Not Another April 22

BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

The Armenian presidential office on Wednesday announced that President Serzh Sarkisian will make an address to the nation and announce a critical decision on the fate of the Armenia-Turkey protocols.

The Armenian nation is still reeling from last year’s discouraging and unfortunate April 22 announcement by Turkey and Armenia of a “roadmap” toward normalization of relations, which led to the signing, last October, of the dangerous protocols.

Before leaving for Washington on April 12, President Sarkisian hinted that he had formulated a policy on the protocols, adding that he would make an announcement at the appropriate time.

It seems the time has come and the nation should brace itself for another significant turn of events on the eve of the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

However, Sarkisian’s recent assertive posturing on the Genocide issue, as articulated in London’s Chatham House, Der Zor, in an interview with the German Der Spiegel magazine and last week in Washington following a memorial service at the President Woodrow Wilson’s tomb indicates that Yerevan is keen to pursue international recognition of the Genocide and rejects any forum through which the veracity of the Armenian Genocide could be questioned.

In fact, the symbolism of Sarkisian’s statement at Wilson’s tomb also was seen as a signal to US political circles that the efforts of the 28th US president on behalf of Armenia are a viable solution to the Armenian Cause.

In contrast, official Ankara, through Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has continued its vitriolic attacks against the memory of the Genocide victims by firmly denying the facts and threatening the Armenian people.

“If democratic assemblies dare to mention the ethnic cleansing of Armenians in the 20th century, I will personally complete that cleansing in the 21st!” threatened Erdogan on the Turkish-language service of the BBC.

Following his trip to Washington and meetings with President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, Erdogan continued to precondition the ratification of the Turkey-Armenia protocols with the resolution of the Karabakh conflict.

“Members of the [Armenian] Security Council discussed the latest developments in the process of normalizing relations between Armenia and Turkey,” said the statement issued by the president’s office on Wednesday. “President Sarkisian said that he has held a series of consultations on this issue with the leaders of the parties making up the [governing] political coalition.”

“The president of the republic will address the people on the results of the decision made as a result of the discussions,” it added without elaboration.

We should be cautious as we anticipate the president’s address Thursday. At the same time, the president also should be extremely cautious and NOT repeat his tragic mistake of last year.

Given his recent posturing, he should announce to the nation and to the world that he is withdrawing Armenia’s signature from the protocols, because the Armenian nation cannot—and will not—tolerate another April 22.

 

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3 Comments

  1. vacheh said:

    Every time that we listen or watch Erdogan, it reflects “Taleat Pasha Re-Born”. “Completing the cleansing of Armenians in the 21-st century” can not be a sign of friendship or normalized relationship. I hope that President Sargsyan will also demonstrate in his Aprill 22 message that “Zoravar Andranik”, “Zoravar Dro”, “Garegin Njdeh”, and “Aram Manookian” are also reborn among Armenians to score a second victory like Sardarapat or Bash Aparan, where defeated turks were running away like rabbits.

  2. Garo said:

    I think you are mixing Christopher's Hitchen's piece with Erdogan's interview with BBC.

    “If democratic assemblies dare to mention the ethnic cleansing of Armenians in the 20th century, I will personally complete that cleansing in the 21st!” threatened Erdogan on the Turkish-language service of the BBC.

    Although Erdogan did not flat out say that you are correct in the interpretation as renowned author and journalist Christopher Hitchen's wrote in his article: http://www.slate.com/id/2249825/pagenum/2

    Here is what Erdogan said:

    “In my country there are 170,000 Armenians. Seventy thousand of them are citizens. We tolerate 100,000 more. So, what am I going to do tomorrow? If necessary I will tell the 100,000: OK, time to go back to your country. Why? They are not my citizens. I am not obliged to keep them in my country.”

    And here is Hitchen's piece which :

    This extraordinary threat was not made at some stupid rally in a fly-blown town. It was uttered in England, on March 17, on the Turkish-language service of the BBC. Just to be clear, then, about the view of Turkey's chief statesman: If democratic assemblies dare to mention the ethnic cleansing of Armenians in the 20th century, I will personally complete that cleansing in the 21st!

  3. Alex Postallian said:

    erdogan is proof of the turkish mongolian ancestry every time he speaks. When the Mongols left Anatolya it left behind its cowards,deserters,and misfits.

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