ARMENIANS URGED TO REJECT ANKARA-YEREVAN DEAL
Hurriyet Daily News
Nov 13 2009
The head of the largest and most radical Armenian-American group
has urged Armenians throughout the world to reject a historic
reconciliation process between Ankara and Yerevan, saying the deal
would greatly hurt efforts for the recognition of what he termed the
The Armenians have "a choice to move forward. A choice, very simply,
between survival and surrender," said Ken Hachikian, chairman of the
Armenian National Committee of America, or ANCA, before a largely
Armenian audience in Pasadena, California, on Thursday.
Turkish and Armenian foreign ministers signed a set of protocols Oct.
10 under which Ankara and Yerevan have planned to establish normal
diplomatic relations and reopen their land border. The deal, if
ratified by the respective countries’ parliaments, would effectively
end decades of hostile relations.
But Armenian-Americans are focusing solely on winning formal U.S.
recognition of the World War I-era killings of their kinsmen in the
Ottoman Empire as "genocide."
"The tavern keepers of our day argue that the path they advocate
[the Ankara-Yerevan normalization process] will lead to peace and
prosperity, when, in reality, it only defers the day when our nation
will pay the full price for surrender," Hachikian said.
Casting doubt on ‘genocide’
"They would have us accept – under foreign pressure – the ‘protocols’
being forced upon the Armenian nation, even though they clearly
threaten Armenia’s security, abandon the rights of all Armenians,
and cast doubt on the Armenian genocide," he said.
"They would have us reduce the Armenian genocide from a crime against
all humanity – one that must be recognized by the American government
and resolved truthfully and justly by the international community and,
of course, by Turkey – to a simple bilateral dispute to be negotiated
between states, states of vastly unequal power," Hachikian said.
He said that the world’s Armenians "must reject retreat. Survival,
not surrender: There is no other choice," he said.
On the occasion of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s upcoming
visit to Washington, the ANCA launched a fresh public campaign to
obtain U.S. recognition of the genocide earlier this week.
Erdogan and U.S. President Barack Obama are scheduled to meet at the
White House on Dec. 7. The Obama administration staunchly supports
the Ankara-Yerevan normalization process.