The Armenia-Turkey Protocols present a critical juncture in our nation’s history.
Through the stroke of a pen, the rights, dignity and interests of the Armenian people threaten to be sacrificed on the altar of political and economic expediency.
• The countless years of relentless work put into having the world open up its eyes to the reality of the Armenian Genocide risk being undermined through the creation of a so-called ‘historic commission.’
• The Armenian people’s legal and moral claims to Ararat, Ani, Kars, Van and the rest of our historic homeland threaten to be forfeited through the legitimization of a border created through Genocide and aggression.
• The sacrifice of thousands of our best men and women in the liberation of Artsakh threatens to be compromised by an agreement emphasizing artificial state boundaries above the right to self-determination.
The recent qualified ruling handed down by the Armenian Constitutional Court—while deciding that the Protocols are constitutional—held serious judicial reservations. The Court stated that ratification of the Protocols cannot contradict Article 11 of Armenia’s Declaration of Independence [The Republic of Armenia stands in support of the task of achieving international recognition of the 1915 Genocide in Ottoman Turkey and Western Armenia] and that the Protocols cannot speak on behalf of Artsakh.
The unprecedented international outpouring of anger and opposition to the provisions of the Protocols resounded in a loud and unified “NO!” to the officials in Yerevan. It reminded the ruling elite in Armenia and throughout the world that our perseverance as a people has never come out of submission and capitulation. Our triumph over the odds has not been a result of backdoor deals and political maneuverings. Rather, our survival has been due to the resilient determination to struggle for our basic rights.
The dangerous implications of the Protocols for our national interests point, more than ever, to the urgent need to change the undemocratic, unjust, and inequitable conditions in our homeland. The lack of accountability of those in power and the disillusionment of the general population must be reversed if we want to see the viable and prosperous Armenia we all envision in our hearts. Such a reversal will require us to not turn away from Armenia, but rather to flock more firmly towards it.
Just as we struggle against the odds to maintain our identity and community in the Diaspora, we must come together collectively—organized and determined—to overcome the obstacles that stand before our nation’s future.
The onus is on us to unite and do the work required to see our struggle through; to ensure the sanctity of our national and historical interests and to declare that they are not for sale, at any cost.
The goals remain to secure the international recognition of Artsakh’s statehood, the pursuit of reparations from the Government of Turkey for the crime of Genocide, an end of the occupation of Western Armenia and the establishment of social justice, human rights and democracy in the Republic of Armenia.