Centenary of the Genocide

This morning I read an article titled ‘Turkey and Armenia: A Time To Heal’ in this week’s The Economist. Regardless of its content, it really struck me that the issue of the Genocide is now at the forefront of the news and academic debate.

Yes, there has been a media fervour surrounding the atrocities of a century ago. With the likes of the Kardashians visiting Armenia, as well as Kanye West and System of a Down performing free concerts in our capital of Yerevan, the media has blown the issue to a proportion we could have never expected – especially in the UK. Even if various media outlets were commenting on more trivial things, like what Amal Clooney was wearing during the ECHR proceedings or what Khloe Kardashian decided to Vine in a cab in Yerevan, the Armenian Genocide was mentioned. Even the likes of the vitriol click-bait Buzzfeed ran a story on Armenia.

Despite the air of materialism, this media fervour has reaffirmed that the issue of Genocide denial is a crucial, and real, political issue. No longer can the likes of Obama or Sarkozy use the Genocide as a tool to gain more votes from Armenians – the world understands that the Genocide is now a humanitarian issue that transcends nationality.

How has this been manifested? Earlier this week Germany announced that it will recognise the Genocide – despite the fact that Germany is Turkey’s top trading partner and home to many Turkish émigrés. Austria and The Vatican also join this list, among others, to have recently transcended the realm of political favour and games to recognising one of the most shameful atrocities this world has ever seen.

Who remains missing from this list? The United Kingdom has remained quiet, despite a debate in our own House of Commons, as well as the European Parliament (one that we are very much part of) passing a resolution to accept the Genocide. On the other hand, the White House has stated that it will not recognise the Armenian Genocide in Obama’s centennial statement on April 24th. It seems political and military interests rank higher than humanitarian issues in this present time for the leaders of this world.

We cannot forget the toil of Armenians worldwide in not allowing the Genocide to be forgotten. Our work has been crucial, in whatever medium in has manifested itself in: from art, to theatre, to political activism – the list goes on. Such is the case that the ‘Turkish Cyber Army’ has attempted to hack websites advocating recognition of the Armenian Genocide – something I could only aliken to that of ISIS following the Charlie Hebdo shootings.

The Turkish government is the final obstacle in our struggle. Erdogan’s politics of envy is nothing short of disgusting: offering condolences to Armenians yet hosting Gallipoli commemorations on April 24th – an event that has no affiliation with the date. Denial is the final stage of genocide. 100 years later, and for eternity, we will never forget.

— Emin Moskofian

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