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Why is Yerevan silent in Russian-Turkish conflict?

Eternal flame monument at the Armenian Genocide memorial complex on the hill of Tsitsernakaberd in Yerevan

The Russian-Turkish confrontation has been there since late Nov 2015, but the authorities and even the “patriotic parties” of Armenia are strangely silent.

When Russia and Turkey were extending their economic ties, Armenians were worried and kept inquiring if Russians might betray them just to please the Turks. But now that the tension between Russia and Turkey is dangerously high, the Armenian authorities are silent, while their mass media say that Russia needs this conflict more than Armenia does and that Armenians must just keep aloof. But will they be able to do it?!

The Armenian authorities do not seem to be very eager to react anyway to the Turks’ anti-Russian provocations in Syria and the Caucasus. And what is even stranger is that they are silent about something many people in Europe are already terming as “the Kurdish genocide.”

They are silent even though the Kurds are being annihilated in the very lands their ancestors were annihilated in 1915. This looks especially strange as this might be a great chance for them to prove to the world that Turkey is a state of genocide and terror. It is a chance to remind people worldwide how the towns and villages where the Turks are now killing Kurds were called before they became bosses there.

Also silent are the Armenian authorities about the fate of the Christians and the Armenians living in the Middle East. They are acting as if there are no more Armenians left in Iraq or Syria and as if there is no more need to sound the alarm and to call on the great powers and Turkey to put an end to the terrorists acting in the region. By the way, this is how the Syrian Armenians explain their support for Bashar al-Assad: “We regard this as continuation of Turkey’s crimes and are fighting Turkey.”

Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan mentioned this more or less officially last November, when he was commenting on the State Duma’s bill criminalizing denial of the Armenian Genocide in Russia: “Armenia has always advocated criminal penalty for denial of this crime. We will wait to see how things will develop. It is up to the Russian MPs to decide whether to adopt this bill or not.” When similar bills were considered in France and Switzerland, the Armenian authorities were much more active. Is such penalty in France more valuable to them than it is in Russia? Or, perhaps, in Russia fewer people deny the Armenian Genocide?

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When asked how the Russian-Turkish conflict can affect Armenia, Kocharyan said: “One of the parties is our ally, the other one is our neighbor. So, we must be vigilant.” This is all he said. One can’t but marvel at the care the Armenian authorities are showing for their “Turkish neighbors.” Or, perhaps, they are just afraid of Turkey’s key patron, the United States? Recently, there have been cases when the US administrators of Facebook blocked for 30 days (!) users posting anti-Turkish comments. It seems that the Armenian authorities are afraid of being “blocked” too – either on Facebook or in western banks. Then what the Armenian oppositionists and pseudo-oppositionists are afraid of? Perhaps, they fear that they will be blocked in the US State Department?

But one month of exile from Facebook or even “frozen” accounts in western banks cannot be compared to the holy mission the “patriots” of Armenia are on – to protect the national interests of the Armenian people, can they? But if this is true, those interests are not just what is inside Armenia or Nagorno-Karabakh, are they?

We are not saying that there is no reaction at all. Experts are making lots of comments - but those who are supposed to react are silent. Are they waiting for the “imperial permission” of western embassies or governments? If they are, they may never see this happen as things may start developing very quickly. And what are they waiting for if the Patriarch of Moscow and the Pope are already going to urge the world’s elites to react to the crimes against the Christians of the Middle East, this including Armenians? A similar urge has already come from a group of European parliamentarians and US congressmen. In this light, the careful silence of the Armenian authorities just a year after the centennial of the Armenian Genocide cannot be perceived or justified.

The authorities of the neighbor Georgia made it known from the very beginning that the Russian-Turkish conflict had taken them aback. But the Armenian authorities have no right to wait and were simply obliged to foresee such developments. One can be silent only if there is at least slightest sense in being silent but the silence of the Armenian authorities is not only senseless but even more it has made senseless all the last year’s events to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey...

Sergey Shakaryants, political analyst (Yerevan), specially for EADaily

Permalink: eadaily.com/en/news/2016/02/12/why-is-yerevan-silent-in-russian-turkish-conflict
Published on February 12th, 2016 01:43 PM
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