Thursday, 25 February 2021

E Editorial

April 24: Forever Faithful to its Sacred Meaning

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"The coverup of evil or its denial is like allowing the wound to continue to bleed without being bandaged."
Pope Francis

There are events and facts in Armenian history that never become a thing of the past. One such case is the 1915 Armenian Genocide in Western Armenia and throughout Ottoman Turkey, a catastrophe in which the collective image of the Armenian people's unrelenting suffering, deprivation and loss is concentrated. The pain of the Great Dispossession, the grief of the loss of one and a half million consecrated martyrs, the loss of our spiritual and civilizational treasures, the fragments of unfulfilled hopes and apricot dreams of Armenians around the world have been preserved and passed down from generation to generation.

History itself has given the answer to the question of why so many Armenians live outside their historical homeland. And now many countries and international organizations are well aware of the monstrous crime that befell our ancient people, the first Genocide of the 20th century. Unfortunately, the leadership of the well-known state which is currently chanting its devotion to universal values, has not yet repented for the atrocities committed by its ancestors. Moreover, it continues it policy of denial, trying to persuade the international community to remove from the world agenda the issue of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide

Academician Richard Hovannisian, one of the prominent figures in genocide studies, said in one of his speeches, referring to the issue of Turkish denial, that generations of Turks who have been taught falsified history cannot accept that Kemal's team was made up of murderers, as Kemal is now half-god in Turkey.  Some Turkish intellectuals also do not deny that stereotypes do not allow them to get rid of the myths they have created, one of which is the "myth" of Kemal Ataturk. "We have no personal memory in our country," said Murat Belge, a professor and literary critic at Istanbul's Bilgi University. "The state is telling us what to remember and what not. In this case, we become skilled not in remembering but forgetting."

According to experts, the process of "manipulating" society in that country has caused a historical rift between the generations. However, "you will not hide the machetes in the sack" - crimes against humanity, especially when it comes to genocide, have no statute of limitations. Turkey will sooner or later recognize the Armenian Genocide, it's just a matter of time. For Armenians, April 24th is not just a memory, it is a lesson to present itself to the world not as a victim, but as a nation that has overcome the tragedy of the Genocide with dignity. To present itself not as a nation continually subjected to genocide, but as a people who persistently defended itself and won the war unleashed by the modern Azeri-Turks. And finally, the modern-day meaning of April 24 is to re-evaluate our place and role in the "shrinking" world: who are we today, where do we come from and where are we going?

Armenians bear the greatest tragedy of the beginning of the last century, of which the survivors are invincible. It is quite true that it is impossible to intimidate our nation anymore, because it has seen the worst. By physically destroying many Armenians, they only made the Armenian spirit and the Armenian gene strong and unbreakable. One of the brightest proofs of this is the Artsakh war, which clearly showed that the most effective way to counter the genocidal threats in the modern world is not to make petitions to international bodies, but to organize oneself on one's own soil and fight for one's God-given rights.

Due to the current pandemic, on April 24 of this year we did not rise together to Tsitsernakaberd. At the urging of the state of emergency, we stayed at home and this time marked the memory of the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide in our homes and souls. "We remember and demand," "Never again!" This is the sacred message of, and our sublime commitment to, the descendants of our people reborn. A generation that today has not forgotten what it left behind, but confidently looks to the future.

The Armenian Center for National and International Studies

Yerznkian 75, 0033
Yerevan, Armenia


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