YEREVAN—President Serzh Sarkisian on Tuesday urged Turkey’s president to mark the Genocide centennial in Armenia in order to gain a first-hand look at the historic evidence of the Armenian Genocide.
Speaking at the 4th plenary session of the commission coordinating the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Sarkisian said he has invited number of heads of states to visit Armenia in 2015—specifically on April 24—to honor the memory of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide. Among the heads of states invited to Armenia is the Turkish president.
“It will be enough to visit any Diaspora community and ask how their ancestors found themselves in that country. If the Turkish authorities are interested in the truth, they should visit Armenia on April 24. I don’t think they will continue to speak about the opening of archives after that. I avail myself of the opportunity to officially invite the Turkish President (whoever is elected during the forthcoming elections) to visit Armenia on April 24, 2015 to face the striking historical evidence of the Armenian Genocide,” said Sarkisian.
In his remarks, the president added that the only way for Turkey to rid itself of “the heavy burden” is to recognize the Armenian Genocide. “It’s impossible to achieve results with half-step measures,” he added in an apparent reference to the now infamous “condolence letter” issued on April 23 by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is eyeing the presidency.
“Official Ankara continues to speak about the creation of a commission of historians and opening of the archives. First of all, it’s known that the Armenian archives have always been open to all researchers interested in the scientific aspect of the issue. The materials kept in scientific institutions and museums have always been open to public,” the President said, adding that “visiting any Armenian family, entering any Armenian home is enough to face the truth of the Armenian Genocide,” said Sarkisian
“With all this we never spread hatred towards the Turkish people. Moreover, we are trying to create conditions for Armenian and Turkish people to communicate with each other to find ways of reconciliation. This was the objective behind our initiative to normalize the Armenian-Turkish relations and open the shared border,” the President said. “Turkey is well aware of the ways of normalizing the relations with Armenia, if it’s really sincere in its wish,” he added.
“The 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide is of great importance for both dispersed Armenians around the world and all of humanity. Not only was April 24, 1915 the start of an unprecedented attempt to exterminate an entire nation, the ensuing events showed that it became a precedent for other genocides in the 20th century,” said Sarkisian.
“There are no statutes of limitations on crimes against humanity. The only formula for prevention of genocides is the recognition and condemnation of the hideous pages of history. As a nation that has survived genocide, we have a special mission to prevent the recurrence of such calamities in the future,” President Sarkisian said.
“On the threshold of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide we once again call on all states and the international community to recognize and condemn this unprecedented crime,” he said. “As a state and as a nation we will continue our efforts for the recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide and the most terrible crimes against humanity in different corners of the world,” added Sarkisian.
The plenary session of the Genocide Centennial Committee kicked off Tuesday at the Karen Demirjian Sports Complex, with Sarkisian as its chair and included the participation of His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia and Nagorno-Karabakh Republic President Bako Sahakian.
Some of the topics discussed during the session, which is comprised of representatives of Genocide Centennial committees in different countries, included the announcement that the construction of the Dzidzernagapert Memorial Complex would be completed in time for the Centennial activities.
The official logo of the Centennial, which is a forget me not flower, was unveiled. The logo, developed by the Sharm Company, depicts the flowers, which universally symbolizes that nothing will be forgotten.