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Will Macron Succeed in Starting a Dialogue on the Armenian Genocide Issue with Erdogan?

AFP

At an annual dinner of the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF) French President Emmanuel Macron has declared April 24 as a day for the commemoration in France of the 1915 Genocide of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey. 

Macron emphasized that France will continue to work on the disclosure of historical facts, and he personally will try to start a dialogue on this issue with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The first statement is noteworthy in that France becomes the first state after Armenia, which henceforth will have an official day of commemoration of the Armenian Genocide victims. By the second statement France shows that it will continue to consistently fight against any of the crimes committed against humanity and against any denial of the existence of such crimes. As for engaging in a dialogue with the President of Turkey (a step which does not currently exist on the agenda of any other state) at least today the effectiveness of such a move seems highly suspicious.

The government of Turkey, which has been pursuing a policy of denial for many years, has strongly condemned Macron's decision to declare April 24 as Armenian Genocide commemoration day in France. Turkey again recalled Erdogan's unsubstantiated proposals to open Ottoman archives and create joint Armenian-Turkish commission of historians and accused everyone "for trying to use historical events as political fodder''.   (It should be noted that the Armenian side has constantly stated that the Armenian Genocide is fact of history and the historical fact cannot be a subject of discussion by historians).

And in spite of the fact that Macron made it clear in his speech that "Erdogan does not represent the whole people of Turkey", French President's decision caused a wave of discontent in Turkey.

A striking example of this is the criticism of the chair of the "Republican People's Party" (CHP) who announced that "using the tragic events of the past for political purposes will not help build bridges between the two societies''.    Moreover, the head of the "Great Union" Party Mustafa Destici has raised a demand for expelling 100.000 Armenian migrants from Turkey.

It can be stated that there does not still exist any political force in Turkey which is ready to launch a dialogue on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide issue. Moreover, at present, Turkey at the state level allocates large resources to various foreign organizations for distorting the facts concerning the Armenian Genocide and presenting them in a different light.

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