Hayg Oshagan, chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Central Committee of the Eastern United States, gave the following remarks at the Armenian Genocide commemoration in Times Square, New York, on April 26.
Hai joghovourt (Armenian people!),
Today starts a new page in our struggle for justice. In the name of 1.5 million martyrs, and survivors, in the name of the 15,000 gathered here, in the name of the 130,000 who marched in Los Angeles, in Beirut, in Buenos Aires, in Paris, in Yerevan, we stand here united, after 100 years, to claim from Turkey not only recognition, not only an apology, but reparations for the crime of genocide. We have waited long enough. It is time for Turkey to pay for its crime.
Turkey can deny all it wants, it can put as many banners in Times Square as it can, it can buy as many presidents it wants—and shame on you President Obama!—it can recall as many ambassadors it can, change the date of Gallipoli as many times it can, and threaten all it wants… But no matter what Turkey does, who it lies to, there are more of us, more people like us who have courage and conviction, and who are willing to fight for justice.
There are more people like our political friends on this stage, more Pope Francises in the Vatican, more Hrant Dinks in Turkey, more Francois Hollandes in France, and more Soghomon Tehlirians, Arshavir Shiragians, and Aram Yerganians in our blood.
Erdogans, Obamas, presidents come and go, congresses come and go, but we are here, and hairenagitsner (compatriots), it’s because we have won every struggle we have been in…
We have survived the genocide, we have thrived in the diaspora, we have created an independent Armenia, we have won the war in Karabagh, and we will win this war too, we will defeat Turkey too…
Yerp polors aysorvan bes, miagam yev miatsayn, ge miyanank, vochinch garogh e mez timatrel (When all of us stand united, with one will, like today, nothing can stop us).
It is important that the AYF, Homenetmen, and ACYOA are here today, in large numbers. All the young faces around us, you should be here, you are the next generation in our struggle for justice, for our cause, the next wave marching to claim justice for our martyrs, to claim Western Armenia for our nation, to lead us into the future.
This is what the Turks don’t understand. That we will never forget and we will never rest until we claim justice. That no generation of Armenians will ever let them get away with their crime. That Turkey is guilty of genocide, that we will make it recognize it, we will make it apologize for it, and we will make it pay reparations for it. Turkey failed. It will have to pay for its crime against humanity; it will have to pay for the crime of genocide.
Menk gank, ge hishenk yev ge bahanchenk. Yev entounadz enk baykare minchev ampoghchagan haghtanag. Ourish tsev chga hayrenagitsner, yev votch Assembly-in, votch Ramgavar Gousagtsoutiune, votch Hunchakian Gousagtsoutiune, yev vsdah eghek, votch Hai Heghapokhagan Tashnagtsoutiune ourish artyunk gardonen (We are here; we remember; and we demand. And we are in this struggle until total victory. There is no other way, compatriots. And neither the Assembly, nor the Ramgavar Party, nor the Hunchag Party, and rest assured, nor the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, will allow for a different outcome).
I can tell you now, that we will see the day when our martyrs will finally rest in peace, we will see the day when we walk on our own land and breathe the air in Armenian Van, Moush, Erzerum, and all our provinces, and I will see the day when we climb that mountain, and plant the yerakouyn (tricolor) on Mount Ararat.
Miyagam, miyatsayn, haghtanage mern e (United, with one voice, victory is ours).