within the internal political arena. Though some raise legitimate concerns–there appear to be those–who a short time ago–were advocating friendly relations with Turkey–without any national preconditions.

As long as Armenia’s foreign policy consistently continues the pursuit of the international recognition for the Armenian Genocide–we will view–the non inclusion of territorial deman’s by the president–as a pure tactical move. We do not–however–share that method–especially in the manner in which it was presented by the Turkish reporter–because the territorial deman’s are historically and legally part and parcel to the Armenian Genocide recognition issue. Especially–when such a posturing plays into the ongoing Turkish campaign against the Armenia’s. We–however–oppose internal efforts to abuse the current situation to discredit the leadership–since those efforts clearly play into the hands of Turkish threats.

We cannot forget that prior to the French decision–Turkey was attempting to advocate and advance a false intention of bettering relations with Armenia–and to suck the Armenian government in Turkish efforts to portray itself as a legitimate and civilized nation-state–thus becoming an obstacle in the Genocide recognition effort.

At the time–with its announcement on January 20–the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau–called on all Armenian political players–especially the leadership–to exercise restraint and caution against the Turkish fallacies. The announcement remains in effect–especially today–since Turkish policies aim at creating contradiction in the international effort to recognize the Armenian Genocide and create schisms within the united national front borne to pursue the recognition matter.

As a nation–we face the imperative to rationally approach this latest threat from Turkey.

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