Ekmanian: Armenia’s Uncommon Sense

Special for the Armenian Weekly

After the stillborn Turkish-Armenian protocols in 2009, the (non)relations between both countries hit rock bottom in an unprecedented way, creating an atmosphere of deep mistrust, especially among official circles in Armenia. The latest manifestation of this was President Serge Sarkisian’s strongly worded “To hell with your ratification” statement at the UN General Assembly in September 2014, threatening to recall the protocols from the Armenian Parliament—a decisive stance for a politician in a region, where popularity rests on demonstration of power and bravado.

Armenian officials often convey that the Turkish government mortally offended the goodwill of the Armenian side, pointing to Turkish duplicity and double standards, especially in regards to the Karabagh conflict: Turkey had set up its resolution in favor of Azerbaijan as a precondition for ratifying the protocols. The Armenian mainstream media regularly stresses how Turkey drowned the Armenians’ good intentions in a sea of hypocrisy, lies, imperial arrogance, and an unwillingness to face the past or to consider anyone’s interests but their own.

The Genocide Centennial Commemoration meeting was held in Yerevan on May 27, with the participation of President Serge Sarkissian, Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, as well as leading experts from around the world.
The Genocide Centennial Commemoration meeting was held in Yerevan on May 27, with the participation of President Serge Sarkissian, Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, as well as leading experts from around the world.

And yet, despite the legitimacy of such statements, the issue is not whether the Turkish side or the Armenian side is “correct”; the two sides have conclusively formed separate camps, unable to understand and unwilling to listen to each other. The Turkish government is unwavering in its policy of denying the Armenian Genocide on all fronts, while the Armenian government is stuck in time with quasi-Soviet ceremonial activities devoid of profound global substance.

This is the main factor that will cast its shadows upon the 100-year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. However archaic and reactionary Turkey’s denialist policy may seem, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s references to “the ugly Armenians” aside, snarling at the duplicitous Turkish government won’t provide adequate foundation for creating a meaningful social and political atmosphere in Armenia and the diaspora on the eve of the Centennial, even though Armenians clearly have the moral high ground.

One of the first achievements of the Genocide Centennial Organizing Committee, which was appointed by the Armenian government under the supervision of the Diaspora Ministry, was to create logos and signs for the commemoration to be printed on T-shirts, badges, posters, etc. New pop genre “patriotic” songs by groups of stars and celebrities dressed in folkloric or military uniforms are being produced by government-linked TV stations. The judiciary and police are taking their professional oaths at the Armenian Genocide Memorial. These, among other similar examples, are reminiscent of the ritualistic fashion with which the Diaspora Ministry, and Armenian authorities in general, deal with events that could play a more inclusive role—and could convey messages replete with ideas, values, and principles that take our struggle for justice one level up.

This could have been considered a happy ending if the head of the genocide centennial organizing committee Mr. Hayk Demoyan had not declared that nine out of ten of those Armenian civil society groups collaborating on projects with civil society groups in Turkey are “serving enemy policies.” Mr. Demoyan, who is also the director of the Armenian Genocide museum in Yerevan, didn’t come short of accusing another fellow academic of treason. Later, he tried to deny it, but recordings of his public statements had already been disseminated through the media.

However, the seasonal witch-hunt was launched before Mr. Demoyan’s statements. Recently, academics from Yerevan State University launched a vicious attack on Turkish writer Hasan Cemal, who wrote a book titled The Armenian Genocide 1915, accusing him of siding with Azerbaijan regarding the Karabagh conflict, among many other claims. The Armenian social media was flooded with similar statements and angry reactions. Ironically, this time it was the Armenians who placed Karabagh as a precondition in front of a Turkish person, who happens to be one of the few in Turkey who recognizes the Armenian Genocide and does not shy away from talking about compensation, despite the fact that most Armenians may not agree with him on various regional issues.

This was followed by another public event that called for boycotting vacationing in Turkey. Although the idea might resonate with many cool-headed Armenians, it seemed dubious, as December is obviously not tourism season.

The notion of “good intentioned nationalism” has been put forward by some of the cheerleaders of the above-mentioned wave of reactions in Armenia lately. This idea is naive at best. The very terms “good intentions” and “nationalism” are counterintuitive. Good intentions imply a willingness to make compromises and find a common ground between two sides. Nationalism, by contrast, is exclusionist and means no longer being able to set good intentions as a principle while taking a stance on issues.

Tough nationalism, being “anti-Turkey” and intra-Armenian racism as an end in itself have become the leitmotif of Armenia’s preparations for the Centennial. It has become the litmus test of patriotism, along with media accusations that the “EU and Turkey are financing pro-Turkish programs” in Armenia. That jumble of unprincipled, opportunistic journalism, primitive television propaganda, and primeval myths about how the world wants to enslave Armenia and push it to its knees is no vision for the future. It is only a horror story borrowed from the dusty past that offers no constructive plan or direction.

This cannot fill the existing ideological void ahead of the Centennial. A country that should set the highest lessons of humanity to the world cannot win its respect by constantly denouncing conspiracy theories and parading every year while repeating the same record over and over again.

What is needed is to formulate an image for the future of Armenia and our people, similar to any other developed society, without letting the country degenerate into unbridled and primitive chauvinism.

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Harout Ekmanian

Harout Ekmanian worked as a journalist with the Arab, Armenian, and Western media for years prior to the beginning of the Syrian conflict. He studied law at the University of Aleppo and was a fellow at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights of Columbia University in 2015. Ekmanian has worked in media and development in Armenia in various capacities at the Civilitas Foundation and Investigative Journalists of Armenia (HETQ). He speaks Armenian, Arabic, English, and Turkish fluently, as well as some French and Spanish. He contributes regularly to the Armenian Weekly.

46 Comments

  1. As always , none of us are on the same page. We fight for the spot light like spoiled children w archaic messages , while being laughed at. Look at the example of the ” genocide museum ” in Washington. I need say no more.

  2. The resolution of the Armenian Genocide is too important to world peace to be left to Armenians and Turks

  3. Mr Ekmanian:
    I would like to remind you that the Karabagh war was directly supported, encouraged in every way by Turkey. Political, military, financial, technological …. The goal of Karabagh war to finish Armenians off-something the Turks were unable to achieve completely.
    The war in Karabagh is the direct continuation of the Genocide. And there is no difference between a turk and azerbayjani -same language, ethnicity, religion and culture, same goal of wiping the Armenians from the face of the earth.
    If it is true that this grandson of a butcher acknowledges the genocide 100 years ago but does support Azarbayjan of today, than it is uncommon sense to fall into his trap. It smells fishy

  4. Thank you for the insight and evaluation. I also believe the smoke and mirrors are not coincidence, as in politics everywhere keeping the populace’s eyes off the ball keeps them from seeing the real problems facing their futures, rampant corruption and unmitigated greed being but two of the goals.

    Fear is a powerful thing. Dialogue is stronger.

  5. This article does not surprise me.
    Civilitas is a weak Armenian organization funded by Western organizations that want to bury the Genocide issue. Russia is no better in terms of the Genocide.

    Armenia is the target of pan-Turkism and is supported by the same organizations and interests that fund Civilitas.
    I am not sure if Ekmanian realizes that.

  6. Very good article you managed to get me mad and yet see the reason in what you were trying to say I might ad someone needs to follow up on the abuse of women issue in Armenia behaving like Turks good article keep it up

  7. I am confused with this article. While I was navigating towards the armenianweekly site, did I somehow end up with the rferl radiofree/radioliberty site instead?

  8. The picture says a lot about the pompous nature of this committee. The flat screens, the leather chairs, the diametrical distance between the participants.

  9. Great work, Harout! I would add that the boundary between this potential chauvinism and the moral high ground “we” appropriate (through language of perpetuated victimhood and insisting on a fundamental moral framework overriding realpolitik) is blurring. It will be a year rich with struggle and irony.

  10. IT’S TIME FOR TURKISH POLITICAL LEADERS TO LISTEN TO SOME LEVEL HEADED WORLD LEADERS. IT’S HIGH TIME FOR TURKEY TO FOLLOW GERMAN EXAMPLE, I KNOW ERDOGHAN IS NOT WILLY BRANT.

  11. Aside from patriotic posturing, the Armenian government has little to provide in the way of advancing a resolution to the decades old “Armenian Question”. Neither does the traditional diasporan leadership, stepped as it is in a narrative of victim-hood and morality politics. The Genocide Centennial Organizing Committee is ill-equipped to mold a vision for future action and I’d posit that it was never given a mandate to do so.

  12. Interesting article, not sure how I feel about it. The paragraphs on “good intentioned nationalism” and “tough nationalism- anti-Turkey” were spot on. But I think you are, overall, way off.

    You countered President Sarkisian’s “To hell with your ratification” statement by saying that:
    “snarling at the duplicitous Turkish government won’t provide adequate foundation for creating a meaningful social and political atmosphere in Armenia and the diaspora on the eve of the Centennial, even though Armenians clearly have the moral high ground.”

    A: The “moral high ground” means absolutely nothing. If anyone REALLY cared, the UN and western powers would have already recognized the genocide.

    You further state: “A country that should set the highest lessons of humanity to the world cannot win its respect by constantly denouncing conspiracy theories and parading every year while repeating the same record over and over again.”

    Point B: Armenia setting or not setting the “highest lessons of humanity” has exactly zero effect on Armenian genocide recognition. Literally zero percent impact.

    C: It seems you advocate taking some kind of moral high ground/the “honorable” route. Well that’s just naive. What world do you think you live in? There is no honor in any of this. There’s no honor in murdering over a million innocent people, there’s no honor in denying it, and there’s no honor in these organizations and nations being complicit in this denial. But in all this the problem is Armenian leaders not being politically correct 100% of the time? NOT Turkey? Turkey, as it stands, does not have to do anything. Armenia, on its own, has no means to force Turkey’s hand. If degenerating to “Turkey’s level” helps the cause then that’s what should be done. I dont like advocating sinking to someone else’s level, but I think we can all agree, this is a rather unique situation.

    ” the issue is not whether the Turkish side or the Armenian side is ‘correct'”

    So basically: “What is history, but a fable agreed upon?” (Napoleon)
    “Might is right,” no?
    That line really, REALLY bothered me. Which “side”? What sides? There are no “sides.” There’s the truth, and there’s the noise from the Turkish government.

    The overall message I got from this article was that you think Armenia is currently a country that has degenerated into “unbridled and primitive chauvinism” over the Armenian genocide issue. And to deal with it, and other issues, Armenia needs to formulate an image for itself and its people.

    Q: Considering the overall message, do you want an Armenia that “sets the highest lessons of humanity,” or do you want recognition and reparations?

    Because if you think you can have both, I must ask again: what world do you think you live in?

    • *By UN recognition, I mean something more than the Whitaker Report. Something actually forceful.

  13. Well said [Hagop D] and [Taline]* above.

    Indeed, Civilitas is a Western funded organization whose agenda and motives are at best murky.
    And some of the language used by Mr. Ekmanian is straight of out of the Anti-Armenian Neocon propaganda outlet RFERL.

    Truly strange coming from an Armenian.
    Some examples:

    {“ Tough nationalism, being “anti-Turkey” and intra-Armenian racism …”}
    Anything wrong being being anti-Turkey, the State ?
    Turkey has been trying to snuff-out RoA and NKR since their independence: what exactly you expect of Armenians ?
    Turkey openly and actively supports Turkbqaijan in their ongoing violence against Armenians in RoA and NKR: murder and killing of Armenians on a regular basis: what exactly you expect of Armenians ?
    “Intra-Armenian racism”: what exactly is that ? A new Anti-Armenian Neocon meme being introduced ?

    {“ similar to any other developed society, without letting the country degenerate into unbridled and primitive chauvinism.”}
    I guess that means not confronting AG denialists;
    not defending Armenian traditions and values;
    not defending historic Armenian lands ?
    ‘primitive chauvinism’ is a code word used by Neocons against traditional societies who reject their globalist ideals.

    {“ Recently, academics from Yerevan State University launched a vicious attack on Turkish writer Hasan Cemal, “}
    A ‘vicious attack’ ? Wow.
    Now, I was not there, but read about the controversy of Mr. Cemal’s visit to Yerevan University.
    Here is an excerpt of what was supposedly a ‘vicious’ attack:
    [Ruben Melikyan, head of oriental studies department and translator of the book, was angered by organizers’ decision not to permit the audience to address questions to the author…. There are key questions that must be voiced. In his book Cemal writes that in 1992-1993 Armenians conquered Nagrono-Karabakh, occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan. We should ask why he, introducing himself as an advocate of freedom, repeats Aliyev’s rhetoric.]**

    And as to Mr. Cemal’s acknowledgment of AG: very nice, thank you very much. But this is an excellent example of how low the expectations of some amongst us have sunk.
    And the diabolical ingenuity of Turk Denialism: they have denied the AG for so long, so consistently, that the mere acknowledgment by a handful is considered earthshaking.
    I ask my compatriots, what would you rather have: an acknowledgment of AG by Mr. Cemal, or a free, independent NKR, all the way to Arax river ?

    —-
    * except “Russia is no better…”: how so ? Every Russian official, including President Putin, makes a point to make a respectful, official, visit to Tsitsernakaber. Unlike US flunkies who make so-called ‘private’ visits. Russia has recognized AG, unlike US. Russian troops stationed in Armenia have officially visited and placed wreaths. What exactly is expected of Russia additionally.

    ** http://news.am/eng/news/243627.html

  14. This may have made some sense before the events in Syria. It is now inadmissable as a plausible position to take. As to some of the specifics, such as the author’s concern about the treatment meted out to Hasan Cemal, he is absolutely correct, people like Cemal should be welcome in Armenia, not treated badly. The official establisment is being “official” in the way it knows how, and that way is the Soviet way, and frankly, that is fine and the author needs to get off his high horse and let the state and the church do their thing.

  15. 1. [Nalbandyan: Davutoglu’s racism encourages provocations of Azerbaijan]
    http://www.armenianow.com/commentary/analysis/38669/armenia_turkey_relations_karabakh_settlement_nato
    {At a joint press conference with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) Chairman-in-Office Eamon Gilmore on Tuesday Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan called racism the fact that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking about incidents on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, expressed his condolences only to Azerbaijani victims.

    “We have never heard about Davutoglu being concerned about the deaths of Armenians as a result of the Azerbaijani provocations. While the international community is calling on the parties to abandon the use of force, such statements by the Turkish minister only encourage Azerbaijan to new provocations,” said Nalbandyan.}

    2. [Death Toll In Karabakh Fighting Continues To Rise]
    http://www.eurasianet.org/node/69346

    {In Yerevan, however, officials were sounding a bit more reserved. Armenian Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian said that “The situation at the front line remains tense … But analyses of the recent days shows that in a global context there are no grounds today for a large-scale war.” And an official statement from the ministry expressed “regret for losses on both sides.”}
    RoA DM Seyran Ohanian {“regret for losses on both sides.”}: Ouch, how racist of those Armenians.

    And, for good measure, a small sample of pro-Armenian statements from the State of Turkey officials:

    3. [Is ‘Armenian’ an insult? Turkey’s prime minister seems to think so.]
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/08/06/is-armenian-an-insult-turkeys-prime-minister-seems-to-think-so/
    {“I was called a Georgian. I apologize for this, but they even said [something] worse: They called me an Armenian,” Erdogan said during an interview with NTV, according to a translation from Today’s Zaman newspaper. “But I’m a Turk.”}

    4.{“ Armenians in the Caucasus are alien people who created their artificial state on native Turkish lands, and therefore they have no right to talk about their ancient roots in the region.”}( Secretary General of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Turkey, Haluk Ipek. @News.az November 2012)

    How dare Armenians being “anti-Turkey”.

  16. quote :”What is needed is to formulate an image for the future of Armenia and our people”

    Had you been that image, son, there would not be any image at all. Just an empty, blank screen. Sheer nothingness. The ultimate outcome of the genocide.

    Fortunately, that is not the case.

    Haytoug Chamlian, Canada

  17. Harout Ekmanian…… YOU ARE WRONG ….our sense is a COMMON SENSE …!!!
    WE WANT – WHAT WE WANT !!!! WE KNOW WHAT WE WANT & WHY WE WANT THAT !!!
    The time is passed & now We, as a nation, want ALL the POSSIBLE COMPENSATION for our BLOOD lose…
    So, PLEASE, without demagogy …

    • Nouneh,

      It is actually more difficult to read what you write when you use all-caps. It is not a good way to display your obvious exuberance or for that matter to get people to give your ideas due consideration.

  18. Harout, you are on the right track. People will read and see what they want in the written word. There is nothing in your article to suggest the genocide should be denied or the fight for recognition should be curtailed. But we all know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

    What’s missing is the most important part–the spiritual component and our Christian heritage which we largely ignore in these contexts. Here is a link to a prophetic word for the Armenian nation and diaspora:

    https://www.facebook.com/notes/10152382150812691/

    I encourage you and your readers to consider this word and others she has posted.

  19. Sona is right,Nouneh aboe is also right …letft it ubfinished though.I pick up where she left off…
    My Grandfather and eldest son were put on DEATH MARCH….after evicting them from house
    Luckily five siblings ,one to earn bread money was in <istabullah..
    rest had fled in time .one strong uncle of mine on back carrried g.ma to GÇeorgia rest walked along—–
    I WANT MY G.PA AND UNCLE´S B L O O D M O N E Y!!!!!!
    Land is there will not pull disaappearing act-. When Kurdish (the real one) is ripe…then we can see to that
    best Hasgcobhin

  20. (RVDV // January 3, 2015 at 5:54 am // Reply)

    How ironic.

    It took a Turk, RVDV, who is an admirer and supporter of Turkey and things Turkish, and is also studying to become a genocide scholar, to point out the absurdity of the prepositions advanced by Mr. Ekmanian, an Armenian based in Yerevan, a multilingual journalist and producer, who has also studied law.

  21. ADDENDUM,
    Armenians should close shop April 24 2015 ,take to the streets of all important cities of the world-A SILENT , ABSOLUTELY SILENT WALK carrying 2 already chosen Banners WE REMEMBEER , WE DEMAND …PLUS…. GENOCIDE B L O O D M O N E Y , right mext to the 2nd once.
    All other Commemorative acts(as we know) Armenians will continue to have their onw , more and more…OK.

  22. I am totally confused. I read the article several times, and reread the comments a couple of times, and I can’t figure out what the writer is trying to say or convey. What is his intent or objective?
    May I suggest to the AW editorial staff to clarify and elaborate their columnist’s thinking.
    I, and most of the Armenians in the Diaspora , are of the opinion that the “Protocol” is ill-advised and does not serve well and meet the objectives and aspirations of the Armenian nation. The RoA parliament has not ratified it and should not. When it comes to our rights, there is no compromise, and we should not compromise .
    Vart Adjemian

  23. Since when has awareness about Turkish deceit been mistaken for Armenian chauvinism? Our “leaders” need to differentiate between genuine dialogue and fake reconciliationist dialogue rather than force-feed our communities a dishonest approach simply because it’s the only one Western funders are serving up.

  24. TARC THROUGH THE BACK DOOR BEING PUSHED AND PROMOTED BY WESTERN FUNDS AND THEIR WRITERS.

    I AM SO DISAPPOINTED THAT AW CAN ALLOW SUCH ARTICLES TO BE PRINTED,IT SHOULD NEVER SEE DAYLIGHT LET ALONE PRINTED.THE NEW EDITOR OF AW SHOULD SEE THAT SUCH ARTICLES ARE THROWN IN THE DUSTBIN.

    ITS A DISGRACE.

  25. Dear people,

    Look at what org Harut works for. Why are you people surprised at his Turco-Western spin on Armenian matters? Heck, these kinds of people, Preparliament people to be exact, are to hijack this year’s April 24 commemoration by attempting an armed uprising in Armenia. Wake up Armenians! Armenia is too precocious, too small, too vulnerable to make the mistake made by Libyans, Syrians and Ukrainians.

  26. There is something wrong with us Armenians. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, I can not find the right word to describe it accurately. But there is something wrong with us, both in Armenia and Diaspora, that we let the kinds of people and regimes that we have had so far rule over us. There is something wrong with those of us who live in Armenia who are so eager and willing to leave it. There is something wrong with those of us who live in the Diaspora who show no eagerness and willingness to move to Armenia and establish ourselves there.

    I can not put my finger on it but what’s wrong with us?

  27. Wow, this article points to some very worrying items: the cheap commercialization of the Genocide (see Norman Finkelstein’s “The Holocaust Industry” for a good idea of where this can lead) and just as disheartening, the appropriation of the Genocide into the symbolism of power in Armenia. This should give us real pause, especially those who wear their genocide-piety on their sleeve 24/7 for all to see and are so quick to declare others as blasphemers. Don’t they see that they profane it more than any Turkish denialist could?

    All in all, excellent roundup by Paron Ekmanian (though I have absolutely no idea what he has in mind when he refers to “profound global substance”).

  28. What was the point of this article? Can civilitas put out anything of substance and value or do they just push a western agenda only?

  29. Today Jan.7,2015.According News from From RA TV.s border rigle shootingsare being intensified with larger euipment shootings.Bad Omen.Great Turkey is more and more sensitive to the 100th Anniversaay of Genocide their ancestors committeed. THERE SEEMS TO BE NO WAY OUT FOR THEM,wither to succumb8which they are already doing,BUTT THEIR OWN WAY.Poco a Poco, yavash¡van yavag+sh .Building first christian church ( again they do not ,will not stop with these ¨jokes¨¨,thinking what one Iranian Diplomat frkend omfided to me ¨people are not donkeys¨¨…..which they still think they are…
    To the point now.if this escalaters the shooting turning ninto bom-bings the ,it means they are bent on flaring up the war there.not stop .<like WarMInisterr Seyran eeddlRED A WEEK AGO THE RESPONSE WILL BE harsh.bUT i HOPDE NOT UNTIL fOREIGN COFRRESPONDDNTS ADNN PHTOGRAPHS WOULD Hvee already gatherred factts to SHOW TYO WORLD WHO WERE THE AGRESSOR<-..One more thing one reent at by Gov of Uruguay must hv e eally worried then that they intend to reccognize NAGORNINII KARABAGH as indepeendent.Tothis accofring to narmenian.net. ADDxing neithe Russi nor US wish that to happendd

  30. Firstly O beg pardon to every one for having writen above post with so many errors whether w/ typographical or grammatichal.i was brought down with serious illness and weak.
    Hope the core of the issues therein raised will more or less convey the subjects mentioned
    Once again please excuse mee
    as always
    best to all

  31. Civilitas has become the voice of western interests in Armenia as all its funds are western or else it cannot function,that’s why all its articles and programmes have a western leaning.

  32. “RVDV, who is an admirer and supporter of Turkey and things Turkish, and is also studying to become a genocide scholar”

    RVDV, is this true? Are you going to be studying the Armenian genocide?

    • Nice. Are you focusing on genocides in general or the Armenian genocide specifically? If the latter, any particular part of the genocide? There have been more research lately about the Armenian properties stolen during the genocide. That seems to be a hot topic.

      I must have missed the discussions about your interests on the subject.

    • Random Armenian,
      Armenians who care about our past, want justice for the Genocide and discuss it regularly, appropriately and correctly capitalize the g in the Armenian Genocide. An occasional poster or occasional miss by a regular poster is not a big issue, but you forgot to do this here, three times in a row.

    • Random: I’m not focusing on any in particular, the Armenian Genocide naturally draws my attention though, as a Turk. I’m interested currently in the Genocide of the Romas during WWII right now, and how the universal hatred of that group continues to this day. With regards to the AG, I’m not so much interested in the history of it. I’ve read several accounts, read dozens of eyewitness accounts. My main interest with it is the Turkish denial and current status. For example, I recently wrote a paper examining the Turkish governments claims versus what eyewitness accounts can tell us. Most of the eyewitness accounts were from Kharpert, and they were all pretty hard to read (women and children being thrown off cliffs, gassed in caves, wombs cut open, mass rape, forced Turkification, etc.) However, the Turkish government claims the Armenians were being moved away from the Russian front. Now the furthest extent of the Russian front in 1915-1916 was Erzincan, some 250 km from Kharpert, making Kharpert, by any definition, NOT part of the “active” war front. It was a fairly narrow topic, but I felt just that alone would conclusively disprove the lie of “relocation from an active war front.”

    • RVDV,

      Yeah, the “deportations” from locations far away from the front lines is very telling. Along with so many aspects of the acts taken by the Young Turks.

      I think Talat’s black book mentions Turks who were relocated as well. The survival and treatment of the relocated Turks vs Armenians might be of interest too.

      Slowly but surely the official story is falling apart publicly. The official Turkish history always denied there were Armenian soldiers at Gallipoli. But the recent invitation to the commemoration mentioned that Armenians were there. All these admissions are adding up and it reinforces how completely untrustworthy the intentions of the Turkish government is in when it comes to reconciliation and understanding history.

  33. RVDV,
    Out of curiosity, even though we have discussed Genocide reparations in the past (and if I remember you don’t believe in any return of lands?), given that you accept the fact of the Armenian Genocide, what in your view would constitute appropriate Genocide reparations, if any?

    • Right, so the land issue we go into, and for various reasons I do not believe in land returns. As for what I would support, very heavy monetary compensation, return of all churches and properties and placing them under the direct control of the Armenian Church in Turkey (as well as other areas such as Akdamar Island, etc.). For the properties destroyed, further monetary compensation. For properties that still exist but are currently owned by Turks or Kurds, that’s tough, I’m not sure where I stand on that. I would support returning Mt. Ararat to its people though.

      Not to rehash the land thing, but I just don’t see it as a plausible outcome. Too many issues with it.

    • ” I would support returning Mt. Ararat to its people though.”

      That would be a very interesting event if it ever happened.

      Many Turks and in turn Turkey benefited from the confiscation of lands and property and businesses from the genocide. One of the goals after the war was to give the Armenian properties to Turks to develop Turkish businesses. The Sabanci holdings got it’s start, I believe when Armenian property was given to the Sabanci family, who in turn built their business from there.

      There is so much in Turkey that are based on bloody ill-gotten gains.

      “For properties that still exist but are currently owned by Turks or Kurds, that’s tough, I’m not sure where I stand on that.”

      That might depend on a case by case basis. But, there are Turks who own Armnenian churches, which is bizarre and most likely means they received it under unjustifiable means. I think that’s more clear cut. Those should be returned.

  34. Hashtag “Pay Us Gayzag Palandjian”
    Very sadly and a broken heart, I am the bearer of sad news, that the above comment posted by G.P. was his last one.
    Gayzag passed away, from a fatal illness.
    He will be missed. He was a great patriot, who loved his country, visited Armenia every year, and did his very best to make a contribution in his own way to its betterment.
    His opinions/suggestions were thought provoking .
    Vart Adjemian

    • I am so sad to hear it, Vart. Yes his presence will be missed, I was always glad to see through his posts how he loved his homeland and culture. He honored us and this site with his opinions and comments and now we will not be able to read them anymore. Life is so unfair. Astvads Hokin Lusavoreh.

    • Vart, I second what [Hagop D] wrote.
      Sad to hear of Mr. Palandjian passing.
      He was a good man who cared about Armenia and Armenians, and did active work in that regard till the end.

      You seem to know his family: please convey our condolences, and tell them the ArmenianWeekly reader/poster community will miss Mr. Palandjian and his unique comments.
      A great loss to us all.

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