Address of the Third President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan on the Day of Commemoration of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide
Monday, 24 April, 2023, 09:18
At all times, attempts to erase history or distort it have been aimed at covering up the crime and absolving the culprits. On every significant occasion, I constantly wear the forget-me-not emblem which became the symbol of the fight against genocides.
It has a very special meaning and denotation: the tragedy, which befell our nation over a one hundred years ago, must never be forgotten.
Carrying out the Armenian Genocide in 1915, the Ottoman Empire committed the greatest crime against humanity and civilization which successive Turkish governments have been trying for decades to send into oblivion at all costs and, failing in this attempt, are currently attempting in a uniquely cynical way to switch the victim and the executioner with places, turning upside down the reality, erasing every Armenian trace in the Western Armenia.
The Turkish government, which adopted denial as state policy, is manifesting hostility against the countries which have recognized and condemned the first genocide carried out at the beginning of the last century. Those intellectuals in Turkey, who accept the Armenian Genocide as an undeniable fact and do not violate the truth, are being persecuted. The harder that country is trying to cover up the crime, the more it becomes an accomplice to the carnage performed 108 years ago.
Just as one century ago, today too, right before the eyes of the civilized world, the nationalistic Turkish government is trying at the expense of the neighboring nations and peoples to implement the cherished dream of its predecessors – the Pan-Turkism scheme, which it has proclaimed at the state level. Behind a sham cover of peace-loving and humanity, often also without any cover, it carries on with the unaccomplished task of its ancestors.
Why the Armenian Genocide became possible? It happened because we showed tolerance for treason, extended the unwarranted trust to our enemy, manifested the criminal inactivity and despair, gullibility and indifference, readiness to adjust to the situation, refused to fight in an organized manner, didn’t support those who fought, becoming a divided nation and failing to use all our resources – intellectual, physical, other, also not being able to unite. Was it possible to prevent the Genocide? Yes, it was.
All this is endangering now the future of our generations and the last share of our Fatherland. The bloody scimitar, which has now become a Bayraktar, is hanging over our peoples’ heads, again. And if we bow humbly to the executioner, he will not delay in accomplishing his devilish deed. The force of law is being used based on expediency and convenience even in the world which entered the 21st century. Unfortunately, in the war of geopolitical interests today, just as yesterday, the balance between the force and the law is being tipped, the force gaining the upper hand. Right before our eyes, international law is giving way to force which often imprudently and cynically manifests its dominance. We must realize that in this world, on par with other nations, we have the right live in peace and in safety on our own land given to us by God. Even though today our strength is yet insufficient because of those who waste it wretchedly, we must not yield our rights and must strive to become stronger.
Remember the history and learn its lessons; demand that those, who distort history, acknowledge it – inside our country and outside; fight for our rights, empower ourselves at any cost and master our future. This is our formula of living, and this must become our credo.
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