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France’s Armenian Genocide Law Put on Hold

By Suzette Bloch

PARIS, France (AFP)—France’s new law punishing denial of the Armenian Genocide was put on hold on Jan. 31 after politicians opposed to the legislation demanded that its constitutionality be examined.

The French Senate

Turkey reacted furiously last week when the Senate approved the law that threatens with jail anyone in France who denies that the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turk forces amounted to genocide.

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office brushed off angry threats of retaliation by Turkey and vowed to enforce the law within a fortnight.

But on Jan. 31, two separate groups of French politicians who oppose the legislation—from both the Senate and the Lower House of Parliament—said they had formally requested the constitutional council to examine the law.

The groups said they each had gathered more than the minimum 60 signatures required to ask the council to test the law’s constitutionality.

“This is an atomic bomb for the Elysee (Sarkozy’s office) which didn’t see it coming,” said deputy Lionel Tardy, who added that most of the 65 signatories from the Lower House were, like him, from Sarkozy’s UMP party.

The council is obliged to deliver its judgment within a month, but this can be reduced to eight days if the government deems the matter urgent.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan immediately welcomed the development.

“I hope the constitutional council will do what is necessary,” said Erdogan, while Gul said he was “not expecting the French from the very beginning to let their country be overshadowed” by the genocide law.

France has already officially recognized the killings as a genocide, but the new law would go further by punishing anyone who denies this with up to a year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros ($57,000).

Erdogan last week denounced the law as “tantamount to discrimination and racism” and warned that his Islamist-rooted government would punish Paris with unspecified retaliatory measures if Sarkozy signed it into law.

Ankara has already halted political and military cooperation with France and was threatening to cut off economic and cultural ties.

Trade between the two states was worth 12 billion euros ($15.5 billion) in 2010, with several hundred French businesses operating in Turkey.

Armenia hailed the passage of the bill through the French Senate, with President Serge Sarkisian writing in a letter to Sarkozy: “France has reaffirmed its greatness and power, its devotion to universal human values.”

Around 20 countries have officially recognized the killings as genocide.

Amnesty International has criticized the French law, saying it would violate freedom of expression.

55 Comments on France’s Armenian Genocide Law Put on Hold

  1. if this law is unconstitutional, then the law punishing the denial of the Shoah is also unconstitutional. So, the Armenian lawyers should try to see if there is a law punishing the denial of the Shoah as I think there is.

  2. avatar David Boyajian // January 31, 2012 at 10:56 am // Reply

    The French law is a general law. This is widely misunderstood. It makes denial of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide unlawful – and these mass crimes are those that are defined by the International Criminal Court, the Nuremberg Charter, and also those that are recognized by France.

    The language was proposed by the EU.

    Can we please get this straight?

  3. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t the denial of the Holocaust a crime in France as well? And if so would that be abolished as well?

  4. Boyajian,
    The only genocide other than the Holocaust recognized by France is the Armenian genocide. And Holocaust denial has it’s own law (Loi Gayssot). This is why this law is called the Armenian genocide denial law worldwide. The only reason it’s not a specific law mentioning the Armenian genocide is because it would be even more difficult toe stablish its constitutionality.
    Are you the other Boyajian who comments here as well? because that Boyajian doesn’t seem to be confused about this matter.

    • Again., what would make one constitutional and the other not? In fact France already acknowledges the Armenian Genocide as genocide…Armenian Lawyers need to be on top of this ASAP!

  5. Freedom of expression is not freedom to tell lies

    Don’t you have negationists in America ? Here in France we have many
    Turks who write nensense (rubbish) about genocide. In facebook there are
    pages about genocide commited by Armenians against Turks.
    Many Turks do not read the History, they know only what they have learnt at school.
    We don’t want to be called liars.

  6. avatar David Boyajian // January 31, 2012 at 11:33 am // Reply

    Here is the French law. Notice the part about the international court.

    Objet du texte

    La présente proposition de loi a pour objet de punir d’un an d’emprisonnement et de 45 000 euros d’amende, ou de l’une de ces deux peines seulement, ceux qui auront publiquement fait l’apologie, contesté ou banalisé des crimes de génocide, les crimes contre l’humanité et crimes de guerre, tels que définis aux articles 6, 7 et 8 du Statut de la Cour pénale internationale, à l’article 6 de la charte du Tribunal militaire international annexée à l’accord de Londres du 8 août 1945, ou reconnus par la France.

    Also, see this text by the EU which uses similar language:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2008:328:0055:0058:FR:PDF

  7. avatar Necati Genis // January 31, 2012 at 3:21 pm // Reply

    What ? Oh, mon dieu…!

    Shorty sarko is much shorter now …

  8. Valerie Boyer’s (rapporteur of the French National Assembly’s law criminalizing the denial of genocides) reaction today: “FOR ME, THE PRESSURE EXERTED BY A DENIALIST FOREIGN STATE CANNOT PREVAIL OVER A UNIVERSAL CAUSE, ON THE DEFENSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE SIZE OF FRANCE”… read the full text on her page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Val%C3%A9rie-Boyer/162673103783870

  9. Jacques, I think David Boyajian has it right. The language of the French Bill is not specific to the Armenian Genocide alone.

    Also, I am not David Boyajian. We are different people.

    For a good read and further clarification you should read the pingback comment found at the end of the comments following the article entitled “Akcam: Genocide Recognition is About Justice, Not Freedom of Thought”

    It is a link listed as:

    basic misunderstandings in discussion of French genocide denial ban | conflict antiquities

  10. avatar Gaytzag palandjian // January 31, 2012 at 6:28 pm // Reply

    Some by default or otherwise forgetfullness and /or even neglect ,also others conveniently forget that a similar law was passed in CH(Confederacion Helvetica) Switzerland, some 3 yrs ago and…
    Enacted against a Turkish important personality the labour party chieftain, Pirincek or some such name .He vehemently opposed it ,when he then was arrested, fined and thrown out of CH.
    Like I wrote before we should not rejoice ,rather overjoy on such issues. Genocide was actually recognized by pres. Ronald reagon over 25 yrs ago…so what’ did great Turkey suffer much then,or even later on.. being condemned is the issue in a NUremberg like Court, the ICJ at the HAGUE.OR AT THE u.n.(LATTER CAME OUT IN SMALL CAP…IS IT BECAUSE IT DOES NOT ACT ON ISSUES OF IMPORTANCE AS WELL AS THE SWISS DID , RE ABOVE LAW.After all great Turkey is an ¨ally¨…

  11. When I was a boy a close Armenian friend of my parents told me that he was a French policeman in Adana at the end of WW1. I had other relatives that were French policeman as well during the French occupation of Adana. But he told me something else – that he escorted the wagons laden with gold that the Turks provided to the French to pay them to cede Adana. To my knowledge this has not been reported by any other historian, even Armenian historians.

    Afterwards the Armenians had to flee from the re-occupying Turks. The French owe us for that act of betrayal and greed. If the French revoke the law then they can go to hell.

    • I have heard similar stories of how Armenian money was given to other Nations to turn a blind eye at best or be complicate at worst.. the world collected over 100 million for the “starving Armenians” in 1923.. WERE IS THAT MONEY? I believe part of the indifference of other nations is the MONEY THEY RECEIVED AS A RESULT OF THE DEATH OF THE ARMENIANS…

      Morganthau wrote that the real purpose of the deportations was plundering of the wealth…THe genocide was really about theft…

  12. The law brings up all genocides not only the Armenian.
    Either this is a human rights issue calling for it’s long overdue justice or
    heresay politics.
    In the US, lobies control the right to make it like heresay or not.
    Is France now immitating the US example?

  13. Armenians:

    More of us need to get regular injections of cold blood.
    Many of us are swinging from adulation of France to condemnation (e.g. …they can go to hell.) within the span of few days.
    Best way for your enemies and adversaries to mess you up is to get you to lose control of you emotions.
    More of us need to look at these things with detachment: we will be more effective that way. Emotions cloud the mind.

    It is the normal French legislative process, and not entirely unexpected since 86 French Senators voted against the Bill (127 Yes, 86 No). So it would not have been too difficult to collect the minimum 60 signatures.
    Let us wait and see. The French supporters of the Bill know better than us how the process works and what they need to do.

    If it is declared, unconstitutional, we will try it again another way. It never ends.
    If it is declared constitutional – the law will be even more bulletproof: it cannot be challenged in the future when Denialists are jailed.

    No matter the outcome, keep the faith – and soldier on. Just another bump on the road. We have had many; still, we are making steady progress overall.
    Success is never a straight line up: there will be plateaus and reverses. Always.

    France and Pres. Sarkozy did a good thing no matter the eventual outcome.
    Let us not forget.

    We must remain on our ancestral high perch, worthy progeny of Armenian Highlanders that we all are.

    • Avery,
      “God helps those who help themselves”.. TRUST NO ONE. INCLUDING THE FRENCH.. Yes this is good if it sticks and not the worst thing if its reversed but real justice will come ONLY as a result of a UNIFIED ARMENIAN NATION AND DIASPORA working as one to get it…Depending on others GOT US KILLED IN THE FIRST PLACE… NEVER FORGET THAT..JUSTICE COMES TO THOSE WHO GO GET IT THEMSELVES…

      JOHN

  14. “No matter the outcome, keep the faith – and soldier on. Just another bump on the road. We have had many; still, we are making steady progress overall. Success is never a straight line up: there will be plateaus and reverses. Always.

    France and Pres. Sarkozy did a good thing no matter the eventual outcome. Let us not forget.

    We must remain on our ancestral high perch, worthy progeny of Armenian Highlanders that we all are.”

    Avery,

    Երանի թէ քոնէ մեծամասնութիւնը Հայերուն քեզ նման ըլլային. դժբախտաբար Հայոց Ցեղասպանութիւնը, անկէց յետոյ Հայ ժողովուրդի աշխարհի բոլոր անկիւններու գաղթը, եւ կամ քոմիւնիւստ րէժիմը Հայուն դժբախտաբար մեծամասնութեամբ այլասերեցին, սակայն յաճախ դուն յոյսդ վառ կը պահես:

    Պայքար…Պայքար… ու կրկին Պայքար…. կեանքի օրէնքը այդպէս է:

  15. If the French court finds the law unconstitutional, we have still come out ahead.

    First, the truth of the Genocide was affirmed again, reminding many of 1915.

    Second, Turkey utterly failed to make a western nation back down, setting a good example. In her efforts to intimidate, Turkey made herself look ridiculous and ineffective.

    Third, if the French court finds the measure unconstitutional, it will do so based upon neutral principles.

    I don’t relish the thought of Turkish Nazis getting themselves arrested and becoming objects of sympathy by free speech activists who ordinarily sympathize with us and Hrant Dink’s viewpoint.

  16. Seervart
    Why do you think the communist regime has only spoiled our people? In many ways it sure did: atheism, cosmopolitanism, excessive ideologization of life, private property restrictions, civil rights limitations, etc. But the regime has also given us a possibility to develop industry and agriculture, arts, sciences, and sports, shielded us (as part of its own defense and national security concerns, of course) from external threats, produced a system of moral values, and maintained a high level of general erudition. It’s a commonplace mistake with most Diasporan Armenians to see only bad things about the Soviet period of the Armenian history. By looking at our society of today one would argue that modern regime brings more depravity to the people that the communist one did.

    • Hi Armen,
      I didn’t say merely communism brought assymilation amongst our people, but I did say it was one of them. The first I said was the darn Armenian Genocide that caused our civilized peole’s complete annihilation and uprooting our entire race. It has created an entire nationality’s orphaned state and because of it we as a race are all over the entire world. Our people have been to a great extent already assymilated. I met Armenians from France that they claim that they are Parisian, or German, American, Canadian, Brazilian, Indian, Middle-Eastern, etc. etc. Then I also mentioned about the sovietism and the regime. Yes Soviet Russia shielded the people, provided jobs, college education and better economy, but I have also seen exodus to Syberia, killings and murderings very patriotic Armenians and poet/writers such as our beloved Baruyr Sevag and giving away our Artsakh and Nakhichevan to the Azeris. I have also seen our people in there have become corrupted because of the regime that until today they cannot shake it off the corruption. This is not the place for it, but since you have mentioned it I will have to remind you that there are 1,800 incarcerated of our youth in the West Coast of the Americas. I can only say that this was because of the soviet regime times that created some of our people to behave that way. The truths remain truths wether we like it or not. It’ll take a while to have these characteristics to be corrected, but unfortunately our people are not on their own soil. In another 300 years alas they will be assymilated. I hope and pray that I am wrong, but that is why our people need more land and like Mr. Palandjian said repatriation.

  17. Leave history to the historians. Sarkozy is only pushing the bill because he faces an uphill battle to get re-elected. Armenians cannot move forward as a nation if it continues to to incessantly lament the past.

    • John,

      Need I remind you that a Genocide of such a magnitude as it was the case of the Armenian Genocide that was premeditated and carried out by the Ittihadist CUP government of Turkey is not a case solely of lamenting the past, but Armenians had not seen closure yet, plus the people and every human being living in this world must feel secure that another Genocide will not happen anymore. This is what Mr. Sarkozy is fighting for, and this is what the Armenians are also fighting for. It is not a case of lamentation anymore, but it stands to be much more than that. It is a case of the need to have Turkey to come to terms with her past and pay back what it is due and coming to the Armenians in the form of blood money; our lands and our historical buildings and Churches, for what Turkey is still sitting on them for 97 long and painful years.

    • This is a case of validating historical past, for the purpose of justice in the present.

  18. avatar gaytzag palandjian // February 1, 2012 at 2:00 pm // Reply

    FIRSTLY TO ALL,
    What was passed as law in Switzerland and then in France´s Assamblee nationale and Senat are SIGNIFICANT as rgds our CASE(let´s start using CASE, instead of CAUSE) ,since ,Mr. Sarkozy,President of la Republique Francais had the (cojones) spanish word commonly used even amongst the educated, VISITED YEREVAN ARMENIA LAST FALL, and publicly pronounced Tzeghasbanutyun (Un Genocide)!!!!!!
    This tied up with later the two occurrances of above ,makes it CRYSTAL CLEAR that FRANCE is with us…
    Whether the Constitutional Court of France delay co0nfirmation of same or be hindered by Turkish ¨influences¨¨ whether material wise or otherwise(like threats) is Sans Valeur!!!!
    The Armenian Genocide Denial has been made Worldly PUBLIC!!!!!
    PEOPLE IN THE pHILLIPINES OF s.aFRICA , OR aMERICAS HAVE read about it and our MARCH IS ON FOR RECOGNITION WORLDWIDE AND THEN………COMPENSATION/RESTITUTION!!!!
    great Turkey is not really worried ,just making all they can to cover it up for THEIR PEOPLE IN TURLEY NOT TO WAKE UP,KEEP SLUMBERING…
    However, that also will be definitely put on CORRECT COURSE!!!
    What these like acts, also k u r d i s h Insurgencies(terrorism ,they still insist…)and the whole issue will be WIDE OPENED.
    This is a matter of historians they keep repeating and grinding the same axe,the oxydated axe….Are they not aware that more than a dozen yrs ago in NY an International panel of more 80 historians JUDGED IT AS GENOCIDE AFTER LONG DELIBERATIONS–
    Or are they not aware of t h e i r own OTTOMAN MILITCARY TRIBUNALS BACK IN 1918 condemning the TRIO ,Jemal ,Kemal and Enver and their cohorts passing DEATH SENTENCE ON THEM..
    DO YOU KID?????
    NO, we are not to stop our March is to the end and we shall Win!!!!
    What I modestly humbly suggest is to re organzie our Diaspora(s)…
    please go-if you so wish- to Armenian site http://www.armeniannews.info (top left corner Users articles ) and read my articles.I shall reveal other important issues, regularly .For time is flying fast,We must GET GLOING!!!
    With all very much respect to all of our present establishments and thanks to them all,we still need more much more….
    best rgds

  19. avatar gaytzag palandjian // February 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm // Reply

    LATEST!!!
    Couple hours ago ,it was broadcast from Armenian channel H1 that the decision at the Constitutional Court for passage ,rather ratification of Law condemning Denial of the Armenian Genocide was to be considered,as above stated by AW-However, it also showed Mr. Erdogan Fumingly stating that
    at last and I quote¨ The historical Wrong will be corrected¨
    My foot Mr. Erdogan!!! you seem to iunderestimate the French people,thinking they are like yoiur people that have had their eyes closed to real world history and occurances ELSEWHERE.
    Just wait untill it is ratified and /or else how the French and the Armenian people, in esxtension other knowledgeable people/countries will REACT TO YOUR UTTERANCE!!!

    • GayTzag,

      Are you for real?
      Yet UN courts have ruled that genocide was committed in Rwanda in 1994, as well as at Srebrenica in Bosnia, a year later. Why not send people to jail for denying these genocides, too?
      French legislators didn’t need a UN court ruling to act on the Armenian issue. So how about Sudan’s Darfur, or Pol Pot’s killing fields in Cambodia? Or Stalin’s engineered famine in Ukraine in the 1930s, or Oliver Cromwell’s scorched earth campaign against the Catholics of Ireland? Or, indeed, the decimation of Native Americans during the European settlement of North America?
      No surprise then that Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, not a man to mince his words, is now claiming that France committed genocide in Algeria, a former African colony, in the 1950s and ‘60s.

  20. At Timu.
    If we’re not for real then those who punish the Shoah are not for real. Anyway the French law is that any denial, of a recognized genocide, by the UN or France, must be punished by the French law. If those genocides you cited were recognized they should be punished according to this law.
    Erdogan should better shut up because even the Algerian President asked him politely to do so, but as a Lebanese I can tell you that the Ottoman empire didn’t commit only the Armenian genocide, it committed also the genocide of the population of Mount Lebanon of the Chaldeans and Assyrians populations and, until now, the Turkish republic has made the ethnic cleansing of all its Christains populations. But as I see, dear Timu, from your first name, you were taught in the Turkish schools a brainwashing history. So, I advise you to read real history books.
    Yes, all the genocides’denials should be punished if the Shoah is and it is only justice. I think they should because when they are not there will always be some mad dictators to perpetrate them. let’s not forget that the Armenian genocide encouraged Hitler’s generals to accept his decision of the Shoah.

  21. Seervart
    You used the verb “ailaserel” (deprive, spoil) not ‘assimilate”, and I reacted to the former by demonstrating that the Soviet period—as much as it was cruel, totalitarian, and undemocratic—also gave the Armenians a possibility to excel. You say “the truths remain truths whether we like it or not”. Then, please, be consistent: look at how many scientists, inventors, engineers, economists, army commanders, diplomats, politicians, artists, musicians, artisans, sportsmen, etc. has your nation produced during the Soviet era. Ugly facts of exodus to Siberia in the Stalin period were for all Soviet nations, not just Armenians, with Russians suffering the most. Killings, corruption? Can you point out any country where there are no such things? Soviet corruption pales before the modern-day corruption in the world. Incarcerated Armenian youth in NoCA is not a product of Soviet corruption, it’s a product of twisted perception of realities in the free world after seven decades of residing in a closed society. As for Paruyr Sevak, he was killed by the Armenian KGB, yes, allegedly on orders from Moscow, but with our own hands.

    • Armen, I did mean “ailaseril” (deprive, spoil), and this is where at least some of us stand today. The new generation that were born in various countries and have already been the fabric of that country, then a good number of them had to migrate from the middle-east to western countries for obvious reasons. And I don’t mean just from the leftover of the communist regime, but I did say before and I’ll say it again that it is all over, in the diaspora and also within our Republic. I am simply saying because of it the newer generation today are “ailaserads” in most respects. I did say it before that through the Russians Armenians have become well-read professionals and inventors, such as Mikoyan and Generals such as Artem Mikoyan and many more, but you also agree the perils to our nation and yes especially through the Stalinian regime.

  22. Everyone interested in understanding the uphill battle for justice that Armenians face should read the following link to a Today’s Zaman interview of the French Ambassador to Turkey. A incredible piece of pro-Turkish propaganda:

    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-270168-to-understand-1915-you-need-to-look-at-balkans-and-caucasus-too.html

    • Thanks Boyajian for the site you provided. I read it and I must say that somewhat he reminds me of that Bryza guy from the US, but not exactly like him.

      Let us now concentrate of France’s Mr. Sarkozy and his great determination for our cause. He is with us and I am thankful for that !!!!

  23. avatar gaytzag palandjian // February 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm // Reply

    Timur? or Leng Timur Iar!!!
    You have intentionally spelt my name as above.But i dont give a damne…
    Git a load of the very latest NOW!!!!
    Monsieur Nicola sarkozy ,president de la Republique Francaise, has today
    D E C L A R E D ……
    THAT EVEN IF THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT DOES NOT RATIFY THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE DENIAL BILL….
    H E W I L L PRESENT A N O T H E R O N E !!!
    Looks like Mr. Erdogan´s Joy (yesterday) as well as Mr. Gul´´s was CUT SHORT!!!!!
    This man sarkozy has WHAT THE HISPANO PARLANTES CALL …
    C O J O N E S …(balls..excuse my French)
    In short he is not kidding!!!!! he will defend our CAUSE!!!
    Some above tried to nullify or neutralize or at best to MODIFY the measure…
    Saying writing that IT IS MEANT TO BE A GENERAL LAW!!!
    T R U E !!! VERY MUCH SO, BUT IT ENLAPS OURS and ESPECIALLY SO.

    AS MONSIERU SARKOZY WENT OUT OF HIS WAY V I S I T E D ARMENIA LAST FALL AND THERE ON F R E N C H SQUARE!!! ANOUNCED

    TZEGHASBANUTYUN!!!!!! cést un G E N O C I D !!!!!!!!
    So Timur llang go grind your oxYdated axe elsewhere.!!!
    AS TO THE PAST FRENCH ONE ,ONLY ONE MIS HAP,I.E. ALEXANDRETTE(iSKENDERUN) …tHIS WAS A oNE PERSON COLONEL(DON´T RECALL HIS NAME) THAT PULLED UP THAGT BAD ACT,CEDING IT TO TURKISH ARMY.nO THE gOV.T OF France!!!!!!
    You cannot generalize that Mr. Also the Frenchy Fought in Dien bien Fu so what? These are old very old ex-colonialist countries , ie,.. FRANCE,Belgium,Holland, England(prev. British empire…but they have changed…..time for Erdogan Govt. to change TOO!!!

    • Thank you Mr. Palandjian for the latest news from La France. I shall name monsieur president Sarkozy a monsieur president Sarkozyan. Love him already !!!!! The greatest news that makes my day !!! Vive la france !!!!

  24. OK, Seervart, let’s finish this debate, if you will. What I disagree with is an attempt to paint everything in black or white colors. I also disagree with deprecating any one period in a nation’s history. Like it or not, the Soviet period was one episode in the history of the Armenian nation and, by many accounts, possibly one of the best despite its shortcomings. In any society and under any regime there are ‘ailaservats’ people, as are honest, intelligent, and patriotic ones.

    • Yes Armen, let’s finish this debate and let us look into the brighter future. I know we would be thankful for every ‘ailaservats’ to have at least three honest, intelligent, and patriotic Armenians, and we have many among us.

    • Yes, Armen, there were significant positive outcomes in the area of science and education under the Soviet system for Armenians. We can be very industrious and clever people. But let’s not minimize the tremendous negative impact that communism had. The soviet system spurred some of our people to use their cleverness to get around the system. Just look at the corruption in Armenia and the illegal gang activity of some Armenian immigrants in California. This is hardly positive.

  25. Thank you very much dear Boyajian to utter the truths and backing me up. I felt that I was all alone with Armen and he did not want to understand where I was coming from, so I resolved not to go into an extensive argument with my brother for he is my brother, but the truth is the truth as I have mentioned it before, because until today the negative impact of the communist regime is prevelant and frankly very saddening that we are looking not good infront og the world and the western countries. That was my main purpose of bringing it up this subject matter.

  26. Boyajian
    Just when I thought I finished this debate with Seervart, you stepped in. I made myself clear: I agree that communism also had tremendous negative impact. I just disagreed with painting everything in black color, as in Seervart’s original post: “քոմիւնիւստ րէժիմը Հայուն դժբախտաբար մեծամասնութեամբ այլասերեց”. I disagree that Armenians for the most part (մեծամասնութեամբ) were perverted (այլասերված) under the soviet system, because the system also had a tremendous positive impact on their lives; not only in the area of science and education, but in shaping the system of moral values, too. That there were or are some people who use their cleverness to get around the system is typical to many nations – Italians in their country or in Chicago in the 1920s, for instance, immediately come to mind. One would argue that it’s not so much the system that spurs illegality, but the cleverness of our people some of whom put it to use to get around the system. Believe me, the soviet corruption pales beside the corruption in the present-day post-soviet Armenia. I have no doubt that even in the future cloud-cuckoo-land of Armenia, fair and all-fired legal, there will be some people who’d use their cleverness to get around the system.

  27. One last thing, Boyajian
    In other threads I see, and appreciate, your ability to differentiate between ‘bad Turks’ and ‘good Turks’ when it comes to AG, although both types are products of the same (kemalist) system. I think with the same token you ought to be able to differentiate between ‘bad Armenians’ and ‘good Armenians’ when it comes to Armenian immigrants in California both types of whom are the products of the same (soviet) system. Cheers.

    • Good points, Armen, but please note that I said “some” of our people and “some” Armenians in my comment above. I absolutely agree that many Armenians came through the Soviet system without being corrupted. Of course, Armenians come in all types.

  28. avatar gaytzag palandjian // February 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm // Reply

    Armen is near or very near Right!!!
    It is not the system per se but how it IS HANDLED elaborated,or mis realized..
    Anyhow ,if some would wish to learn how this servant of you and the Armenian people in general suggests to re make history and,if you wish Re organize the Diaspora FIRST AND FOREMOST…
    Because just to make do with what is happening n post soviet independent Armenia is ALSO OUR BUSINESS!!!!
    otherwise ,I have proof dear Armen that some group(s) in France have already began to work on their ow(independent of RA ,or Govt. there)
    This is not Good it bodes bad. We must Get well organized here in Spurk ,and then with THE CLOUT(I SUGGEST HUMAN & MATERIAL RESOURCES IN MY THESES,BOTH) then very sftly penetrate into the Fabric there in RA.
    That is the ONLY SOLUTION,as otherwise just by small injections or even medium ones into that hairenik, does not mean a thing.
    Fact is RA at present is under big debt to entities such as WB,Int’l monetary Fund etc,.m Even EU and smaller countres have been and wll be giving Loans to RA.But how this is administered …..
    Well please go to my modest articles in armeniannews.info and read ..
    I am to post tere regularly ,after writing with patience..
    Best to all. but before that I respect all Armeian s far entities and thoses that they will create.For such is the Armeian mind always with new ones.But believe me my humble project enlaps all, respect to all …..

  29. Dear Armen, When I previously said “medsamasnoutyamp aylaserets communist regime”, I thought I made myself clearer that what I meant was that yes even today’s corruption in our motherland is the leftover from the soviet regime that made our people to behave that way, because when years ago I went to Armenia when I was a very young girl, I remember that because of the sovietism in our country, some of our people were using their cleverness to get around it. Therefore, I myself and many others with me think the same that today’s corruption in our land it is leftover from the soviet regime behaviours, regardless of some of the good that sovietism provided for our country and people.

  30. I also remember that when we used to visit people, some of them used to wait in line from 3 or 4 am in the morning to be able to provide for us and make themselves look good, thus being very hospitable as our people always are (hospitable creatures). Yet we came across to others that were extremely rich, because they knew how to get around the regime in there and use that cleverly for their behalf and came out to be very rich, even at those times.

  31. Dear Seervart
    Let’s agree to disagree and be done with it. Again, I don’t think that today’s corruption in our motherland is the leftover from the soviet regime, because the two are incomparable in scope, nature, magnitude, and amorality that goes together with it, with soviet corruption paling beside the modern, “democratic” one. Cheers.

  32. Dear compatriots,
    I entered the discussion a bit late, but reading all comments I can most agree with Armen. The Second Armenian Republic and its significance in our history, despite all the system’s shortcomings, should never be underestimated. Peace and security has always been in short supply in Armenian history. In the realtively long period of peaceful existence during the Soviet period, Armenia could grow physically, develop its national culture to an unprecedented level and outpace other Soviet republics in science, technology and economy.
    The continuing ugly influences of the Soviet system are of course a serious cause for worry. But, a greater cause for concern is the question: why after 20 years having been freed of that system, Armenia is not able to get rid of those bad ways and habits? Should we continue to blame the negative infulences of the former regime forever for our present failures?

  33. What do I know? I never lived under the communist system. But I am to gather from these comments, that by singing the praises of that era, Armen and Arshag are advocating for a return to that system?

  34. The turks are trying so hard to keep this bill from passing. They’re afraid that justice will be served. Its disgusting, stop the denial!

  35. Boyajian
    Now, that’s an excess! To state that painting the soviet period of our history in only black color and to advocate for the return to that system are two extremes. I by no means advocate for the return because, as Heraclitus, I believe, has said, “you cannot step twice into the same river” and because I realize that too many privations were suffered by the people for Armenia’s independence. Arshag posed an open-ended question: “Should we continue to blame the negative influences of the former regime forever for our present failures?” 20 years have passed, they were tumultuous, yes. But isn’t it a high time to gradually consolidate the state? You said you never lived under the communist system. Have you ever heard about communist party leaders, such as Gregor (Grigory) Arutyunov, whose tenure as leader of Armenia was the longest in history of the soviet Armenia, form 1937 to 1953? You’ll be astonished to know that in the late 1930s, at the time of Great Terror, this patriotic Armenian has written a letter to Josef Stalin advocating (are you sitting firmly?) for the return of Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia! A suicidal mission! A copy of his letter is kept in the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the George Washington University-based National Security Archive. Now compare this with the defeatist protocols that the current post-soviet regime has signed. What does this tell you? I sensed some sarcasm (correct me if I’m wrong) when you said I was “singing the praises” of that era. I was not. All I want for Armenians who never lived under the communist system to understand that with all its terrible things and deprivations, this episode in the history of the Armenian nation was, by many accounts, one of the best, not as glorious as the Golden Age of the 5the century or the Second Golden Age of the 9th century, but nonetheless a bright period if we are to compare it with Armenians’ existence under the Arabs, Persians, and, most horrifically, the Ottoman Turks. The Cold War ideology, I must confess, has produced a twisted understanding of life under the soviet regime. Not that it was perfect, but that it was out and out ghastly. This is just not so, and I believe many former soviet citizens will tell you the same.

  36. avatar gaytzag palandjian // February 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm // Reply

    To dear Armen and Boyajian,
    Firstly forgive me if I bring as example my own take on above,i.e., on all issues re Armenity and Armenian affairs, characxter etc.,
    1.I have been to RA 13 times ,beginning soviet era 1981.I wrote article in Armenian Reporter that it was a progressive country and had achieved a lot.Once invited by the Academy of Sci and 2 more times by the Armenia-Diaspora Conf. ,rest on my own as a pilgrim. In brief what I wrote in Armen reporter.Since more than half century it was(Soviet Armenia, i.e.) the most progressive in the area, such as Iran., Turkey, Arab coutnries ,even Georgia.
    2.Some incognizant of the achievments would just bla bla that it was under harsh regime this that.But that is besides the point Regimes come and go.What is reality are the realities the facts that culture, industries and generally speaking education MOST ADVANCED IN THE AREA.Also a structure was laid down for the future of Armenia then,on which it is now to build and forge ahead.We could not have done under other regimes.Yerevan was only a Provincial town in the 1920´s and proof to that, was that the Armenian,especially those a bit advanced in education and endowed with culture preferred to settle down in TIFLIS,<(now Tbilisi)….
    3.Present situation unfortunately-as is of the other 14 ex-soviet republics is a ¨Wild free market Economyu¨driven one that has no bounds no restrictions on whatever. True ,I agree to SOME degree free market eco. is good but not HAM@ Hanel( overstep).Examples 2/3 storys restaurants.Belive you me one that I was invited to,belonged to small factory owner that entertained visitors such as self and of course their own clan…
    There is plenty more to that.But I think you get the ñpicture no bounds…
    4. Armenia is being empties and some(even a very close kin of mine says it is going to become a country of the rich..Of the rich? I tell him only for a few?.No use some like him are totally brainwashed as to present syustem .
    What I would ahve wished for Armenia? in very short format, to have FOLLOWED THE SWEDISH,FINISH, AND OTHER SCANDINAVIAN countries.a mild Euro socialism(however, Sweden is also upto a certain degree very capitalistic,but there is no poverty in the country and I personally know student there (from Armenia) that receives,rather received some 3 yrs ago 600 Euros per month,lived at the University compound, free rooming and lunches dinners onlyu a few euros(subsidized9 but with the conditions that after graduation to serve three yrs for Govt of Sweden(indedd w salary9 then free to do what wishes. This is what I would have wished for Armenia to have transformed into…alas!!! it was not to be for the other 14 as well..
    They overnight from totalitarian Communist regime passsed on to the Wild free market Economy. Lamentable…however, whether we want it or not it is now on a course tothe same system as many others and hopefully it will not crash….
    World present economic situation is very much dangerous!!!!
    We see Demos in many a country,including the ex soviet Russia,plus many others in Europe.
    What can we Armenians do to guide rather help guide Armenity (that includes both Homeland and Diasporas) to a safe area and above all REORGANZIE THE DIASPLORA TLO BE A FULLY FLEDGED PARTNER WITH HOMELAND AND begin, very carefully to by and by work along with Homeland authorities….towards a better Patria!!!
    Thjis can be achieved if we INITIATE AN ORGANZIED REPATRIATION!
    In this connection do please enter web site,www.armeniannews.info and read my humble articles suggestions.All of them w/ref .to ARMENITY.
    Thanks for reading me,
    Hama Haigagani Siro,
    G.P.

  37. avatar matthew babaian // February 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm // Reply

    I pray that France does what is right. If we don’t recognize the past for what it is and learn from it, then we are doomed to repeat it.

    Regardless, I am proud of them for trying. It is more than the US has done. President Obama Bin Laden made promises in order to get himself elected: “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides,” but then he cowardly backed-down once he got what he wanted by being elected president; he stole Armenian votes, as the Turks stole Armenian lives. One day, our children will recognize that his policies were nothing more than 21st century terrorism, in using our system of government against us in order to doom our country.

  38. Dear Matthew,

    I truly understand and appreciate where you are coming from. Obama did stole Armenian votes and Armenians backed him up by funding for him too, and he deceived us as history now knows it. Alas, America follows Great Brittan’s policies in regards to international politics and Brittains as well they deceived us numerous times. Lets remember how the Brits deceived our general Antranig by asking him to go and fight against our enemy in lieu of our own lands, and at the end Brittain gave nothing for Antrangig’s efforts when he won the battle. General Antranig in 1922 left the Caucasus and went to California in tears as he was being chased by the Turks. Yes Brittain owes us a great deal, to Armenia and to Armenians. What else is new with the Western countries, like my grandfather Minas used to say, “the west deceived us big time”. It is very unfortunate but the truth.

  39. I wonder if the Turks who have been in an uproar about the Armenian Genocide have ever really looked into the Turkish attempts at covering up this painful past. It’s as if they just spit venom and deny without taking into account anything truthful. In my opinion the most damning evidence of the genocide came from the American Henry Morgenthau, Sr., who relayed very clear and accurate descriptions of exactly what was happening to the Armenians during that time and the attitude of the Turkish government. I have no idea of how genocide can be disputed after that. Alas, the Turkish people are ashamed, as I would be too, but I believe in order to rid themselves of this shame they should just admit to what their forefathers have done. I know it’s easier said than done but in the meantime they are looking foolish and are causing the actions of nations such as France to poke and prod them to admit their horrific past deeds. Just fess up Turkey and get on with it.

  40. the court cancelled the law..

    this could be why ermeni people do not want to bring the case to international war court ?

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