Commentary No : 2012 / 63
2 min read

An Azeri officer, who was condemned to life imprisonment for having murdered his colleague, an Armenian lieutenant, in Hungary during a conference was returned back to his country upon Azerbaijan’s extradition request after having served a prison term of 8,5 years and was set free there upon his arrival, caused widespread reactions in Armenia. This also cast a shadow on its bilateral relations with Hungary. Before reaching a decision on Armenia’s reaction which for Armenia is considered to be justifiable, it will be appropriate to first make an assessment of Armenia’s approach of principle towards the issue. During the bombing of the Turkish Airlines office in the Paris-Orly airport by the Armenian terrorist organization on 15 July 1983, 8 persons were murdered. The Armenian terrorist named V. Garabedian who had placed the bomb was condemned to life imprisonment by a competent French court in March 1985. As a result of the intensive campaign started by Armenia and the plea for mercy being signed by one million Armenians at the end of the 1990’s, the Armenian terrorist was returned to Armenia by France on 23 April 2001. The Armenian terrorist was greeted with honors in Yerevan, the mayor granted him a house and he was received by the Prime Minister. For Armenia, this repelling example is unfortunately not confined only to the Orly murders. Another Armenian, G. Yanikian, who was condemned to life imprisonment in 1973 for murdering the Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles together with his Vice Consul at his house where they were invited as guests for lunch, was also viewed as a hero and an opera composed in his behalf was celebrated in Yerevan with the attendance of the President. (The murder of these two diplomats has given the start to the Armenian terrorist organization’s murders which targeted Turkish diplomats and resulted in thirty one diplomats and their relatives losing their lives). A member of Armenian origin of the Los Angeles municipality has sent a harsh letter last week to Hungary’s Consul General in Los Angeles admonishing the returning of the Azeri officer. The same individual has not felt any scruples or inconsistency in taking an initiative before federal authorities in Los Angeles for the mercy of Armenian terrorist Sassounian who murdered yet another Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles, K. Arıkan in 1982. It is also interesting that for the crimes committed in Khojaly which Azerbaijan classifies as genocide, no lawsuits have ever been filed in Armenia. It is noteworthy to summon up an idiom used in turkish: Prick yourself with a needle before you stick a darning needle into others. The balance of justice has two scales. If Armenians in search to settle accounts with history wish to have credibility and to find interlocutors, they must be able to perceive that one sided memory is a dead end street.

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