YEREVAN (Armenpress) — The Public Council of the Republic of Armenia issued a statement over the formulations made by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, which referred to the subjects of the Ottoman Empire.
The statement was made in an interview with TV journalist Dmitry Kiselyov on “Rossiya” TV channel.
“We, members of the Public Council of the Republic of Armenia, having a deep sense of respect towards the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as towards Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, find it necessary to issue a statement over a number of formulations made by the latter on January 7.
The claim made by the Patriarch that the Ottoman Empire was the guarantor of order and peace for its subjects raised questions among nations that where once under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Patriarch Kirill brought up the conquering of Christian Byzantine by Muslims as a historical example of negative relations between the Christian and Muslim civilizations, ‘forgetting’ to mention the ethnic belonging of those Muslims. Thus, we find it necessary to remind that Byzantine was conquered by Ottoman Turks, and the Ottoman Empire was formed as a result of just that conquer. And the Patriarch brought the example of precisely that same Ottoman Empire, insisting that allegedly no one eliminated Christian nations there.
In the recent years, Turkey aims to form a “romantic” image of the Ottoman Empire in Russia and many other countries, demonstrating it as a tolerant state that was very attentive to all the demands and rights of its subjects. Unfortunately, Turkish lobbyists had an impact on some representatives of Russian academic circles. There is no need to once again walk along the bloody path of the history of the Ottoman Empire, which has left incurable wounds in the Balkans, Caucasus and the Middle East. Those wounds can definitely be regarded as the testimony of the inhumane policy and genocides implemented by the Sultans and the Young Turks.
During its existence the Ottoman Empire waged bloody wars with its neighbors, conquered and lost territories, devastating huge territories and eliminating hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples. A top totalitarian system with no precedence was created during that period, which became the cornerstone of Turkish state policy. Forceful Turkization and Islamization of Balkan peoples, Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and other peoples: This is the “success” of the Ottoman plan.
The genocide of 1.5 million Christian Armenians living in their historical motherland, as well as the genocides of Greeks and Assyrians, devastation and plunder of the entire Christian population and its rich cultural heritage in the territory of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey is a historical fact, which is not a subject for doubt or denial. Moreover, the Armenian Genocide was accompanied by deprivation from its historical, God given motherland.
The Ottoman Empire was, and now the modern Turkey is Russia’s geopolitical adversary, and the latest developments in Syria are the best examples for that.
The leadership of the Russian Federation has a clear stance over the genocide perpetrated against Armenians, which has been confirmed by Russia’s legislative body. President Vladimir Putin, together with the presidents of a number of other states, participated in the remembrance ceremony dedicated to the Armenian Genocide Centennial. But the justification of the state policy of oppression and genocide by the Ottoman Empire, keeping silent over the disastrous consequences caused by the Ottoman Empire, and, what is more, such an interpretation of the history have nothing common with the historical reality.
We always listen to the sermons delivered by Patriarch Kirill, perceiving it as a demonstration of universal benignancy, finding absolute truth and justice in them. We are convinced that the failed example of Patriarch Kirill about the tolerance and coexistence of Christians and Muslims in the Ottoman Empire is just a slip, away from truth and justice.”