Garo Paylan, the Turkish-Armenian lawmaker (People’s Democratic Party) who is in Yerevan this week as part of the Sixth Armenia-Diaspora Conference, on Friday reiterated his firm belief that Turkey will never bring itself to confronting its past unless it chooses the path towards building democracy.
“The Turkish parliament bans the use of ‘genocide’. But the word doesn’t matter at all given that we suffered the Great Massacres. What matters is to find the way towards building a dialogue with Turkey to speak openly of what happened in 1915. A crime of genocide which goes unpunished will regrettably continue also in future,” he told reporters.
Paylan said that despite the continuing policy of denial, the Armenians in Turkey keep insisting on their demand for laying the foundations of democracy in the country.
“My grandmother with whom I lived in the same house until I was ten, died without seeing justice. My father, who was looking for justice, also died. So two generations left us, and now we see the third and fourth generations struggle for justice. My belief is that only a democratic country can recognize the Genocide,” he said when asked to comment on the concerns that those are an attempt to delay the Genocide recognition for more centuries to come.
“We have many democratic friends in Turkey, also among members of [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s [Justice and Democracy] Party, but they are voiceless now against the nationalists’ rising demands,” he added.