RECOGNITION OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE IS NOT AN END IN ITSELF, HISTORIAN EMPHASIZES

Noyan Tapan
Armenians Today
Apr 24 2006

YEREVAN, APRIL 24, NOYAN TAPAN - ARMENIANS TODAY. Parallelly with the
international recognition of the Armenian Genocide committed at the
beginning of the previous century by the Ottoman Turkey we should also
raise the issue of Armenian demands. Political scientist-specialist
on international affairs, doctor, professor Stepan Stepanian, Head
of the Department on the History of the Armenian Cause and Armenian
Genocide of the Institute of History of RA National Academy of
Sciences, expressed such an opinion at the April 21 meeting at the
Pakagits club. The political scientist mentioned that 18 countries
have already recognized the Armenian Genocide, among which there are
such big states as Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Canada. Stepanian
gave assurance that this process will continue. However, according
to him, the recognition of the Genocide is not an end in itself and
the time has already come when the Armenians should raise the issue
of compensation on the international arena.

According to the historian, the recognition should be used for
overcoming the consequences of the Genocide. Stepanian mentioned the
largest loss, the murder of 2 mln Armenians, is irreversible but the
other consequence is the lost territories that should be returned to
the Armenian people spread throughout the world up to this day. "The
demands of Armenians are legal and we should not conceal them and
make the recognition of the Armenian Genocide an end in itself, he
declared. S.Stepanian gave assurance that Turkey will never recognize
the Genocide. "This country, in essence, with its barbarian policy,
its attitude towards non-Turkish nations has not changed at all,
moreover, it has become more brutalized. If I was asked about the
biggest lie in the world I would say that this is the denial of the
Armenian Genocide by the Turks. I do not think that any one can make
Turkey give up this policy," he declared. Answering questions about
Russia's role in the issue of the Genocide, Stepanian mentioned
that, of course, this country had interests of its own but Russia
has never contributed to the Genocide. Meanwhile he mentioned that
the retreat of the Russian army contributed to the big slaughter
of Armenians. According to Stepanian, many of Armenian historians
think that the voluntary movement was unnecessary for Armenians as
this enraged the Turks for even more. However, in the Armenians'
affirmation, the voluntary movement saved many people both in the
Eastern and Western Armenia. As for the Turks, they, according to
Stepanian, had worked out a program of exterminating Armenians long
ago. This is a program of establishing a "Big Turan" that exists up
to this day and Armenia hampers its realization at present. He called
"disgraceful" the Treaty of Moscow concluded on March 16 1921 between
Russia and Turkey, according to which part of the Eastern Armenia
was given to Turkey and Karabakh to Azerbaijan.

Meanwhile the speaker said that at that time Armenia was ruled by
the Dashnaktsutiun party "which carried out a coup in February 1921,
seized the power and held it until the treaty was signed". Touching
upon the Treaty of Sevres, Stepanian said that according to the treaty,
only one part of the territory of Western Armenia was included in the
independent Armenian state. According to him, the Treaty of Sevres was
concluded by representatives of Dashnaktsutiun government in August
1920 and in December 1920 the Dashnaktsutiun government signed the
Treaty of Alexandropol with Turkey, Article 9 of which invalidated
the Treaty of Sevres.