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Transconflict: Genocide question and Turkish-Armenian relations

Transconflict: Genocide question and Turkish-Armenian relations

PanARMENIAN.Net - Transconflict organization published an article by an Egyptian academic lecturer Dr. Ahmed Magdy Al-Soukkary titled Between Recognition and Denial – the Genocide Question and Turkish-Armenian Relations.

According to the article, the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation process is now almost completely stalled, with Turkey continuing to vehemently oppose the Armenian-inspired international campaign to secure recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

As the author notes, the Armenian question or the Armenian Genocide has for decades strained relations between Turkey and Armenia. “With the one-hundredth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide taking place in 2015, some observers think it could provide a major breakthrough in the Genocide recognition and Armenian-Turkish dialogue. Others, however, insist that Turkey won’t recognize the Genocide, arguing that the killings were in self-defence during World War One,” the article says.

“Relations between Turkey and Armenia are burdened by a number of inter-connected problems. Turks and Armenians have, for instance, disagreed about how to describe the Ottoman-era massacres committed against Armenians in the First World War (1914-1918),” the article says.

“Since assuming power in November 2002, the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) was preparing to start negotiations with the European Union. However, the AKP government has realized that solely political and economic criteria are not enough to become a full member, consequently it began to invest in Turkey’s regional competencies,” the author notes.

According to the author, the Genocide issue and closed borders have played a big role in directing the course of Turkey-EU relations.

“Armenians believe that the AKP government is ready to blackmail – when it can – any government that moves towards recognizing the Genocide. Turkey should take concrete steps in normalizing its bilateral relations with Armenia, on the one hand, and trying to reach a political compromise to the intractable Genocide issue, on the other,” the article concludes.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres, and deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, majority of U.S. states, parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium and Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Chamber of Commons of Canada, Polish Sejm, Vatican, European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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