Letter: Disrespectful Dissent on Protocols from ARF

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To the Editor:
Somehow I’m not surprised that the most strident voices against the Turkish-Armenian protocols are coming from the ARF.
This group has been sowing discord among the Armenian people, not to mention the Armenian Church, almost forever. It’s one thing to be in respectful opposition to a policy of other groups, but to accuse fellow Armenians of traitorous behavior, as they are wont to do, is beyond the pale. I haven’t an informed opinion about the implications of these protocols, but I do believe that any agreement between blood-rooted enemies can’t be totally bad. The example of the European Union is an example where historical enemies finally recognized their common humanity and decided that the best approach was to finally live together in peace. On the question whether these protocols are giving away any fundamental Armenian rights, we have to trust the judgment of the actual Armenians, the citizens of Armenia, to know what’s best for their long-term welfare. The idea that we might get our lands back except for this agreement is just a hopeless fantasy. It doesn’t make sense that Turkey would voluntarily give up part of their lands to the Armenians after they got rid of them when they were just living there as Turkish citizens. A rapprochement with Turkey may actually lead to the possibility of Turkey allowing Armenians to resettle in the area adjacent to Armenia, where there’s plenty of vacant land available and such a decision would be beneficial to both parties. This may be as naive as any other approach, but it has more of a chance of happening than the hard-nosed way the anti-protocol people are pursuing. The best lesson that history can teach us is that you have to pick your fights intelligently.

— Berge Tatian
Stoneham, Mass.

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