(Saturday, April 22)
In an editorial on the 91st anniversary of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey, “Aravot” says the existence of an independent and democratic Armenia is the best guarantee of avoiding such tragedies in the future. “Surely these two definitions only partly apply to our state,” “Being independent and democratic is not just required by the USA or the Council of Europe but most importantly by national pragmatism. However, our authorities are pragmatic only when it comes to their jobs and pockets. That is what prompts them to surrender to Russia and suppress freedom inside the country.”
“Aravot” sees the following lessons that need to be learned from the genocide: “Where we can fight and have a cancer to win, let us fight. Where it is clear that we don’t stand a chance, let us negotiate and apply diplomacy and, in other words, set ourselves feasible tasks. When tasks become maximalist … there arises a danger of losing what we have.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says Turkey is taking a more cautious line on the genocide issue and Turkish-Armenian relations in general. “Turkey is trying to seemingly soften its attitude toward Armenia and defuse the urgency of Armenian genocide recognition and the Armenian question in general in the international arena,” says the paper. It calls for the creation in the Armenian Diaspora of a “pan-national body” representing descendants of all genocide victims.
Stepan Stepanian of the History Institute of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences tells “Azg” that the Armenian campaign for international recognition of the genocide risks becoming an “end in itself” unless it is accompanied by territorial claims to Turkey. “We must now switch to the other aspect of the problem,” he says. “Turkey will never recognize [the genocide]. Therefore, we must use what we have for eliminating consequences of the genocide.” Another Armenian historian, Rafael Hambartsumian, is quoted as alleging that Russia was equally responsible for the mass killings and deportations of Armenians. Russia, he says, “has always used Armenian blood for attaining its expansionist goals.” “Turkey owes the existence of its current borders only to Russia,” adds Hambartsumian.
“168 Zham” suggests that Armenia’s Constitutional Court handed down its “fruitless” ruling on the controversial house demolitions in Yerevan as part of the authorities’ broader efforts to ease public anger over the forcible evictions of scores of city residents. The paper is convinced that all parties to the Constitutional Court litigation on the issue knew what the verdict will be in advance.
The redevelopment projects in Yerevan are also criticized by some senior government officials. “Yerevan should not have been allowed to lose its past beautiful look, convenience,” Deputy Culture Minister Gagik Gyurjian tells “Golos Armenii.” “If all goes on like this, the capital’s oldest building will be Persian Blue Mosque.”