Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), has launched a nation wide on line letter writing and calling campaign asking Armenians in USA to join the campaign by writing and calling to their U.S representatives to urge President Trump to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
At the end of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Year in 2015, the general consensus was that, the recognition phase of the Armenian Genocide by foreign governments was over and it was time to start the process to Pursue Justice for our Genocide Martyrs.
The leadership of the Armenian people, be it political, religious cultural, etc. more than emphasized this view point, specially so by the top leadership of ARF (Tashnagtsootyoun) under whose jurisdiction ANCA operates.
It has been two years since the Centennial and there are hardly any new initiatives to start the difficult process of Pursuing Justice for our Genocide Martyrs, and thus start also the process to bring a closure to this Greatest Tragedy of the Armenian people the Medz Yegern.
The process to a closure could begin only if the Turks start to learn the truth about what happened to the Armenian people who lived in that country for centuries and almost none remained after the first world war.
This is not an easy task. The criminal leadership that committed the premeditated crime are long dead, and their criminal acts and racist policies are hidden from the public at large by all successive Turkish governments.
The challenge is to introduce the truth to the people, the citizens of Turkey, through factual and archival documents from the countries that were involved in the conflict of the first world war.
Priority must be to translate these archival documents in Turkish language and distribute them in Turkey in a well organized campaign. Emphasis must be on informing the people of Turkey about the factual evidence and avoid unnecessarily to politicize the issue and fall in the “trap” of confrontations and accusations that nationalist elements on both, Turkish and Armenian sides, thrive on.
Since our intellectual and financial capacity is limited, not much effort, or financial resources, must be allocated for translating and distributing these archival documents to other languages. (Maybe some limited translations in other languages for academic researchers to study it, is warranted).
The best organization to spearhead this effort in Turkey is the Hrant Dink Foundation in Istanbul headed by late Hrant Dink’s wife and family members. They have the active support of many of the Turkish progressive intellectuals and journalists who continue to pursue justice and uphold Hrant Dink’s legacy with words and deeds. Բանիվ եւ գործով.
There are well established Cultural Associations of Istanbul Armenians (Bolsaha) in various diaspora Armenian communities, that are well connected with Hrant Dink Foundation in Istanbul that could start a drive to get the Diaspora Armenians involved in this initiative as well.
There is also the long established Zoryan Institute with a good track record of documenting and translating archival documents. Zoryan has also good connections with Hrant Dink Foundation and also with academicians in Turkey and Diaspora that puts them in a unique position to lead this nonpolitical initiative.
This must be a low key but persistent campaign with the sole purpose to let the Turks know what happened during the first world war and not to prove that it was Genocide. Once they know the truth they will draw their own conclusions based on facts.
(Genocide being a legal term, only courts could pass judgment on this very sensitive issue that happened over one hundred years ago. For legal purposes it is irrelevant what historians or academics say. They could testify in the court as expert but not pass judgment themselves. Moreover, the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by about two dozen or so foreign governments will not mean much in the court of justice either).
ANCA and similar Armenian Organizations world wide must also work behind the scene and use their political leverage as citizens of the countries they live in, to encourage their governments and high ranking government officials, to quietly work with Turkish government and their diplomatic representatives and encourage them to accept the undeniable truth.
All this campaigns could be an honest effort to let the Turkish people, specially the youth learn the truth. Fortunately, this process that was started by late Hrant Dink in Turkey, did achieved considerable progress. It is time to further accelerate this process and hopefully achieve more progress.
It is time that the Diaspora(s) step up to the plate, so to speak, and have their input in it as well. The best way diaspora Armenians could help is to pay for and donate the translated books to appropriate libraries in Turkey. Not in hundreds, but in thousands.
Let me emphasize that, our expectations must not be too high. Our best hope could be that, Turks, specially the young generation, might learn the truth and hopefully start questioning the falsified “truths” of their government and their nationalist and ignorant “historians”.
I think this will be a much bigger accomplishment than all the legally useless resolutions that foreign governments has passed in the past fifty years, including that of Canada.
Zohrab Bebo Sarkissian.