Justice Protects Armenia’s Future

Representing the Armenian National Committee – Eastern Region (ANC-ER), Ken Hachikian delivered the following remarks at the Times Square Genocide Commemoration on April 28. Hachikian chairs the Armenian Legal Center (ALC).

Reverend clergy, honored guests, Knights & Daughters of Vartan, and friends.

We must declare today the unabashed truth.

Not only for the sake of truth—for that is already written upon each of our hearts—known virtually unanimously to scholars of history as well as to religious and government leaders worldwide.

But truth in the service of justice.

Justice not only for the lost, but for the living. For generations yet unborn. For aspirations, yet unrealized.

Justice that delivers ironclad security. That serves Armenia’s long-term survival.

That ensures Armenia’s place at the table of nations.

That protects, in a word, Armenia’s future.

And that justice must start with unambiguously breaking the back of Turkey’s denials—Ankara’s century-long obstruction of justice for the Armenian Genocide.

The longest, largest criminal cover-up in world history.

Years of futile US efforts to appease Turkey have miserably failed.

Yerevan’s attempts to meet Ankara halfway have clearly failed as well.

It was here, in this city, a decade ago, that we together forcefully challenged the Turkish-Armenian protocols.

There were some then who defended this defeatist surrender of Armenian rights. We did not.

There are none today who doubt that the Armenian Genocide is a crime to be punished, not—as Ankara would like us to believe, a conflict to be solved.

There are none today who doubt that the Armenian Genocide is a crime to be punished, not—as Ankara would like us to believe, a conflict to be solved.

Even as we speak, Ankara continues to consolidate its hold on the genocidal gains of its crimes against the Armenian people, obstructing justice, blocking the return to the Armenian nation of key elements—indispensable elements—of viability that long sustained the Armenian people on our ancient homeland.

This crime must end. It must end in Washington. And then it must end in Ankara. Justice must be served. Now.

After years of failed efforts to appease Ankara, it’s time for President Trump and the US Congress—in President Trump’s own words, to put “America First.”

The days of “Turkey First” are over. Erdogan has made sure of that with his dictatorial policies of denial, censorship, intolerance and brutality—policies he is also attempting to inflict upon the Christians in Syria.

No nation—especially an anti-American dictatorship which chooses to curry favor with America’s enemies—deserves a veto against American remembrance of genocide.

It’s time for us to shamefully stop outsourcing America’s genocide recognition policy to the despots in Ankara.

It’s time to reject, once and for all, Turkey’s blackmail and its gag-rule against honest US remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.

It’s time to put America on the right side of history.

The right side of truth.

The right side of justice and reparations.

And, ultimately, the right side of Armenia’s security and survival.

I commit to you, with your help, that we will persevere in our fight for justice.

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Kenneth V. Hachikian

Kenneth V. Hachikian is the chairman of the Armenian Legal Center (ALC).
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