A number of countries have already accepted Armenia's invitation to attend the events commemorating the 100th year of the Armenian Genocide, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said on Thursday during the 5th meeting of the National Committee for the Commemoration of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide.
Sargsyan said that some countries are going to send governmental delegations. Others will attend the events to be organized by local Armenian communities.
The Armenian President believes that the scale of the events and the number of those present are especially important now that Turkish President Recep Erdogan has appeared with a cynical and short-sighted invitation to attend the celebrations of the 100th year of the Turks' victory in the Gallipoli Battle.
"They say that in politics all means will do, but in this particular case Ankara has harmed its own self. Once I received that indecent invitation, I hurried to publicly respond to it so as to prevent any improper comments from international mass media. I think my response and the reaction of the Turkish society have proved that it was an injudicious initiative," Sargsyan said.
He believes that Erdogan's invitation was as unjustified as are all forms of denial. "Denial is not only a complex of political incometence but also a legal category. It turns the present-day Turkish authorities into accomplices to the horrible crime committed by their predecessors," the Armenian President said.
The President also pointed out that on Jan 28 Turkey was denying the Genocide at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), when it tried to present the case of the criminal nationalist repeatedly convicted at the Turkish Court, Dogu Perincek, as the Court's legal view of the Armenian Genocide. Sargsyan said that Armenia is participating in the hearing as a third party. The Grand Chamber of the ECHR will decide whether the Swiss legislation on the Genocide denial complies with the European Convention on Human Rights.
"This is an important verdict for us, because we are sure that the Genocide denial is a possible signal for reoccurrence of such crimes. In the meantime, we do no think that the Perincek case is case about legal recognition or denial of the Genocide. As people, who suffered from the Genocide, we have never applied to court because we don't consider it to be an issue of the ECHR's jurisdiction, however, the Turkish propaganda will present it as its own victory in any case", he said. The President noted that the Turkish side did not even hesitate to release Perincek from prison or permit his departure so that he could be present at the ECHR's session.
A hearing on the "Perincek vs. Switzerland" case was held at the Strasbourg court's 17-member Grand Chamber on January 28. The verdict will be announced in 6-8 months. In 2007, the Swiss court had convicted Dogu Perincek under Article 216 of the Criminal Code for denying the Armenian Genocide, subjecting him to financial and criminal liability.
The Court of Appeals of Vaud Canton and the Federal Supreme Court had denied the appeal submitted against the given verdict. On December 17, 2013, the ECHR ruled in favor of Perincek's lawsuit that was filed against Switzerland, according to which Swiss courts had violated Perincek's right to freedom of speech. On March 11, Switzerland's Federal Office of Justice had informed that Switzerland was preparing to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) with the demand for the Grand Chamber to reconsider Perincek's case. The ECHR had sent the case to the Grand Chamber prior to March 17. On August 25, Armenia filed an application to participate in the trial. Turkey had also filed an application to participate. Armenia and Turkey participate in the hearings as third parties.