On April 24, 1965, the entire Armenian nation—for the first time our brethren in Soviet Armenia—rose up to demand justice and recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Such national solidarity reinvigorated the Armenian Cause and began a movement that today has resulted in widespread recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
We, as Armenians, still fight the good fight for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide because Turkey has not ceased its denial of the crime, despite numerous calls by world leaders for it to come to terms with its bloody past. Even the absurd statement by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday proves that Turkey is unable to advance beyond the decades-old lie that its leaders have been feeding their own population and the international community.
This, coupled with countries like the United States’ adamant opposition to the truth, still places the issue of the international recognition of the Genocide high on our national agenda as we look toward the 100th anniversary of the Genocide. Justice, however, goes beyond recognition and it includes reparations and restitution for the crime of Genocide.
We often say that taking lessons from history is the best way to progress and tell the world that the recognition of the Genocide as an act of man’s inhumanity to man will curtail such instances of human rights violations in the world.
Perhaps, it is time that we take our own advice and take a lesson from the past.
The impetus for a nation to rise up on the 50th anniversary of the Genocide introduced a landscape that emphasized national unity and gave birth to a movement at the center of which was a national understanding of our national priorities.
In recent years, however, the term “national priorities” seems to signify different things to different people or circles. Whether it is due to political expediency or personal interests, this fundamental concept has been defined in various terms. Some argue that the current socio-political plight of Armenia’s citizens is our national agenda, while other contend that the national priority should be the Artsakh question or the situation plaguing our communities in Syria.
While each of those singular issues should become a focal point of every Armenian, they are but links in a larger chain that define our national purpose. After all, the Genocide was an attempt by the Turks to obliterate the entire Armenian Nation. As such, our response to it must be unified and resolute.
As we begin our march toward the centennial, the imperative to act advance as a national movement becomes the critical turning point on whether we will success as a nation to overcome the obstacles and persevere.
Let us rise up, as our nation did 50 years ago, and let of collectively fight for justice for the 1.5 million martyrs as well as for the advancement of our NATION.