Following Armenian National Committee of America the European Armenian Federation (EAFJD) is considered as one of the most influential lobbying Armenian organizations. The “Hay Dat” European Committee struggles not only for Armenian Genocide recognition, but also for settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict proceeding from the right of NKR people to self-determination. EAFJD Chairman Hilda Tchoboyan answers the questions of PanARMENIAN.Net.
27.03.2007 GMT+04:00 Print version Send to mail
Judging from media Turkey activated his struggle against recognition of the Armenian Genocide not only in the United States, but also in Europe. What does Turkey fear so much?
The problem of recognizing the Armenian Genocide is within Turkey himself, in the Turkish society. If this country recognizes the Armenian Genocide it will cease to exist as a state. The whole world will look at Turkey as a state, which committed a genocide and which is a threat for neighboring countries and first of all for Armenia. Much is talked about that the current Turkish authorities are not responsible for what happened at the beginning of the 20th century, that the Armenian Genocide must be left for historians to discuss. But it is a wrong viewpoint. The “Hay Dat” Committees are sure that modern Turkey is the successor of the Ottoman Empire since the closest circle of republic’s founder Kemal Atatürk were those who are guilty in extermination of the Armenian nation. And exactly for this Turkey is responsible for the Genocide. In fact, Turkey’s policy towards national minorities is unchangeable over 200 years.
Can the “Hay Dat” European Office influence on recognition of the Armenian Genocide in all European countries, particularly in Germany?
As you know, exactly Germany is the initiator of adopting a bill on criminal punishment for denying all genocides, but there is no mention in the document about the Armenian Genocide. We are going to insist on the inclusion of the Armenian Genocide in it. The European Committee actively cooperates in this issue, we have 12 committees, where representatives of various nationalities are included and our goal is recognition and prevention of genocides. I’ll underline that in this case the problem is not with Germany, which is for adoption of this law, but in the general mood in EU countries. Hearings are scheduled for May 19 in the European Parliament, and if the bill is approved it will mean that it is compulsory for all EU member-states after bringing it in accordance with national legislation of every country. The “Hay Dat” Committees must carry out a work aimed at recognition of the Armenian Genocide by parliaments of various countries. If it happens, as a result the Armenian Genocide will be recognized by the international community.
The Armenian Genocide was the first in the 20th century but for some reasons the attention of the world community is concentrated on the Holocaust…
Not the world community, but Jews themselves are sure in it. They consider themselves as a nation chosen by God and state that nobody but themselves has undergone extermination. It is an ultimately wrong introduction of problem. Jewish communities of Europe have begun to approach to this understanding. They excellently realize that if an estimation was given to the Armenian Genocide in due time, the Holocaust may happen, but not in such scales.
It is considered that the “Hay Dat” Committees are busy only with the Armenian Genocide issue. Is it so?
“Hay Dat” is busy with pan-Armenian national problems, among which the problem of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict occupies a particular place. If you remember, some years ago reports of the Council of Europe (CoE) on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict were ultimately one-sided, the Azeri viewpoint prevailed there. By the efforts of the European Office, particularly works in the CoE structures we could reach our goal and now reports carry more balanced character. Particularly, earlier they used to talk only about Azeri refugees. After our statements and explanations reports began to include also situation with Armenian refugees from Azerbaijan and occupied districts of Nagorno Karabakh. We think that we must speak about everyone. And the fact that Baku holds his refugees in tent villages for more than 15 years does not do him credits.
How did the Diaspora reacted to the Dual citizenship law?
The Diaspora waited for the law of Dual Citizenship in Armenia a long time. When Armenia’s independence was declared a lot of us hoped that the Armenia government will recognize us as his own citizens. Unfortunately it did not happen. The Diaspora was very upset. And now we got moral satisfaction, we have a motherland where we can come and do everything possible for her prosperity. It is natural the fear of “local” citizens of the RA that the Diaspora will take the power into its hands, elect the president and so on. We are not going to do that, the law clearly indicates our rights and obligations. I consider the adoption of this law as very important, even if it is a bit belated step.