This speech was delivered at a conference on the Legacy of the 1915 Genocide in the Ottoman Empire, held in Stockholm, Sweden on the 23 March 2009.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me first to express my warmest thanks for this invitation and for the opportunity that you give me to disclose some of the aspects of Turkey’s policies and holes with regard to the Armenian Genocide.
Actually, it would have been far easier to deliver this speech ten years ago as Turkey’s policy was then straightforward and was merely consisting in the denial of the Genocide; if not in the denial of the Armenians themselves. In this regard, I would like to recall the reply of Kiazim Karabekir to Georgi Chicherin in the early 20’s: “In Turkey there has been neither an Armenia nor territory inhabited by Armenians” . Since then indeed, Turkey’s policies didn’t really changed up to the eve of the 21st century. Basically, it followed the classical patterns of inconsistent denial, i.e. gross minimization, condoning, rationalisation and trivialisation. There is no need now to describe more in depth these patterns which are not specific to the denial of the Armenian Genocide but which are common to any Genocide denial: they have been extensively described by many prominent scholars, including by Mr Hovhannissian who just recalled them.