How many nations have to recognize the Armenian Genocide so that we can move ahead to the compensation phase?
In 103 years, more than 20 countries have recognized it. Do we need to wait until all 193 members of the United Nations extend recognition to move ahead? We do not think there is a magic figure and the game of recognition is not a measure to consolidate Armenian rights for compensation.
Only recognition by the Turkish state would be enough to unlock this century-old puzzle. To force Turkey to recognize the genocide, some key countries have to head the way, namely the US and Israel.
That path, of course, is problematic and fraught with many political hurdles. Those two countries and for that matter, any other country, must be compelled by a political incentive to decide to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
We must also qualify the nature of any recognition that comes our way. We have been expecting successive US administrations to recognize the genocide. Until today, all legislative drives have been behind commemorative resolutions which do not have any legal value, except putting the Turks on the hot seat. Similarly, the recognition by some 20-odd countries have commemorative value, unlike the ones passed in France and Germany.
The French resolution is sustained by a law. We almost were at the stage to complement the law recognizing the Genocide with a law punishing its denial but despite former French President Sarkozy’s tearful assurances and because of his political opportunism, political machinations played their role and France’s Constitutional Court reversed the resolution of the parliament making genocide denial punishable.