Under Turkish pressure, Armenia’s leaders make excuses for Nemesis monument

Nemesis Monument, Yerevan (Photo: David Galstyan/Twitter)

Just when we thought that we had heard everything about the current Armenian government’s questionable positions on Artsakh, Armenia and Armenian interests, we are now facing another monumental mistake by Armenia’s leaders.

On April 25, 2023, the descendants of those who killed the Turkish masterminds of the Armenian Genocide inaugurated the Nemesis Monument in Yerevan. In attendance were opposition members of Parliament, and surprisingly, Tigran Avinyan, the Deputy Mayor of Yerevan, who is a member of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s political party.

Nemesis was the name of the operation which was organized by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) to eliminate several Ottoman leaders who were responsible for the Armenian Genocide. This operation implemented the death verdicts issued in absentia by the Turkish Military Tribunal in Istanbul, in 1919, against the Genocide perpetrators, since they had fled from the country. Talaat Pasha, the main culprit in the Armenian Genocide, was killed by Soghomon Tehlirian in Berlin in 1921. A German court found him not guilty due to Talaat’s massive crimes.

Talaat’s remains were brought from Berlin to Turkey in 1943. The Turkish government ‘honored’ Talaat by naming avenues, mosques, schools, hospitals and a memorial after him in Istanbul. This would be just as shameful had the German government named schools and avenues in Berlin after Hitler! Another Genocide organizer, Minister of War Enver Pasha, is buried in the same memorial in Istanbul. His remains were brought to Turkey in 1996 from Tajikistan where he was assassinated in 1922 by an Armenian.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu retaliated against the Nemesis Monument by announcing that Turkey banned overflights by Armenian airlines from Turkish skies. Furthermore, Cavusoglu brazenly announced that Turkey would take additional steps against Armenia if the Nemesis Monument is not dismantled. Thus, Turkey violated the rules of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) which state that countries cannot ban overflights for political reasons. Armenia should take legal action against Turkey under IATA rules and ban the overflights of Turkish Airlines over Armenia’s skies.

This unwarranted Turkish retaliation is taking place at a time when the governments of Armenia and Turkey have been negotiating for over a year to open their mutual border and normalize their relations. Even though it has been announced that these negotiations are taking place “without any preconditions,” in reality, Turkey has made several demands, such as Armenia declaring that Artsakh is part of Azerbaijan by recognizing its territorial integrity, allowing the so-called ‘Zangezur Corridor’ to cross Armenia’s territory, linking mainland Azerbaijan to its exclave of Nakhichevan, which would mean that the ‘Corridor’ is under the sovereignty of Azerbaijan, not Armenia.

Even if Turkey were to open the border someday, it will shut it down again if Armenia does not meet any of Turkey’s future demands, thus continuously blackmailing the Armenian government. Turkey’s current demand to dismantle the Nemesis Monument is an early warning of more demands to come from Turkey, such as dismantling the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex in Yerevan, banning the burning of Turkish flags on April 24, and removing from Armenia’s Declaration of Independence the paragraph that states: “The Republic of Armenia supports the task of achieving international recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey and Western Armenia in 1915.”

This is the result of prostrating oneself in front of the unrepentant enemy and begging for peace. In response to the Turkish ban of Armenian overflights from Turkish skies, Armenia’s leaders criticized their own country for erecting the Nemesis Monument in Yerevan, rather than telling Turkey that they have no right to interfere in Armenia’s domestic decisions. In the process of trying to appease Turkey, Armenia’s Prime Minister and the President of the Parliament made a number of anti-monument statements. So, it is okay for Turkey to glorify Talaat, the Turkish Hitler, but not okay for Armenia to honor those who killed the butcher. Armenia’s leaders, rather than making excuses for the Nemesis Monument, should have demanded that Turkey dismantle the Talaat Pasha Memorial in Istanbul.

Prime Minister Pashinyan made the excuse that the Nemesis Monument was authorized by the City of Yerevan, not the government of Armenia. The monument was approved by the Yerevan City Council on Sept. 14, 2021. Pashinyan contradicted himself by first telling the Armenian Parliament that the decision to authorize the monument was made “to avoid being labeled traitors… But by doing so, we actually keep betraying the state and national interests of our country.” He then went on to say that “a wrong decision was made and the implementation of that decision was wrong.” Pashinyan also stated that “one of the shortcomings of democracy is when the authorities or the government leader is not controlling everything and everyone.” This is a shocking statement from someone who came to power claiming to promote democracy yet does not seem to understand the basic principles of democracy. Pashinyan, in fact, controls everything and everyone in the country!

Meanwhile, the President of the Armenian Parliament Alen Simonyan, during a press conference in Ankara last week, also made excuses by saying that Turkey should not view the Nemesis Monument “as an expression of the foreign policy of the government of Armenia nor as an unfriendly act. The Armenian government’s foreign policy is conducted by the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.” Simonyan further said that only “opposition members of the Parliament had attended the inauguration of the Nemesis Monument.” Cavusoglu replied that the Armenian government’s excuses are “insincere and untrue. No one should try to deceive us by saying that it does not fall within their jurisdiction.”

Armenia’s leaders need to draw an important lesson from this episode. Unless Armenia immediately rejects Turkey’s attempts to interfere in Armenia’s internal affairs, I fear that the Turkish government will be emboldened to impose further demands which will severely restrict Armenia’s sovereignty.

Harut Sassounian

Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, a non-profit organization that has donated to Armenia and Artsakh $917 million of humanitarian aid, mostly medicines, since 1989 (including its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund). He has been decorated by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.


  1. Very simple: let Turkey keep its own airspace keeping it restricted to Armenian airliners and let Armenia keep its own monuments to glorify its assassins……

    • Armenia does not have assassins to glorify. That is what terrorist Turkey does and has been doing for nearly a millennium since the 11th century. Armenia is glorifying, and rightfully so, her freedom fighters and avengers of the 1915 Armenian Genocide premeditated and executed by the predecessors of modern terrorist Turkish state carved out of occupied Armenian homeland and established on the corpses of millions of indigenous Armenians and other native Christians, such as the Greeks and the Assyrians, they murdered in cold blood. Even to this day, every time the current Turkish terrorist-in-chief Er-dog-an wants to feel proud of his “Turkishness” he refers to and glorifies his terrorist state’s former mass murderers. In a country where even today those Armenians and other Christian minority groups who survived the Turkish genocide are referred to as “the remnants of the sword” paying respect to a handful of Armenian patriots who gave former Turkish monsters a big dose and a bitter taste of their own medicines should be the last thing they should complain about.

      Forget about this treasonous, incompetent and dysfunctional Armenian government hell-bent on establishing their fairy tale of a so-called fantasy ‘Era of Peace’ with enemies nonsense. A TRUE patriotic leader of Armenia would have responded swiftly and in kind to this Turkish terrorist Cavusoglu, who considers himself not just terrorist Turkey’s but also criminal and artificial Azerbaijan’s foreign minister, and put him in his place. He should have been reminded of his displaying of Turkish fascist ‘grey wolves’ sign to the Armenian protesters in Uruguay during last year’s Armenian Genocide commemoration rally.

      Terrorist Turkish leaders can dish it out but can’t take it apparently. They are very quick to tell the entire world not to interfere in their domestic affairs while they themselves feel entitled not to follow what they preach. I recommend Armenians put up similar monuments everywhere in Armenia and at the Armenia-Turkish border to remind Turkish terrorists that we have not forgotten their unpunished heinous crimes as well as the occupation and the confiscation of Armenian homeland as a direct result of those crimes.

    • Dear Zedek very simple as well
      that the civilised West lets/permits Turkey not to condemn its many criminal politicians and statesmen that are responsible for thousands of killings of Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds (you know they exist!!!), Bulgarians, Serbs, Albanians, Lebanese and so on
      And very simple as well : it is not far the day that Turks following their mongoloid background they will have to get back to their homeland
      The Armenian Genocide is a Shameful Deed (Taner Akçam)
      Juan Kats (spanish-greek)

    • Operation Nemesis went after the thugs who were responsible for the Armenian Genocide. These individuals killed millions of innocent souls. Well deserved assassinations.

  2. Fully anti democratic anti christian state UAE doesnt let us protest front of Turkish embassy armenian genocide remembrance walk and our Armenian ambassador of UAE and Armenian foreign minister didnt say anything about this while they financing jihadist to wipe out armenians in middle east even we cant defend our basic rights how we can expect world support us ?

  3. This incident does not bode well for Armenia- Turkey reconciliation. Pashinyan should have said that Armenia is a democracy and its citizens are allowed to express their views uncensored, unlike in fascist Turkey and Azerbaijan. But there is a more fundamental problem here; namely the power disparity between Armenia and Turkey/Azerbaijan. In order to make progress, major powers such as US, France , Iran, India have to “guarantee “ the peace agreement with massive military and economic support to Armenia. For example, today Israel is bombing and killing Arabs in Gaza, but neither Egypt nor Jordan nor the UAE are withdrawing from the peace agreements with Israel, because The US is backstopping the “peace” agreement between those countries. Similarly there has to be significant military and economic support ( billions/year) for Armenia in order for the “peace” agreement to work with Turkey/Azerbaijan. Otherwise it will be capitulation on Turkey/Azerbaijan’s terms.

    • We cant trust lran during revolution they tortured and killed alot of armenians if canada allow armenians in lran to settle in canada no any armenian would prefer stay in lran cuz they are hate us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.