By Kimberly Brothers-Caisse
Worcester State University
After 100 years of denial, Philosophy Professor Henry Theriault hopes the release of the Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group’s final report marks a turning point for Turkey to finally take responsibility for the atrocity.
This is the first time a comprehensive report on the Armenian Genocide has been published with detailed reparations and parallels to other human-rights struggles, notes Theriault, the chair of the expert panel convened in 2007 for the project, which was funded initially by a grant from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun. The report was a response to advocates asking scholars to “make concrete proposals based on academic points” for policy makers.
A lawsuit in Turkey filed by the Armenian Church to recover its ancient headquarters, seized a century ago during the Armenian genocide, is the “first legal step” of a goal to reclaim all Armenian property seized by the Turks, a worldwide leader of the church said Monday.
The leader, Aram I, Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia, also said that if the Turkish legal authorities rejected the lawsuit, it would “deepen the divide” between Turkey and the 10-million-member Armenian diaspora.
Aram I spoke in an interview at The New York Times while on a visit to diaspora communities in the Northeast after having participated in genocide centennial events in Washington.
The Armenian Weekly Magazine
April 2015: A Century of Resistance
This paper is an expansion of remarks given by the author at McGill University and the University of Toronto on March 18 and 20, 2015, respectively.
There is an oft-repeated false truism about genocide, that denial is the final stage of genocide. It is so unquestionably accepted that it has even made its way into formal stage-theories of genocide. It is, unfortunately, quite wrong. Denial is not the final stage of genocide, but rather present throughout most of the genocidal process. When they are doing it, perpetrators almost inevitably deny that what they are doing is genocide. For instance, Talaat and his cronies were adamant that their violence against Armenians was not one-sided mass extermination, but instead a response to Armenian rebellion and violent perfidy in Van and elsewhere. They maintained that the deportations were intended to move Armenians to other areas of the empire, not a means of destroying the Armenian population of village after village, town after town.
The sky above the Armenian Cemetery of Diyarbakir (Photo: Scout Tufankjian)
YEREVAN—The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) World Council unanimously passed a resolution on the Armenian Genocide Centennial, demanding reparations for the crime, condemning its denial and vowing to educate IUSY member organizations about the crime worldwide. The World Council, which took place in Yerevan and was hosted by the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) of Armenia, adopted the resolution on May 9.
Every year on April 24, the day commonly accepted as the beginning of the Armenian genocide, Ankara vehemently refuses to recognize the 1915 massacre and deportation of Ottoman Armenians living in Anatolia as genocide, and focuses on Washington and whether the US president will use the word “genocide” in his April 24 message. As this year was the centennial of the Armenian genocide, Ankara and the Armenian diaspora as well as Yerevan paid special attention to the matter. The general expectation was that even though it is the centennial, President Barack Obama would not want to damage bilateral ties with Turkey. This is in fact what happened, and Obama did not say the word.
BEIRUT: Tashnag leader MP Hagop Pakradounian characterized the centenary of the Armenian genocide as both a memorial service and a call for justice, saying Armenians would never surrender to the ongoing assault on their presence in the region.
“The mere fact that the Armenians are [still] present, that we are still talking about the Armenian question, that we are exerting pressure, that we are remembering and demanding, it means that the Turks couldn’t succeed in their plans.”
Pakradounian said remembrance is particularly important to the Armenians in Lebanon, “because the diaspora is constituted of those who were subject to the genocide. My grandfather was killed in 1915. It’s very logical that I will have this grievance more, and this ‘fight against Turkey’ more, so I can take back my rights.”
Behind the Turkish government’s denials of the century-old Armenian genocide lurks the possibility that survivors and their descendants could be deemed legally entitled someday to financial reparations, perhaps worth tens of billions of dollars or more.
The Turkish authorities take the position that there is nothing that needs to be repaid. Moreover, no judicial mechanism exists in which claims of such magnitude, from events 100 years ago, could be litigated. But Armenian activists have nonetheless increasingly focused on the issue of compensation in recent years.
Henry Theriault is a professor and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Worcester State University in the United States. Over 1999-2007, he coordinated the University’s Center for the Study of Human Rights. His research focuses on reparations, victim-perpetrator relations, genocide denial, genocide prevention, and mass violence against women and girls.
Since 2007, he has chaired the Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group and is the lead author of its March 2015 final report, Resolution with Justice. This week Henry Theriault is visiting Armenia to take part in the Against the Crime of Genocide Global Forum due to be held in Yerevan on April 22-23.
In his exclusive interview to Mediamax, he talked about the recent report on the Armenian Genocide reparations.
Nvard Chalikyan from Panorama.am has spoken with Professor Henry C. Theriault – Chair of the Philosophy Department at Worcester State University and Chair of the Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group (AGRSG) about the recently published report of the Group titled Resolution with Justice: Reparations for the Armenian Genocide (Armenian and English versions of the full report are available here).
YEREVAN (A.W./Asbarez) – The Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group on Monday issued its final report, entitled “Resolution with Justice—Reparations for the Armenian Genocide,” offering an unprecedented comprehensive analysis of the legal, historical, political, and ethical dimensions of the question of reparations for the Armenian Genocide.
In September 2014, the group completed the report, and released the introduction. With the announcement on Monday, the AGRSG is making the entire report available for download, free of charge.