Newspaper reporters covering His Beatitude Mesrob II’s trip to
Rumkale on May 17, to inaugurate the boat donated by the Patriarchate to the village of Kasaba, once again, persistently pushed the Patriarch to comment on the “Armenian case”, especially on the genocide resolutions in western parliaments.
Patriarch Mesrob responded to some of the reporters’ incessant questions. One of the reporters asked: “What do you say about the genocide resolutions? Can you say that a genocide occurred?”
The Patriarch replied: “Again, you are posing the wrong question to the wrong person. I am neither a diplomat, nor a historian, nor a statesman. I am a Christian overseer on a goodwill mission. Did something happen? Of course it did. The terminology is secondary. Some terrible thing took place in the past between the Turks and the Armenians, and how to term it, whether a genocide or a massacre, is not my prerogative. However, I can of course say that too many painful events occurred. Now there are those, both among the Armenian and Turkish peoples, who were in some way or another afflicted by this and who have to live with the pain and trauma of those events even today. This is why there is always a discomfort and turbulence on both sides every time the issue is raised. We are Turkish Armenians and are affected by the situation. All I can say is this: peace and neighbourly relations are
preferable to eternal enmity. God has put these two peoples next to each other in a difficult geographic location. This will never change. Isn’t peace better? Shouldn’t both sides harvest the products of friendship and peace? For this a genuine repentance, an honest reconciliation and peace-making efforts are direly needed. I hope that extremist people on both sides come to their senses. This is my prayer.”