Cetinoglu lists territories of Armenians’ properties in Turkey that need to be returned to the rightful inheritors

It is hard to expect confrontation from Turkey, or from a society that has created its entire world by stealing from a neighbor’s wife, daughter, jobs and fields. It is very hard to overcome the moral and psychological situation that was created in 1915. This is what well-known Turkish intellectual Sait Cetinoglu said as he viewed the possibility of Turkey’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide during an interview with “Armenpress”.

He emphasized the fact that the Armenian Genocide was perpetrated through the cooperation between a political party, the army and the people and that is why we are dealing with the issue of collective responsibility. “Besides the fact that the Turks gained material profit from the Genocide, they also recognized the culprits of the crime as leaders, and this is another matter of responsibility. From this perspective, recognition of the Armenian Genocide will imply elimination of the paradigm for the establishment of the country,” Cetinoglu stated.

He also touched upon the fact that, in our days, Turkey is perpetrating genocide outside of its borders. “The help and support that Turkey is providing to ISIS can be viewed as an action of perpetrating genocide outside of its borders since people who were somehow saved from genocide are now being killed as a result of that action. We can also view the attack on Nagorno-Karabakh from this perspective. Kessab, Malula, Khabur, Ninova, Sinjar…All the events that happened in these sites and the schism of Syria are the other side of the genocide that continues to this day. Turkey is providing the opportunity to move the genocide to the other side of the border. Shutting an eye on and supporting the actions of ISIS poses a danger to the future of Christians, Yazidis and those with ancient Muslim beliefs in the Near East. The actions being taken against them fully correspond to the provisions stated in the United Nations Genocide Convention,” the intellectual stated.

Talking about Turkey’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Cetinoglu said he didn’t envision that in the near future. “As long as the image of murderer Gabash Ali (Gabash Ali axed the Armenians and Pontiac Greeks of Amasia) still appears in the former Armenian district of Amasia that is currently the Square of Sultan Selim, it is impossible to see Turkey’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the near future. However, from the point where mankind has reached, it is also impossible to continue to deny. Sooner or later, the genocide will be recognized and the issue of reparations will be discussed,” Cetinoglu emphasized, attaching importance to the support of the international community in this regard. Cetinoglu stated specific steps that can help make reparations. “There is a lot of work to do before reparations.

Apology, acknowledge of the crime of genocide, relief from shame and acknowledgement of collective responsibility for genocide are the major steps that will lead to restoration. From this perspective, it is extremely important for members of families to try to understand what happened in 1915. As a part of the collective responsibility, each person should ask himself what his ancestor was doing in 1915. As collective responsibility for genocide, everyone must consider it his duty to apologize. Under the leadership of the state, each person must apologize and place a statute called “Never Again” in memory of the victims. The names of people associated with the genocide must be wiped from schools, streets, avenues and other public places. Symbolic buildings, the office of the modern-day Prime Minister (pertaining to the Kasabyans), the palace of Ataturk in Trabizon (considered the property of the Kabayaniss), the Museum of Ataturk of Shishli (considered the property of the Spartalyans), the building of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (the building pertained to the Hanchyans) and other structures need to be returned to the rightful inheritors…Political parties can express the desire to clarify under which conditions the officials having taken control over others’ properties through genocide will return the properties to the rightful owners. The liberal and socialist political parties should primarily express such a desire.

As for individuals, it is important for intellectuals to take the lead. Forcefully Islamized women and children need to be identified and announced. The states having reached agreements on exchange o people without taking into consideration people’s desires need to apologize. Archives and documents need to be available for researchers. The right to citizenship and residency must be granted to the victims of the Armenian Genocide and the representatives of the third generation of the expelled who express such desire. Only after this will it be possible to start working on creating conditions for reparations,” he concluded.

Araks Kasyan

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