Turkey’s repeated statements, offering apologies to the Armenians for the 1915 Genocide, are not absolutely enough to reinstate historical justice, a leading Turkish-German historian and genocide scholar said in Yerevan. At a public lecture delivered at the American University of Armenia (AUA), Taner Akçam stressed the urgent need of serious efforts towards providing material redress.
“For me, as a scholar, apologies by Turkey are really enough,” he said, referring to his extensive scholarly research devoted to the topic. “But what I propose for my government, i.e. – the government of the Republic of Turkey, is to follow Germany’s example. After World War II, Germany not only acknowledged the [Jewish] Holocaust but also initiated a process with representatives of Israel and the Jewish community.
And they eventually concluded the 1952 Luxemburg Accord, which proposed tremendous compensation,” he noted.Akçam, whom the New York Times described as the “Sherlock Holmes of Armenian Genocide” in an April 2017 review, also called for a consistently serious attention to the future fight for justice. “Justice must be reinstated. This process, involving Turkey, Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora, must be finally initiated. And it must be an open debate; agreements or disagreements are really possible … but apologies alone are not enough for re-establishing justice. What matters is material redress,” the historian added.
He also admitted the impossibility of measuring the losses suffered. “It isn’t just about a certain amount of money. We can never ‘transport’ the big civilization which the Armenians created in their historical homeland. Material [values] are not something to satisfy the Armenians,” he added.