By Edmond Y. Azadian
Armenian-Turkish relations have been historically complex and in recent years they have been further complicated. In the past, Armenians have been under foreign domination and their overlords — Ottoman, Russian or Soviet — have determined and shaped those relations, leaving no room to maneuver for the subject Armenian nation. Therefore, logic and expectation have been for Armenians to determine and shape their relations with Turkey and Turks upon gaining independence.
Now that Armenia is independent, it looks like the situation has further deteriorated. It has become more contentious, since no one knows who can speak with the Turks on behalf of the Armenians. As always, we have more chiefs than Indians.
Legally, only a government can handle international relations. However, since Diaspora Armenians are the direct descendents of the Genocide survivors, they have the moral right and the duty to participate in the dialogue.
But it seems some groups claim to have a proprietary position when it comes to pursuing the Armenian Case, the recognition of the Genocide or claims for restitution. Indeed the Dashnag party (ARF), its affiliates and some of its leaders believe that they have the monopoly on the Genocide issue or Armenian-Turkish dialogue.
Admittedly, the ARF has contributed significantly to the Armenian Case, beginning with delivering justice to the perpetrators of the Genocide and steering Armenia to independence in 1918.