Giving a speech at the global forum “Against the Crime of Genocide” in Yerevan, Professor Henry Theriault – lecturer and dean of the Philosophy Faculty at Worcester State University (USA) – stated that fair negotiations between Armenia and Turkey are possible only if fair compensation is provided.
“Lands, money, bank accounts were taken away from Armenians, mass confiscation even reached household items, furniture,” he said. The expert noted that the economy of the Turkish Republic was created on Armenian property, and thousands of Armenians were deprived of everything and doomed to poverty.
“The Turks benefited from the genocide, and it allowed them to flourish,” Terio said. He noted that, according to various estimates, had there been no genocide, there would be more than 20 million Armenians today.
“It is more than important to raise the issue of fair compensation,” the expert noted. He added that the compensation should apply to all Armenians as a group rather than to individuals, although they may make claims.
“We need to focus on collective compensation. Territorial claims usually are a delicate matter. But the return of territories cannot be considered as an absurd assumption,” he noted.
“Present Turkey is obliged to compensate for the harm caused 100 years ago. Compensation is possible. The genocide becomes a heavy burden not only for Armenians but also for Turkey, and they bear moral responsibility for it. And if this requires certain sacrifices from Turkey, then it is justly.”
On December 9, the Third Global Forum Against the Crime of Genocide was held in Yerevan. In his opening remarks at the event, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan noted, in particular, that thanks to the efforts by Raphael Lemkin, who had devoted his life to the fight against these crimes, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted on December 9, 1948.
The forum was organized with the support of the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, in cooperation with the International Association of Genocide Scholars.