Armenians worldwide vehemently oppose the Protocols on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey, according to an online multilingual petition rallying public opposition to the signing of the devastating document.
Shortly after the protocols were announced, a group of Armenian and non-Armenian intellectuals, journalists, activists and professors published an online petition at www.votch.org rejecting the protocols and blasting them as a threat to “the integrity of the Armenian people.”
The petition has received signatures from people in nearly 30 countries and the campaign is rapidly growing.
Signatures have been collected from: Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Dubai, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Karabakh, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Turkey, the Ukraine, the United Arabs Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States
“Armenians worldwide welcome the “Votch” Petition, said Hilda Tchoboian, the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation. “The Turkish Armenian protocols are blatant infringements on the memory of the Armenian Genocide and the dignity of its victims.”
The petition states, in part, that “to submit such a unique experience as genocide to negotiations and a judgment by governmental commissions or sub-commissions would subordinate the truth to political maneuvers and power relations.”
“The Turkish State is attempting to make its denial policy legitimate by embedding it in a legally binding document that would have far-reaching consequences not only for the Republic of Armenia, but for Armenians worldwide,” added Tchoboian.
“By the signing of these protocols, Armenia marginalizes the Diaspora, and enters into the strategy of the Turkish State to divide the Armenian people and to stigmatize and delegitimize the Diaspora for advocating the consciousness of the Genocide,” the petition says.
The text concludes with a strong rejection of the protocols as “an effort of the Turkish State to impose on the economically vulnerable Republic of Armenia its distorted vision of history from which the Republic of Turkey was formed and which is consubstantial with it.”
The petition also calls “upon all those who uphold human dignity to express their rejection of these agreements which endanger the integrity of the Armenian people”.
“It is therefore incumbent upon the Armenian Diaspora to make their position clear to the Republic of Armenia that surrendering to Turkey’s intransigent position would establish a profound division between the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora,” said Tchoboian.
The “Votch” (No) petition was initiated by philologist Krikor Beledian, essayist Janine Altounian, journalists Arpig Missakian and Arpi Totoyan, historian Yves Ternon of France, Professor Mihran Dabag, the Director of the German Research Institute on Diasporas and Genocides of Bochum University, and the former Chairman of the International Association of Genocides Scholars, American professor Roger Smith.