Ninety years ago, on April 24, 1915, the Ottoman Turkey started the genocide of the Armenian. For political reasons, a state had decided to exterminate a whole people. The Turkish tried to get rid of the Armenian issue, availing themselves of the chaos caused by World War I. One million and a half Armenians died and hundreds of thousands should have fled from their settlements. It is our moral duty not to forget our murdered ancestors. This genocide was not always condemned by the country where it had been devised and executed.
Legally speaking, we demand that the victims be registered and that the guilty be named. Presently in Turkey, one can always be the object of a judicial proceeding if the word genocide is associated to the extermination of Armenians.
We want to highlight the universal implications of such a crime against humanity. The international institutions - the European Parliament among them - have requested that Turkey face its past since these black spots will grow on to be virulent ones as long as the Turkish do not expiate them. It is a matter of the Turkish internal policy; the behavior in the face of such a genocide may reveal the system of values of a society. Some Turkish scholars have started to insist on their people accepting their responsibilities and I bow to their courage. The Turkish adhesion process to the EU may cause the relationships between our two countries to evolve. In the meantime, the EU is getting ready to assimilate a country that has been blocking the Armenian border’s pathway since more than a century ago and whose conditions for an opening are unacceptable. Europe must convince Turkey of the essential need to acknowledge the first genocide of the 20th century and that its behavior so far disagrees with the values of Europe.

Die Welt (Germany)

Die Türkei muß Genozid anerkennen”, by Vartan Oskanian, Die Welt, April 20, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.