Oshagan: No Rest Until Justice

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.

Hayg Oshagan speaking at the Armenian Genocide Commemotation in Times Square (photo: Tom Vartabedian)
Hayg Oshagan speaking at the Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Times Square (Photo: Tom Vartabedian)

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).

Hayg Oshagan

Hayg Oshagan

Hayg Oshagan is associate professor in the Department of Communication at Wayne State University. His research is on the effects of mass media and the role of ethnic media in ethnic communities. He is a frequent public speaker and is nationally recognized for his efforts with ethnic media. Oshagan is the founder and director of New Michigan Media and serves on immigration-related commissions appointed by the Michigan governor and Detroit City Council. He is chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Eastern U.S.
Hayg Oshagan

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  1. Ais karozov voch miain vojch hai yogovurte ge hamozví vor ais e mer baikare ,ail nuinbes mer nahadagnerun hokinere mezí garachnorten.


  3. All the Armenians around the world are united, and speaking with one voice.
    we will never forget what Ottoman Turkey done to our people , yes they massacred 1.5 million , but also they eliminated over 10 million hard working race with their barbaric acts.

  4. Barak Obama has broken many promises including his promise to help the African American community. It is unfortunate that ever since Obama became president there has been a painful and continuous lowering standards and lowering of quality of life for the African American Communities.

  5. Oshagan what a name what a speach,you know something all this month we are in our household are listening to non other than most beloved most wonderfull most suffered our lovely lovely GOMIDAS he will be proud of his people together with 1.5 million saints.
    If you have a chance watch Sergei Khachatrian a young violinist prodigy plays Komitas Tsirani Tsar dedicated for Genocide victims

  6. Brilliant speech. Remember it is not Obama there are many like him who have failed to speak the TRUTH. That also includes Israel who also suffered but have taken the step NOT TO USE THE WORD GENOCIDE Shame on all those who have denied the word ‘GENOCIDE’.

  7. Absolutely brilliant speech! We need more Oshagans in the Diaspora and in Armenia too! Bravo and thank you Oshagan!!

  8. ABRISE…..diaspora hyes must not forget until the souls of our people are at rest. we will achieve victory as Oshagan outlines. we will regain western Armenia whatever the cost and means. we will with the credo Oshagan addressed in New York.

  9. We must maintain this centennial year level of activity. We cannot back off or slow down our push for justice. My grandparents were martyred, my parents were survivors. I am 86 years old and I want to see the day the Turkish Government begs for forgiveness.

  10. Behind the Pope are more than a bilion catolics. Behind Obama merely 230 mil americans which disagree him

  11. I do sincerely hope that your nations, Armenia and Turkey, soon find some reconciliation and understanding. I have both Armenian and Turkish friends, and it is sad how these tensions get in the way. I don’t mean to minimize the pain and indignity associated with the Genocide denial, but sometimes the hatred between you guys is rather startling, at least to the outsiders.

    • {“ I don’t mean to minimize the pain and indignity associated with the Genocide denial,..”}

      Sure you do.
      Your site itself is an AG denialist site: it says right there…[Armenia vs Turkey Claims of Genocide, closed borders — a lot to discuss]

      “Claims” of Genocide ?
      That is one of the standard denialist code phrases from the Turkophile denialist dictionary.
      There is no so-called “claim”: it was Genocide.

      {“ but sometimes the hatred between you guys is rather startling, at least to the outsiders.”}

      Hatred _between_ we guys ?
      See if you can find a similar display of Armenian-American young men and women celebrating the organized mass murder of defenseless Turkish women, children, and babies: if you can, then you can write {“between” you guys}.
      The hatred has been one-way all the way for centuries and continues to this day in every corner of the world: hatred by (most) Turks towards Armenians.

      The video:
      [Turkish-Americans celebrating the Armenian Genocide, Washington DC, 2010.]

  12. What does we the World expect from the Turks? The Turks are reviled throughout Europe and the Middle East as well as here in the US. Turkish Americans have a big time dilemma. Turk Americans who deny the Genocide live in shame and fear ostracization and embarrassment from society. It is only a matter of time and it will eventually happen. It is psychologically hard for Turkish Americans to accept the fact that their ancestors and in some cases, members of their own families, were in fact war criminals. The atrocities committed by the Ottoman Turks on the Christian communities: Armenians, Greeks, Chaldeans, Assyrians are not considered acts of war unless you are an animal like Genghiz Khan. You can also argue that this was indeed persecution of Christians. Turkish Americans will never be accepted into US Society, that is their greatest fear. They will always live with this stigma, they will never be able to explain it away no matter how long or hard they attempt to do so. The burden is on them.

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