Commentary on Recent Armenian, Azeri and Turkish Developments
Here are some thoughts regarding recent noteworthy news items:
-- Prominent Los Angeles attorney Mark Geragos, during his appearance on CNN last week, chided the United States for its double standard on the Armenian Genocide. When panelists Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper were criticizing Iran’s denial of the Jewish Holocaust, Geragos reminded them about Pres. Obama’s unkept promise to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. “Our greatest ally in that region is Turkey. Yet, Turkey denies the Armenian Genocide. Obama as a candidate would talk about it, ‘when I am in office, I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.’ He has been completely stultified when he is in. So there is a political dynamic here at play that is a little hypocritical,” Geragos asserted.
-- During the German elections on Sept. 22, eleven lawmakers of Turkish origin were elected to the German Bundestag, the country’s lower house of Parliament, more than doubling their number in the previous legislature. Armenians should not blindly criticize these 11 Parliamentarians because some -- whether of Turkish or Kurdish origin -- may be sympathetic to recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
-- The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) fined Turkey over $200,000 for expropriating a Turkish family’s house, without paying compensation. The Court found that Turkey had violated the family’s property rights. The family had exhausted all appeals to Turkish courts before turning to ECHR for justice. A reader posted the following ironic observation on the website of the Turkish Daily News: “It seems like the Court of Christian Europe treats Muslim Turkish people with more respect than the Muslim courts in Turkey.”
-- Turkish Minister of EU Affairs Egemen Bagish claimed last week that “Turkey will probably never become a member of the European Union because of stiff opposition and prejudiced attitudes from the bloc’s current members.” Bagish is wrong, as usual! Turkey will fail to become an EU member not because of Western prejudice, but due to its refusal to bring its laws up to European standards.
-- Thousands of Christians, including Armenians, have been kidnapped, killed or maimed by Al-Qaida terrorists in Syria and yet not a single word of condemnation has been issued by any European or American official. Even worse, Western leaders are supplying lethal weapons to the extremists so they can kill more innocent people. It is time for the public in the Western world to show its outrage by mass protests and harsh rebukes. The US Congress should ban the delivery of weapons to all foreign fighters in Syria. Last week, an Armenian Catholic Church and a Greek Orthodox Church were desecrated and robbed in Rakka, Syria. The Jihadists shamefully climbed over the dome of the Armenian Church and replaced the cross with their black flag!
-- The dictator of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, regularly and unwittingly assists the Armenian Cause by making hateful announcements that create a negative impression about his country in the international community. Aliyev’s outrageous statement that “Yerevan and Zangezour are Azeri territories” and “the time will come and we will live there,” is the raving and ranting of a deranged man with a pathological personality. Aliyev is expected to be elected to an unprecedented third term on October 9, meaning that Armenians will continue benefiting from his ‘helpful’ statements for several more years!
-- The war of words escalated at the UN General Assembly last week as the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan made opposing statements. Below are excerpts from Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian’s remarks, accusing Azerbaijan for:
a) “Increasing warmongering and anti-Armenian hate-speech on a daily basis”
b) “Unprecedented accumulation of offensive weaponry in massive scale”
c) “Using mercenaries closely linked to notorious terrorist organizations”
d) “Glorification of an axe-murderer Safarov by Azerbaijani leadership”
Armenia’s Foreign Minister further stated that “the recognition, condemnation and prevention of genocide remains a priority for Armenia and we will take necessary actions to prevent new occurrences of the crime of genocide, while keeping high on the agenda the issue of responsibility for the crime against humanity and its denial…. As a nation that has survived the first genocide of the 20th century, Armenia unequivocally welcomes the clear position adopted by the UN member states in precluding any possibility of immunity or pardon for perpetrators of crimes against humanity.”