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Ahmed Davutoglu in Armenia

by Pietro Kuciukian

It is certainly reassuring to hear from the person in charge of the Turkish diplomacy – who visited Yerevan to attend the summit of the Black See Economic Cooperation Zone -, as he said on 12 December, that Turkey should hold a “just memory”. The fact that he admitted that the deportations of hundreds thousands Armenians in Turkey in 1915 were “inhumane” and he called for a “just memory” is surely good news within the context of a stalemate, going on since 2009, in the negotiations to achieve normalization in the relations between Armenia and Turkey. This is even better news if we consider the obstinacy by which the Turkish government has so far denied the genocide of the Armenian people by the Young Turks in 1915. “Just memory”, the Turkish minister specified, means that “we must learn the facts” and the Turkish goverment “does not at all approve of the deportations”. This signals an opportunity for dialogue, and surely a Turkish attempt to put forward a regional policy of detente after the crises and tensions of the past few years since the outbreak of the Syrian conflict. Nonetheless we cannot afford to share in the satisfaction and optimism expressed by the Turkish minister to the press following his meeting with the Foreign Minister of Armenia, Eduard Nalbandian. If the “strong basis” for dialogue, as Davutoglu defined it, includes the issue of how Armenia and Azerbaijan deal with the issue of Nagorno Karabagh, we are faced with anomalous choices of foreign policy, which once again set an insurmountable obstacle on the path to detente and normalization between the two countries. On our side, we chose to keep on fighting by the means of culture and knowledge; to try and strengthen the dialogue with the part of the civil society that works hard to build a more just society respecting human rights and historical truth; to go on looking for the tales of the Righteous, so that one day Turkey can be proud of its Righteous, those Righteous Ottomans who in the era of genocide in 1915 have saved, rescued, defended the innocent victims and now have the courage to bear witness to the truth, suffering the consequences of this.  Our hope, and our goal, is to make sure that no more monuments to the culprits are built, but instead monuments to the Righteous, and Ankara becomes the capital of the “Garden of the Ottoman Righteous”.

Pietro Kuciukian, Gariwo co-founder and Honorary Consul of Armenia to Italy

Analysis by Pietro Kuciukian, Gariwo co-founder and Honorary Consul of Armenia to Italy

18 December 2013

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Crimes of genocide and against the humankind

the denial of the individual's value

The first legal definition in the domain of mass persecution dates back to 1915 and concerns the massacres of the Armenian populations perpetrated by the Turks, which were followed by the trials of the perpetrators before the Martial Court. In the Treaty of Sèvres in 1920 the Great Powers use the terms "crimes against civilization" and "crimes of lèse-humanity". In the aftermath of Second World War, face the Holocaust tragedy, the Military Tribunal of the Nurnberger Trials against Nazi officials started the proceeding by stating the crimes on which it was competent... On 9 December 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations unanimously approved the Convention for the prevention and punishment of the crime of genocide, which is considered as the most heinous crime against Humanity. 

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