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Published on Apr 24, 2015
This year marks the official centenary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turkey. We must commemorate that tragic event and think of the one and a half million innocent murdered victims. But we should also be about looking to the future.
Since closing its border with Armenia in 1993, Turkey has pursued a relentlessly hostile policy towards Armenia. This centenary offers an opportunity for Turkey to reach out, to recognise the genocide and to seek dialogue with regard to reopening the international border as a gesture of goodwill. Turkey claims justification for the closure of the border by citing its solidarity with its Turkic brothers in Azerbaijan, but we have seen this for the smokescreen that it really is by witnessing Turkey’s inaction over the persecution of Turkic Tatars in Crimea.
Armenia and its diaspora do not seek restitution or compensation, they only seek recognition. Erdogan’s Minister for Europe has claimed that accession to the EU remains Turkey’s number one priority. Let that claim be honoured today by joining the 11 EU Member States and national parliaments that recognise the Armenian genocide and offering closure on this dark episode of Turkish history.