Message of the Third President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan on the Occasion of the Armenian Genocide Victims Remembrance Day
Today is the Armenian Genocide Victims Remembrance Day. I reiterate my message articulated in the past: before being Homeland demanders, let us be Homeland defenders, all of us.
As long as the Turkish Republic at the highest state level implements the policies of deceiving its own people and the international community and along with denying the Armenian Genocide promotes openly the ideology of Pan-Turkism, the danger that a genocide can happen again is always there. Statements of that country’s leadership related to peace and good-neighborly relations will always be regarded as a new ploy to deaden the awareness of the neighboring nation and the international community. To prevent that, we have to act.
I appeal to all Armenians who are able to think clearly, who know history’s lessons, who have national dignity, who value above everything else our Fatherland’s freedom and independence:
Let us oppose in every possible and impossible way the weak and cowardly, begging for peace at any cost, self-seekers type which is alien to our essence and foreign to our soul. Let us condemn publicly and banish that homeland sellers type. Let us be alert and always ready to fight when our enemy attempts again to fulfill its ages-long dream.
I appeal to my fellow citizens who in the daily hassle overlook our Fatherland, who consider the defense of our country somebody else’s task, who are disappointed and despondent:
For the sake of your children’s future, for their right to live free and independent in their own country, for the immortal memory of the martyrs who for centuries fought and gave their lives for our country, shake off the apathy, cast away the indifference and despair and stand by your struggling brothers and sisters. They fight also for you and your children, for their future.
I appeal to the citizens of the Turkish Republic:
Don’t allow your authorities to deceive and mislead you when they say that what happened at the beginning of the last century “was nothing like a human tragedy”, that there is no factual evidence of the Armenian presence on the territory of the historical Armenia, that more than one and a half million Armenians were not subjected to ethnic cleansing and massacres, that over a million Armenians were not expelled from their homeland, that Armenian historical and cultural heritage is not being erased in the contemporary Turkey. Look around you, find and talk to your fellow citizens living next to you: their grandparents and relatives witnessed all that, some of them even tried to save their Armenian neighbors from the state-devised extermination. Search for the truth, search everywhere because traces are all over the world, no matter how hard some are trying to conceal or eliminate them. Find and read accounts of the witnesses, trust your own intellectuals who are being persecuted for telling the truth: they have the courage and honesty to tell the truth. To live side by side in peace in a better world, it is important to know the truth, to fight for it, and to have good judgement.
I appeal to the countries which have recognized the Armenian Genocide and condemned that crime against humanity:
Your brave and honest stance proved your loyalty to all human values. You placed justice above political, economic, and other considerations, and such a stance commands respect and gratitude.
I appeal to the countries which have not yet recognized the monstrous crime which was perpetrated against the Armenian people:
The first genocide of the 20th century was the Armenian Genocide carried out by the Ottoman Empire. It took place right before the eyes of the progressive world, while civilized countries remained aloof, silent, or belated in their response. And the humanity paid dearly for that; it paid with xenophobia toward other nations of the world, recurrent ethnic cleansing and genocides which happen even today. Remember that impunity for the regimes which commit genocide, unwillingness to condemn it means that one day it can happen with your own peoples.
Together, we can prevent new genocides, save human lives, and the world, which even in the 21st century is overwhelmed with the madness of bloody wars. We can, if we are resolute and lose no time, if we leave indifference behind and fight for our rights and freedom.
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