ARF Bureau Member Viken Hovsepian on Dialogue with Turkish Officials

–‘We support dialogue that’s not mere ceremony but actually seeks a solution’

GLENDALE–In recent weeks–official and semi-official Turkish sources have made announcemen’s regarding initiating dialogue with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation–entrusting the study of the Armenian genocide issue to historians–and similar matters. Asbarez approached ARF Bureau member Viken Hovsepian–asking him to provide further clarification.

Question: What’s your interpretation regarding Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent announcement that the matter of the Armenian genocide should be left up to historians?

Answer: Any offer of dialogue from Turkish governmental circles that accepts as its basis the actuality of the Armenian genocide would be welcomed. Prime Minister Erdogan’s proposal–or any similar tactic that attempts to cast doubt on the authenticity of the Armenian genocide–is simply hurtful for the Armenian people–which to this day continues to endure the consequences of the Genocide.

The Armenian genocide is matter that has long been proven and subjected to intense analysis–on an international level; and now is the time for immediate political action and resolution. Any deviation from that course is merely a delay tactic or the wasting of time. As much as we Armenia’s have a vital interest in the just resolution of our Question–so too should the Turkish state–based on its own political and economic interests–seek a final solution to the Armenian Question.

Q: What would be the ARF’s role in the likely event of an Armeno-Turkish dialogue?

A: The ARF has often stated that it supports and appreciates the function of dialogue and negotiation for the resolution of any political matter. In this case as well the ARF would play a positive role–if it has the necessary assurance that what would take place are substantive negotiations that seek a comprehensive resolution–and not mere ceremony that seeks to leave an impression of dialogue.

That sort of imitation of dialogue greatly benefited the Turkish government during recent such initiatives–in which some Armenian individuals (and an Armenian organization) unfortunately became willing instrumen’s. What’s imperative today–however–is public relations by Turkish governmental circles so that they may be able to come to terms with their past–for the sake of a brighter and morally reconcilable future.

Q: Turkish businessman Kaan Soyak–while in Armenia–also made a statement regarding dialogue. What’s your view regarding that?

A: I appreciate Mr. Soyak’s affirmations regarding the ARF and its role–especially when we take into account the paranoia and extremism that exist in Turkish governmental circles toward the ARF. As already noted–our organization is ready to play a positive part in any process that seeks to achieve frank and comprehensive solutions.

Let me add that to date our organization has received no official invitation or proposal for dialogue from the Turkish government.

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