For people who have not experienced the horrors of genocide or the loss of their ancestral homeland, it is easy to advocate to the Armenians the advice of “forgive and forget.” But the genocide has shaped the history and the future of the entire Armenian people, for whom life will not be the same even if full restitution comes. The prominent writer Shahan Shahnour calls Armenians to struggle not only with the survivors but even with the martyrs. The martyrs are the witnesses of that colossal trauma.
The dispersion of the Armenians throughout the globe has brought about tremendous losses through assimilation and attrition. And that was one of the goals of the Genocide perpetrators; after the physical human losses, the target was the loss of memory. In 1922, during the negotiations leading to the Lausanne Treaty of 1923, the Turkish representative Ismet Enunu, answering Lord Curzon’s question of where to settle the Armenian survivors, cynically answered: “There are vast vacant territories in Canada and Brazil. Settle them in those countries.”
Despite the losses, Genocide recognition has taken on a life of its own and has been marching through history, even after 104 years. Therefore, the truth is more powerful than Turkey, which has become a major player in international politics, where it has invested heavily in the fight against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
The Turkish government, through its contacts and alliances, has made genocide denial a major political goal. David Swindle, writing in the American Thinker edition of April 20, states: “While Turkey has long fought the recognition of the Armenian Genocide internationally, the situation under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist ideology has led him into an alliance with the international Muslim Brotherhood and its American affiliates. One such organization officially embracing Turkey’s genocide denial is the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), an umbrella group of 30 Islamist charities and mosques, which published a ‘statement on 1915 Turkish-Armenian events’ that favors Turkey’s denialism.”
Turkey has been applying the same policy internationally, particularly at the Islamic Conference, simply manipulating the issue and capsulizing it into the context of Muslim-Christian conflict. That is why we find extremist countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh solidly behind Turkey and Azerbaijan during UN votes.
President Erdogan’s Islamist and Ottomanist ambitions not only have killed democracy domestically but they have scared and alienated major powers from China to Europe.