Turkish Scholar Discusses Armenian Genocide Reparations

Turkish scholar Sait Çetinoğlu
Turkish scholar Sait Çetinoğlu
YEREVAN (Armenpress)—It is hard to expect confrontation from Turkey, from a society which created its whole world through taking the neighbor’s wife, girl, work and fields. It is very difficult to overcome the moral and psychological situation which was created in 1915, Turkish scholar Sait Çetinoğlu said.

He stated that the Armenian Genocide was committed by the party-army-people cooperation, that’s why we deal with the issue of collective responsibility. “Besides the fact that Turkish people gained material interest from the Genocide, they declared the perpetrators of that crime as their heads which is another issue of responsibility. From this perspective, the recognition of the Genocide will mean destruction of paradigm of the country’s foundation,” he said.

He referred to the fact that nowadays Turkey commits Genocide beyond its borders. “The Turkish assistance to the “Islamic State” can be considered as an action to spread genocide beyond its borders since it results in the killings of the Genocide survivors. We can say the same also in case of the Karabakh attack.

“Kesab, Malula, Khabur, Ninova, Sinjar…what happened in these places and the separation of Syria are the other parts of the continuing genocide. Turkey gives opportunity to transform genocide from its borders. Closing eyes and supporting the IS actions put in danger the future of Christians, Yazidis, non-Muslim people of the Middle East. The actions against them are in accordance with the provisions of the UN Convention on Genocide”, Çetinoğlu stated.

Speaking about the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey, Çetinoğlu said he does not see that happening in the near future. “However, if we take into account the point where the people reached, it is also impossible to continue denial. Sooner or later the Genocide will be recognized and the issue of reparations will be discussed,” Çetinoğlu stated this highlighting the role the international community has on this issue.

Reparations, according to Çetinoğlu, can be achieved through several steps:

“First of all, forgiveness, acceptance of the crime of genocide, shame release, and acceptance of the collective responsibility of the genocide are all important steps. It is vital that each family understands what happened in 1915. To be a part of the collective responsibility, everyone should ask themselves “What was my grandfather doing in 1915?”

  • Being a part of the collective responsibility, everyone is obliged to apologize.
  • Apology from the State and build a monument entitled “Never again” for the memory of the victims. The names of the people associated with Genocide should be removed from schools, avenues, streets and other public places.
  • Buildings should be returned to their real heirs…
  • Political parties should express clarification on the conditions the officials who took others’ property as a result of genocide and should return to them to their heirs. Parties with freedom and socialist ideologies should especially express this.
  • Coming to the individuals, it is important that intellectuals take the lead in this matter.
  • Islamized women and children should become known to the public.
  • Counties that agreed on the forced trade of Armenians must apologize.
  • Archives and documents should be opened for researchers.
  • Citizenship and the right to live must be given to Genocide victims and the third generations of the exiled people.

Only after these steps, the reparation issue is possible to begin,” Çetinoğlu concluded.