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2015 is the centenary of the Armenian genocide that cost the lives of up to a millions Armenian men, women and children.
What makes the Armenian Genocide so important is that because it was so “successful” from an Ottoman Turk point of view, that it became a sort of blueprint for further acts of genocide in the 20th century. Infamously, Adolf Hitler is reported to have said: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
The relative success of the Armenian Genocide encouraged others, including Hitler, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, and the Rwandan Government to carry out further acts of genocide.
Acknowledgement and recognition by the international community that the atrocities committed against the Armenian people between 1915 and 1922 amounted to genocide is vital in order to ensure justice and accountability for the Armenian people, and to strengthen global jurisprudence towards preventing further acts of genocide. Some countries including France, Russia, US Congress and the European Parliament have already recognised the Armenian Genocide but many others including Ireland and the UK have yet to do so.
The present Turkish Government must be pressurised by the international community into accepting that its predecessors perpetrated genocide against the Armenian people. Turkey has aspirations to membership of the EU, and Europe needs Turkey as a positive bridge towards the Middle East and towards Islamic communities.The EU should make it clear that recognition of the Armenian Genocide must be a prerequisite for EU membership, and perhaps lead to EU membership for both Turkey and Armenia.
Dr Edward Horgan
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