Armenia is marking a tragic anniversary on April 24 – the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. Presidents of Russia, France, Cyprus, Serbia, high-ranking officials from other countries are in Armenia these days. Dozens of thousands of people are participating in the events commemorating that tragedy. The capital city of Armenia is decorated with the symbols of the Armenian Genocide Centennial – forget-me-nots with slogans “We Remember and Demand!” The country is mourning the loss of the 1.5 million of Armenians executed by the Ottoman Empire functionaries.
Meantime, in the neighboring Turkey - the successor of the Ottoman Empire – statesmen “have nothing to do” but make improper comments. In particular, on Friday, Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu claimed that the presence of the French and Russian presidents, Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin, in Yerevan on April 24, casts a doubt on the impartiality of the OSCE Minsk Group in the Karabakh peace process. In addition, Davutoglu charged the Turkish foreign minister to “take measures” concerning the stance of Russia, for instance, after President Vladimir Putin said in Yerevan: “Russia felt these events as its own grief.”
To find out the motives that made Davutoglu link the OSCE MG to Putin’s statement on the massacre of 1.5 million of people in Ottoman Turkey, EADaily requested comments from Ruben Safrastyan, the director of the Institute of Oriental Studies, the National Academy of Science of Armenia.
“You try to find logic in Davutoglu’s actions. There is no and cannot be any logic in his actions. The state Turkey has occurred during the last months can be described with a simple word – panic. Any statement on the Armenian Genocide – there have been many such statements – triggered a sharp reaction that is generally not subject to logical analysis. The statement you mentioned is another example of Turkey’s usual alogism,” the orientalist said.
Nevertheless, Safrastyan said, Davutoglu has hidden agenda. “The point is that traditionally, Turkey speaks the language of preconditions with Armenia. It is not a secret that Turkey failed the Armenian-Turkish normalization process by setting a range of preconditions. One of the preconditions for the Karabakh issue – Turkey has a one-sided and evident pro-Azerbaijani stand. In other words, behind Davutoglu’s statement there is a well-known motive, and, maybe, the Turkish leadership’s desire to look stronger,” Ruben Safrastyan said.
As for the consequences of such statements, Safrastyan said: “They can have no consequences.” As the topic of the Armenian Genocide has been systematically, comprehensively and impartially covered in the world process during the last months, Davutoglu and the administration he represents are making vain attempts to shift the emphasis and mislead media. “When the leader of the Catholic world says ‘Genocide’, for Catholics it means ‘Genocide.’ Let’s not forget also about the stand of famous media persons, including those of Armenian origin, who did much to increase the interest to the given issue abroad. Consequently, the issue of the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide is relevant as never before, and there is upward trend: the number of the countries that have recognized the Armenian Genocide has increased and it is only the beginning,” Safrastyan said for conclusion.