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Turkey’s stance on Genocide recognition ‘unaltered after 104 years’ – opinion

Turkey hasn’t positively revised its position on the Armenian Genocide 104 years after the big tragedy, Tiran Lokmagyozyan, an expert in Turkish studies, said today, highlighting even more hardline denial policies pursued by the country’s current government.

”Even the students who go to foreign countries from Turkey get a special questionnaire outlining the kind of questions they may be asked abroad and the ways of responding to them. Those questions are under the state’s spotlight,” he told a news conference.

Despite the ”seemingly positive elements”, Lokmagyozyan said he totally rules out any optimistic expectations.

Meantime he agreed that the policy of denial extends also to other countries, counteracting to the processes related to Genocide recogntition. ”They never miss anything, offering their strong counteraction immediately,” he said.

The expert also praised French President Emmanuel Macron’s move to declare April 24 as a day of Armenian Genocide remembrance in the country and his faithfulness to the given promise.

”France did really wish to criminalize that process but fell short to succeed in the efforts pursued. Italy is now in a process of promulgating such a law to bring genocide deniers to criminal justice,” he noted.

Asked by Tert.am about the impact of different countries’ genocide recognition efforts upon Turkey (which repeatedly insists that the adopted resolutions and other measures have no legal effect at all), Lokmagyozyan noted that the practice of declaring those documents illegal is the country’s normal reaction.

”The Genocide today is recognized all over the world, wbich puts Turkey in even a more complicated situation … This is why Turkey now says that the Armenian Genocide is not a political issue but is rather in the domain of historians,” he added.

Asked to comment upon the repeatedly voiced criticism that the Armenian authorities ”fail to properly raise the demand from international tribunals ”, the expert admitted that the government has, in a way, left the issue in a state of neglect. ”I see the same problem, i.e. – their defeatist position in the doalogue with Turkey or the call for peace. Are we in a state of war with Turkey to desire peace?” he asked.


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