The Armenian Revolutionary Federation of the Western United States comes before the Armenian nation to express its profound concerns on the so-called protocols for the normalization of bilateral relations between Armenia and Turkey.
The ARF, as one of the oldest Armenian national organizations outside the Armenian Church, has always advocated the establishment of not only diplomatic but friendly diplomatic relations between the Armenian and Turkish Republics. However, these relations cannot be based upon a capitulation of Armenian national rights arising from the Genocide committed against the Armenian nation that decimated its population, destroyed its cultural heritage and usurped its ancestral homeland.
First, the so-called “Protocols” provide for a clear surrender of Armenian national rights by recognizing the “inviolability of Turkish territory,” significant parts of which have a cloud over their lawful title. Included within this “territory” are large parts of modern Turkey that had been lawfully awarded to and recognized to be part of the Armenian Republic in 1920 and earlier. Much of that territory has been illegally taken from the Armenian nation through force, coercion and through the use of internationally condemned illegal and wrongful means.
Second, the clause referring to the parties agreeing to “refrain from pursuing any policy incompatible with the spirit of good neighborly relations,” is objectionable for its vagueness and hidden objectives. This clause will be interpreted by Turkey as meaning that Armenia will abandon its support for the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide and its lawful entitlement to territorial and compensatory reparations from Turkey. Conversely, it is the ARF’s view that this clause must explicitly require Turkey to immediately and forever cease its shameful and reprehensible campaign of denying the Armenian Genocide and at evading its obligations for reparations to the Armenian people.
Third, the “Protocols” pointedly stipulate that Armenia must agree to “implement a dialogue on the historical dimension… including an impartial scientific examination of historical records and archives to define existing problems…” This deceitful and most dangerous clause is a flagrant attempt to turn the obvious 94 year old political and legal controversy of the Armenian Genocide into an historical controversy. The fact of the Genocide has never been doubted by impartial historians and is reflected in the firsthand testimonies of not only its witnesses and its victims, but even in the testimony of its perpetrators dating back to post war Turkish tribunals and to the recent autobiographical revelations of Talaat Pasha’s own diary entries. Any agreement which entrusts political entities to re-undertake a “scientific examination” of the Genocide is a dangerous ploy, as well as an insult to the one and half million Armenian victims and to their survivors and progeny who have been dispossessed of their patrimony and their millennial old ancestral homeland. This, the Armenian nation cannot and will not accept.
Was it not only a year ago that the U.S. State Department, in a letter signed by Acting Assistant Secretary of State Matthew A. Reynolds, affirmed its official policy to then Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joseph Biden when it stated: “Our goal is to help archivists protect the evidence of the past so that future generations will have the documentation of the mass killings and deportation of Armenian committed by Ottoman soldiers and other Ottoman officials in 1915. Our goal is not to open a debate on whether the Ottomans committed these horrendous acts; it to to help preserve the documentation that supports the truth of those events…the Administration recognizes that the mass killings, ethnic cleansing, and forced deportations of over one and half million Armenians were conducted by the Ottoman Empire. We indeed hold Ottoman officials responsible for those crimes.”
We look to the Armenian government to take heed of the official public policy expressed by the United States government in July of 2008 and not be trapped, coerced or otherwise blackmailed into negating its own Genocide. History will not look favorably upon the authors of such a monumental disaster.
Once again we look forward to the establishment of good relations with Turkey, but those relations cannot be based on lies and upon coercion, but must begin with acknowledgment of the mistakes of the past and the proper measure of atonement to a create an honest atmosphere of true good faith if we are ever to get on with our children’s futures.
The Armenian government cannot and is not allowed to compromise the truth, to surrender our rights, and to endanger our national security.
September 1, 2009
Central Committee Of The
Armenian Revolutionary Federation
Of Western United States