ANTELIAS–During a phone interview with a European press agency–His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia–expressed his deep concern about Turkey’s EU bid–stating–"The European community was not established only on economic interests and political collaboration. It is fundamentally a community of human values which ensures the identity–integrity–and unity of Europe–and gives a particular place and role to Europe within the international community. Among these values–human rights occupy an important place."
Pointing to Turkey’s notorious human rights record–the Cathlicos remarked–"To what degree and in what way are human rights accepted–respected–and practiced within Turkey? Turkey still ignores its immediate past–it still has failed to recognize the genocide planned and executed by Ottoman Turkey in 1915. I believe that the recognition of the Armenian genocide by Turkey is not only an ‘Armenian problem.’ It is an issue that impacts the international community–since it deals with the fundamental issues of justice and human rights. The recognition of the Armenian genocide by Turkey must be taken very seriously by Europe–as Turkey is trying by all means to become a full member of Europe."
In concluding his remarks–Aram I said–"In this globalized world of ours nations–religions–cultures–and civilizations must live together on the basis of peaceful coexistence. But living together as good neighbors and as part of the broader community implies that we must accept our faults–affirm truths–and recognize the rights of others. The foundation of a real community is built on mutual trust and justice. Therefore–it is my firm expectation that beyond economic and political interests–Europe will continue to remain firmly attached to basic human values. It is the expectation and hope of Armenia’s all over the world that the government of Turkey will reaffirm the truth by recognizing the historical validity of the Armenian genocide."