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 Wednesday, September 30 2020 14:17

Turkey is Genocidal. It Shall Be Stopped. 

Turkey is Genocidal. It Shall Be Stopped. 

ArmInfo. It is crucial to recognize that one of the reasons Turkey  behaves the way it does, is that statements, signals, and symbols  adopted by Erdogan's Turkey have gone largely unnoticed. Muted  reaction from the world has encouraged Turkey. Former Minister of  Defense of Armenia Vigen Sargsyan writes about this in his analytical  article. ArmInfo thanks the author for the opportunity to publish it.

When in 2015 Armenia went into a commemoration of the Centennial of  the Armenian Genocide, there were skeptics, who cynically commented  that history shall be left to historians. "One shall not be a hostage  of one's own past", they argued, repeating the mantra about the  difference between the Republic of Turkey and the Ottoman Empire.  This thesis is not self-born, it is a brainchild of the bloodiest  dictator currently in power in the entire Eurasian continent -  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He has made many attempts to  push away any calls for recognition and condemnation of the Armenian  genocide, which in the future paved the way for the Holocaust, and  other grave crimes against humanity. He even tried to sugarcoat the  genocide in Darfur, Sudan.  Despite a series of recognitions by  leading world powers, including Germany, Turkey's ally in World War  I, whose President Gauk spoke of German compliance in that crime in  his speech in Berlin Cathedrial on April 23, 2015; Turkey continues  to deny and disregard the calls of European Parliament, its  international partners, and own civil society.

Many, including my own people, often refer to the Genocide as a Great  Calamity, a tragedy. As the Chief Coordinator of the Centennial, I  have many times stated in my interviews, editorials, and comments  that Genocide is first of all a crime, and only its consequences are  a tragedy, a calamity.  And the difference is clear: tragedy solicits  sympathy, but crime asks for punishment. Without recognition and  punishment, there is no way to prevent repetition of the crime.

Denial of a genocide has direct consequences and implications.  Leaving the history of World War II and fascism to the historians,  leaving the history of dictatorial regimes in Latin American  countries to the historians, leaving the history of slavery and  extermination of Native Americans to the historians would be a clear  path to repetition of those terrible crimes. Words are insufficient  to prevent these events. Recognition, punishment, and incorporation  of lessons learned into political decisions is essential to the task  of prevention of the repetition of the crime of Genocide.

I have often heard from my foreign friends that Armenians seem to be  exaggerating. "It is not the same Turkey now", they would say.  Arguments included Turkey's constraints as a member of NATO, as an  aspirer in the European Union, as a major player in G-20 and with a  dynamically developing economy. Many would refer to the empowered  civil society, Turkish intellectuals, and modern secular state  structure.

Recep Erdogan is once again on the offensive - in Libya, Iraq, Syria,  Eastern Mediterranean, and now South Caucasus. After decades of  openly and covertly funding, arming, training, and supporting  Azerbaijani military, he now openly engages proxy terrorist groups  from Syria. Using Turkish aviation, armaments and military personnel  to support a full-scale offensive of Azerbaijani army against the  people of Nagorno Karabakh, whose only claim is for the right for  self-determination.  Since 1969 Azerbaijan itself has been ruled by  an oil-rich dictatorial dynasty of Aliyevs. With Turkey they have  consistently stated that they are "one nation living in two states."  People of Artsakh will never be part of that one nation or the two  states.

As I was writing this op-ed, the news came of a Turkish F-16  supporting military operation of Azerbaijani forces against peaceful  villages on the territory of the Republic of Armenia. Minutes later  that same plane targeted and hit a military airplane of the Armenian  armed forces within the territory of Armenia.

There is no doubt that Artsakh and Armenia will once again bring the  aggressor to defeat as it has happened over and over in the past. One  of the consequences of this unprovoked aggression waged jointly by  Azerbaijan and Turkey is already clear: Turkey has now openly entered  the conflict in the South Caucasus, once again becoming a regional  troublemaker. An amateur action from a state with global ambitions.  Turkey continues its bullish and aggressive policy towards all of its  neighbors, fully in line with its declared policy vision of  'neoottomanism' - an attempt to restore Turkish control over the  wider region of Balkans, Middle East and Caucasus. It is crucial to  recognize that one of the reasons Turkey behaves the way it does, is  that statements, signals, and symbols adopted by Erdogan's Turkey  have gone largely unnoticed. Muted reaction from the world has  encouraged Turkey. One can only imagine what would be the reaction if  any other offspring of the former Empires in Europe or Asia publicly  declared in the 21st century its neo-imperial ambitions, incorporated  those into its national security doctrine, and acted in line with  that self-explanatory vision.

"Turkey continues its aggressive policy towards all its neighbors,  fully consistent with its policy of" Middle East and the Caucasus. It  is imperative to recognize that one of the reasons Turkey is behaving  neo-Ottomanism "- attempts to restore Turkish control over wider  territories - the Balkans, the this way is because the statements and  signals that came from Turkey have gone largely unnoticed. The  restrained reaction of the world has encouraged Turkey>. Former  Minister of Defense of Armenia Vigen Sargsyan writes about this in  his analytical article.  ArmInfo thanks the author for the  opportunity to publish it.

The Defense Army of Artsakh will be supported in its efforts to  restore peace and protect the Motherland by the entire nation - in  the Motherland and in Diaspora. From reserve mobilization and  financial assistance, to public diplomacy and awareness-building  efforts like this one, myself as with every Armenian in the world,  shall stand united today in stopping the aggressor now, and on our  terms.

As the UN Security Council convenes today to discuss the situation in  the region, all member states shall combine forces to immediately  stop Turkey and Azerbaijan, and get the situation under control.   Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group, the sole international mediation format  responsible for the Nagorno- Karabakh settlement, shall clearly  signal that recent developments undermine past efforts and  continuation of any negotiations is impossible without a proper  investigation of the causes of this aggression. The aggressor shall  be called to pay the price of this irresponsible and futile attack in  the midst of the international pandemic.

The reaction of the international community shall be rapid and  targeted. Today is not the time for neutral and vague "calls on the  parties", or reference to past statements, documents, and processes.   Everything is crystal clear: Turkey, the perpetrator of the Armenian  Genocide is back to the region with new plans of extermination of  Armenians in Armenia and Artsakh as part of their neottoman strategy  of completing the unfinished business of the rotted Ottoman Empire.  NATO and Turkey's allies in that organization, allies of Armenia, all  major international players have the primary responsibility of  stepping up their efforts on leashing Turkey and its proxy-state -  Azerbaijan.  Consequences of the introduction of Syrian rebels and  international mercenaries to yet another region, where they were  non-existent before, is in direct violation of efforts of the  international society to prevent the spread of terrorism and  non-state militant groups. Activities of such groups in the immediate  neighborhood of the risk-potent regions of the North Caucasus will  easily fuel national and regional security concerns, and pave the way  for adequate steps by Russia. There is no room for politically  correct and balanced statements now. It is time to act. 


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