GENEVA–On October 25–the European Parliament adopted a resolution presented by French Europarliament member Alain Lamassoure on Turkey’s progress towards accession. Unlike a similar text adopted last year however–the resolution failed to mention recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915 as one of the conditions Turkey has to fulfill before joining the Union. The reason given for this is to avoid preempting the work of the newly established Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission in ‘arriving at a common understanding of the past’. This argument is all the more irrelevant as the Armenian genocide is not–and never was–on the Commission’s agenda.
The German Bundestag also recently withdrew the question of recognition of the Armenian genocide from its agenda–ostensibly to avoid hindering the work of the Commission.
The Forum of Armenian Associations in Europe has been following the work of the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission closely since its creation–but had taken no position on the matter to date–as the Commission is a private and informal initiative–whose members are persons acting in a personal capacity. However–recent developmen’s have shown that discussion among these private individuals on Turkish-Armenian relations has led to misunderstandings and manipulations–which have impacted negatively on the process of recognition of the Armenian genocide carried out in the Diaspora.
The FAAE supports the resolution of conflicts through dialogue. However–it now appears clearly that Turkish officials have exploited the establishment of the reconciliation Commission to hinder parliamentary initiatives relating to the recognition of the Armenian genocide. As a result–the European Parliament has now adopted a misleading text–which ascribes to the Commission a task -discussions on the genocide-–which it has explicitly excluded from its mandate. These developmen’s have now caused considerable damage to the credibility of the TARC.
Recognition by Turkey of the Armenian genocide of 1915 is not only an Armenian demand. It is a duty common to humanity and is a necessary part of international efforts to fight genocide denial and new crimes against humanity.
Bearing in mind these fact–and with due consideration to the significance of the matter–the Forum of Armenian Associations in Europe calls upon the Armenian members of the Turkish- Armenian reconciliation commission to resign and thus to put an end to the work of the Commission. The Executive Body of the Forum of Armenian Associations in Europe About the FAAE: The Forum of Armenian Associations in Europe was established in 1998 to assemble and facilitate co-operation between Armenian organizations in the European Diaspora. It now counts member organizations in 18 European countries. The Forum is pluralistic and deals with all issues of interest to its member organizations–including international relations–human rights issues–economic co-operation and cultural matters.