The Events of 1915

Political Dimension

Armenian communities living in Western countries are often represented by very well-organized nationalist associations that have chosen to build an Armenian identity fixated on having the events of 1915 internationally recognized as genocide. Consequently, they could form a public perception as if the Armenian narrative is widely accepted or even adopted by a consensus. A series of aggressive public relations campaigns are the reason that this perception is wide-spread. However, there is no “political or scientific consensus” on this issue.

The decisions of recognition of genocide by various Parliaments are mere reflections of daily political will, and are not legally binding.

The fact that approximately 28 out of around 200 (Armenia and Greek Cypriots excluded) national legislatures motivated by the international conjecture took decisions mostly of a non-binding nature, in support of the Armenian narrative is not of much importance. It is evident that these decisions were partly fait accompli, that there were also numerous parliamentarians who voted against the Armenian narrative and that the issue was approached without understanding the entirety of this complicated historical issue and with convictions, preconceptions and religious justifications.

For instance, a draft to recognise the events of 1915 as genocide had been rejected by 245 votes to 37 in 2008 in the Swedish Parliament. Then, in two years’ time, in 2010 a draft with similar content was passed with 151 votes against 150. What could be the new historical evidence that would cause the Swedish Parliament to change its position? The case of Sweden openly shows the variability and the inconsistency of such decisions.

The real judge is the people and their conscience. And in my conscience, the conscience of no state authority could ever match the conscience of a people. My only wish is to talk freely about our shared past with my beloved friends here in Turkey –in the most comprehensive manner, and without extracting animosity from that past...

Hrant Dink, 1 November 2004