YEREVAN (ARMENPRESS)—A committee formed within the Armenian state commission on the coordination of events for the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide is reportedly preparing a file on the legal claims of property and other rights and interests of the Armenian people in the aftermath of the Genocide.
Gagik Harutyunyan, president of the Constitutional Court of Armenia, heads the committee, and will discuss the file and future processes during a meeting of the state commission on September 26.
Vigen Sargsyan, President Serzh Sarkisian’s chief of staff and coordinator of events dedicated to the Genocide centennial, told Armenpress that the process of restoring the rights of the Armenian people has just begun.
“You know, we already have the first legal claims filed by [the] Catholicos of the Holy See of Cilicia. I think that the process will continue, people will start re-evaluating documents, the heritage, the evidence they possess. The ‘Share Your Story’ project greatly contributes to the latter, which we realized on the official website of the Armenian Genocide Centennial, where young people especially [have] posted their family stories, memories, arousing demand in them,” Sargsyan said.
The provisions of the Pan-Armenian Declaration on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, adopted on January 29, 2015, expresses the united will of Armenia and the Armenian people to achieve worldwide recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and the elimination of the consequences of the Genocide. To this end, the file being prepared on the Armenian people’s legal claims is a point of departure in the process of restoring individual, communal and pan-Armenian rights and legitimate interests.
Sargsyan said that the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and especially its emblematic Forget-Me-Not flower, have served their purpose. The events held on April 22-24 in Armenia were broadcast by the world media, reaching 1.3 billion people worldwide.
“Taking into account that all the international channels ensured live broadcasting, it provided the possibility for large masses to get familiarized with the events in a way we wanted them to,” Sargsyan said.
In practical terms, according to Sargsyan, the events dedicated to the centennial of the Armenian Genocide created new models of cooperation between Armenia and the Diaspora.
“All of us worked together; the success of the 100th anniversary events proves the immense power of cooperation. I think that Armenia became home to the Armenians spread all over the world where they would like to return to as a place for uniting their ideas, achieving professional success, [and] implementing projects,” emphasized Sargsyan.
The most inspiring and modest result of the centennial events and the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute is the daily visit of Turkish tourists to the museum. Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Hayk Demoyan said during a meeting with journalists that more Turks visited the museum in the last month than during the 15 years of the museum’s existence.
“Turks’ visits to the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute have become regular. The greatest and the most impressive thing for us is their silence. If earlier they used to come with certain skepticism, made inquiries, cast doubts, today they do not have reasons for questioning,” Demoyan stated, adding that to some extent they had reached the goal: to reach Turkish society so that Turks can begin understanding why a new chain of events occurred in terms of international recognition of the Genocide all over the world.
“Why are exhibitions organized on [the governmental] level in Paris and [in] over 40 cities of France? Why [did] state officials visit Tsitsernakaberd? This complex of “why’s” will lead to an important objective, so that we become able to change approaches among future generations [of Turks], so that they understand that their authorities distort the reality,” noted Demoyan.
A forum of experts gathered today in Yerevan under the slogan, “I remember and Demand,” to discuss the results of Armenian Genocide centennial events held this year.
The number of countries which have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide has reached twenty four, deputy foreign minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said today.
According to Kocharyan, five counties recognized the Armenian Genocide between 2014 and 2015. Kocharyan said that another important point is that the number of countries that have criminalized the denial of the Armenian Genocide has increased from two to four.
“Extremely important are the reactions of various international organizations, the resolutions they adopted, including the European Council, which not only condemn the Armenian Genocide, but also call on Turkey to come to terms with its history,” Kocharyan said.
Kocharyan emphasized also the recognition by Armenia of the Greek and Assyrian genocides in the Ottoman Empire as an important step.