It’s Time to Demand Reparations for Genocide, Says Historian

YEREVAN (ArmRadio)–Today we are entering a new stage in the campaign for Genocide Recognition where the Armenian Nation must begin demanding reparations for the crimes committed by Turkey, Director of the History Institute of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences Ashot Melkonyan told a press conference on Wednesday.
"We say that Turkey has perpetrated Genocide, the world recognizes it and we are satisfied," Melkonyan said. "What do we want after this? We want that the guilt of the criminal is recognized in the court."
"After having made much progress in the international recognition of the Genocide, we must decide what the next step will be," he said.
Melkonyan then went on to provide an overview of the Armenian Cause as it developed from the onset of the Genocide, focusing on the period between 1915 to the present. According to him there have been four stages of historic development for the Armenian people in the context of the genocide.
He explained that the period from 1915 and 1923 can be characterized as one of reaction where the fact of the Armenian Genocide was so real that it found response in distant Uruguay and Argentina. Archive materials from different countries were published in tens of languages and it was an issue in the hearts and minds of people throughout the world.
According to the historian, the year 1923 marked the start of a long period of denial, which was a dreadful stage, when the wound was fresh, and the world was indifferent. It lasted until 1965, after which the Genocide issue was raised both in the Motherland and the Diaspora.
The third stage, he explained, falls between 1965 and 1995 and is characterized as a period of recovery of memory and resumption of activism. Argentine, Cyprus and other countries recognized the Armenian Genocide during this period.
The Final and most important period in this history came about when the Republic of Armenia adopted the recognition of the Armenian Genocide as a foreign policy objective, Melkonyan said. During this period, more then ten countries recognized the Genocide.
But the word Western Armenia was not included in the resolutions of those countries, he said.
Today, Armenia is entering a new stage in the history of the Cause for Genocide Recognition, he said, moving from a drive for recognition to reimbursement.

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