YEREVAN—Armenia’s greatest achievement ahead of the Genocide centennial would be a pan-national call for reparations, says Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Political Affairs Director Giro Manoyan.
“Both Turkey and other countries understand this, but it is important to fix that we have demands from Turkey. We have already launched active measures towards the Genocide centennial to shape a political mindset. And steps by Turkey to counteract to that are the proof of that,” Manoyan said at a news conference.
Asked whether Armenia has the necessary resources to make 2015 unprecedented, the politician said that he has really seen progress. “We have made such progress in the past decades that it isn’t right to anticipate achieving everything in one year. It is common knowledge today that Turkey committed genocide and now experiences hatred for the Armenians,” he noted.
Asked to comment on continuing calls to gathering Armenians in Istanbul in 2015 to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, Manoyan said he knows that events of the kind will be held everywhere. “Istanbul always hosted commemoration ceremonies. But conducting ceremonies in Turkey next year will be of special importance; it is important, however, to convey the right message to Turkey’s society,” Manoyan said.
He added that the ARF asked a commission of specialists to elaborate Armenia’s demands back in 2007. “They published the first draft in 2010, outlining five key demands: recognition, reparation and legislative changes in Turkey to eliminate the anti-Armenian policies and raise the problem of collective damage and territorial questions. To resolve territorial issues it is necessary to recall the Armenia-Turkey protocols,” he added.
Manoyan says the year 2014 stood out for three important events: Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union, the frequent ceasefire violations at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and the acts of sabotage, the events in Syria and the problems of the Armenian community.
Giro Manoyan says in 2015 we should start speaking about the consequences of the Armenian Genocide and reparation rather than recognition. “This will be the greatest achievement of the 100th anniversary,” he said.
As for the commemoration to be held in Istanbul, he said “this is not the first time such events will be held in Istanbul.”
“Commemoration of the 100th anniversary in Istanbul will be of special importance, but what’s more important is to send a special message to the Turkish society. The Turkish public should know not only what happened in the past, but also what the Armenian people demand today,” Manoyan said.
He also attached importance to the refusal from the Armenian-Turkish protocols. “These protocols need to be killed legally,” he said.
Referring to the invitation to the Turkish President to visit Armenia on April 24, Giro Manoyan said, “It’s a challenge rather than an invitation.”
“I’m not sure about how this invitation will be accepted. I don’t rule out Turkey will take certain counter-steps, and Armenia should be ready for it.”
Manoyan also advised Armenians not to concentrate on what the US President will say on April 24. “Uttering the word ‘genocide’ will put pressure on Turkey, that’s why Obama has refrained from using the word,” he concluded.