Genocide Recognition Campaign ‘Pointless Without Demands’

Ara Papyan

YEREVAN—The main purpose of the Armenian Genocide was to seize the property and lands belonging to Armenians, said director of the Yerevan-based Modus Vivendi center Ara Papyan on Monday, adding that Armenia cannot achieve its potential without restoring what was lost.

“We are more focused on the question’s external aspect, thinking of who will come to Armenia to lay flowers [on the Genocide memorial], but instead, the authorities should have three important questions to answer: what do we want? Secondly, on what bases do we lay claims? And thirdly, why do we want that? Can the realities today be taken for granted to allow us to continue [the campaign] the same way?” Ara Papyan, said during a press conference.

The expert noted that two thirds of Armenia’s population is concentrated in the Ararat valley, which he said is quite close to the Turkish border.

“The [Genocide] centennial, in my understanding, offered a good chance to respond to those questions. With the world’s attention focused on the centennial, we must by all means profit by that occasion to raise the questions we want,” Papyan said.

He added that Armenia fails to use its potential, continuing the Soviet-style tradition of just observing the ceremony.

“Continuing the recognition campaign without adding to it the demand for fair cause is absolutely pointless. On April 24, we must put on the table a package outlining the mechanisms of resolution. And for that, we need a commission of lawyers,” said the expert.


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  1. State-Of-Emergency said:

    The focus should never have been placed so heavily on recognition. The Genocide is a fact, but if some want to play with the word it’s their prerogative. Everything set aside, the fact still remains that life, property, land and wealth was lost at that time. These losses must be accounted for no matter what word is used to describe the events. We have fallen into the trap of chasing over crumbs. Whether one calls it murder, manslaughter or human collateral damage it’s still killing however way you slice and dice it. We should demand reparation on the simple fact that both life and material were lost no matter why, who or where it happened. They can play with their lexicon all day long, but at the end of the day a loss is a loss that must be addressed and repaid.

  2. State-Of-Emergency said:

    How can we ask these questions when the government of Armenia does not even have official claims over Western Armenia and it’s highlands. In theory, it has all but abandoned these territories. The task of laying claim is left up to some Armenian irredentist parties such as the ARF. The Soviet-style tradition of relinquishing Armenian territory continues to this day.

  3. GB said:

    Mr. Papian, when Armenians talk about Genocide, indirectly are asking the return of Western Armenia back to Armenia, where Bolshevik bosses, Lenin and Stalin, gave up our blood soaked Armenian lands to Turkic herds illegally.

  4. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    If they don’t recognize their crimes how can we ask our grandparent’s lands back …!!!
    Garabed* is my mother’s great uncle in Diyarbakir we have put all documents on DVD.

    *Garabed Dabbaghin: A very clever lawyer in Diyarbakir, he used to win almost every court case. He returned confiscated lands to real owners. Since real owners won the court by his help, they used to give him a piece of land, as they could not meet the expenses by Ottoman liras—Turkish gold currency. Eventually he became owner of a vast amount of lands in Diyarbakir. We still have all the documents (called tapoo in Turkish) signed by the Ottoman Empire –– can we claim our lands back?

    Published in my historical poetry collection “A poetic soul shined of Genocides” (2008)

  5. petrov said:

    The Armenian government has not relinquished claims to western Armenia. Where does such garbled garbage emanates from ? As for “traditional soviet style” relinquishing of Armenian lands to turkey ; how is one to characterize the betrayal of France to the Armenians in Cilicia, disarming the Armenian legion, making a deal with the beastly Ataturk and withdrawing from Cilicia overnight, abandoning Armenian land , property and lives to the mercy of the turks ? Democracy , fraternity and liberty in action. The recognition of a genocide has a legal basis for retribution and compensation. As long as the democracies of the USA-UK, and the light unto nations the super democracy of Israel do not acknowledge the genocide, de jure, there will be no international court of justice taking an interest in it. The” traditional soviet stylist” have acknowledged and recognized the Armenian genocide, President Putin will honor the centenial remembrance by his personal presence at the ceremonies. The emblematic democracies of the USA-UK-Australia-Israel are conspicuously absent.