Commentary No : 2012 / 103
2 min read

According to news in the Armenian press agencies, two vice-presidents of the “Western Armenian Congress” were received by the President of Armenia. It has been reported that during the talks, the vice-presidents have presented programs of organization regarding the procedure of protection of interests and rights of the former Ottoman Empire’s Armenian citizens’ heirs. The President is reported to have said to his guests that it is of a certain importance to learn from the past and have a realistic, responsible, modern, state and political thinking regarding the Armenian question. The aforementioned “Western Armenian Congress” is more of a virtual organization which has declared itself as an NGO in 2006, having its name heard by claims for territories foreseen for the Armenians by the Sevres Treaty which has never been implemented and has become null and void with the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923. It is to be surmised that through unrealistic claims, it attempts to find a place within the Diaspora and to make a name. Ret. Ambassador B. Şimşir’s documentary book published recently titled “The Lausanne Peace Treaty”, based on official archives of the negotiations, leaves no room for any doubt that Armenian claims and the Armenian question have been discussed and negotiated in detail in Lausanne for months and concluded with a joint agreement and understanding as we know it today. Following the signing of the Lausanne Peace Treaty, bilateral talks started in Lausanne again with the US delegation. A commission was established in order to discuss and conclude the compensation claims of the Greek and Armenian American citizens. The works of the commission continued from December 1923 to October 1934 and was finalized with the signing of an agreement. Accordingly, the government of the Turkish Republic has paid a significant amount as compensation within its meager budgetary means. Following the final payment, this chapter was also closed in 1944. Turkey’s legal position and basis in view of Armenian claims and allegations are clear and transparent. Political exploitation and games however have no boundaries. The Armenian President’s words of learning from the past and being realistic, as mentioned above, is a wise approach. It is never too late for Armenian officials to learn from the past, to deduce the much needed lessons for the politics and mistakes they were encouraged to carry out and commit by the allied powers in the 19th century and to adopt today a realistic policy and to have good neighborly relations with its neighbors.

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