HOVANNISIAN: ARMENIA IS LESS DEMOCRATIC THAN TURKEY

Journal of Turkish Weekly
April 2 2006

Richard Hovannisian, a renowned U.S. academic of Armenian descent,
named Armenia a "failed state", Armenian press reported.

Richard Hovannisian, a senior professor of Armenian and Near Eastern
History at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), claimed
that domestic policies pursued by the administration of President
Robert Kocharian have alienated a large part of the country's
population and the influential Armenian community in the United States.

"Watching from the outside, we follow with pain the continuing
electoral and other illegalities committed in Armenia," he told RFE/RL
in an interview.

"We would have loved to see freedom of speech and thought in Armenia,
instead of repression, secret police persecution and lies spread by
state media" Prof. Dr. Richard Hovannisian added.

Hovannisian, who is arguably the most famous of Armenian-American
historians, believes that Armenia is now less democratic state
than Turkey.

Richard Hovannisian argued that Turkish press is freer than the press
in Armenia.

According to Ruzanna Stepanian from Armenia Liberty "The remark is
extraordinary for a scholar who has spent several decades researching
the 1915 Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire and campaigning for
its recognition by modern-day Turkey and the international community."

Hovannisian serves on the board of directors of nine scholarly and
civic organizations, including the International Institute on the
Holocaust and Genocide and the Washington-based Armenian National
Institute. He also became in 1990 the first foreign social scientist
to be elected a member of Armenia's National Academy of Sciences.

"We must not become a failed state. If this state also fails, we will
have no future," he added.

"As long as our rulers fail to realize that they are not on the right
track, that they must accept the people's will, that they must allow
political freedoms, I won't be able to say that there will be positive
change in this country."

Similarly Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sedat Laciner, director of Ankara-based
USAK, shares the idea of "failed state":

"Armenians failed to preserve their first independent Armenia. They
sacrificed it for the so-called revenge. If they seek to survive as
a state, they should have good relations with the neigbours. That's
the first and foremost thing they have to realise. They relied on the
Russians, British, French and Americans. Time passed and all of them
went to their homes. And the Armenians with the Turks shared the same
fate. Now the Armenians should not sacrifice their independent state.

They need Turkey, if they want an independent Armenia. Otherwise,
Armenia will be a tool in other nations' national interests."

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php ?id=29133

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress