ASIA/TURKEY - The new Armenian Patriarch: the issue of the Armenian Genocide exploited for economic-political strategies

Tuesday, 17 December 2019 armenian genocide   middle east   oriental churches   geopolitics  

Istanbul (Agenzia Fides) - "It hurts us to see the events that happened to the Armenians 100 years ago on these lands, transformed into instruments of economic, political or strategic pressure by the Parliaments of other States. We believe this leads to a situation that is inappropriate for our ancestors". This was stated by the new Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, Sahak II Machalyan, in the first public statements released by the Turkish press after his patriarchal election and with clear reference to the resolution approved on Thursday, December 12 by the US Senate which recognized the genocidal character of the Armenian massacres perpetrated during the First World War in the territories of the Anatolian Peninsula.
The national media give ample space to the clear position taken by the new Patriarch, proposed as a trait of strong connotation of the first steps of his new ecclesial mandate. Immediately after the US Senate vote, the newly elected Armenian Patriarch had minimized: "These things should not be taken too seriously", Sahak II said, pointing out that parliaments have the institutional task of passing laws and resolutions, and this does not involve any involvement on the part of the Armenian ecclesial communities and authorities. At the same time, the Patriarch has however suggested that the mobilization campaigns on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide are part of wider strategies, and are used as instruments of geopolitical pressure.
"We would have liked", the new Patriarch added "that the events experienced on these lands were treated by the people living in these lands; we wanted to improve relations between Turkey and Armenia. And that the two parties could talk to each other. It is precisely because the two sides do not talk to each other that other countries, on the other side of the Atlantic, claim the right to meddle in these events".
In other statements re-launched in the last two days by the Turkish media, Sahak II recalled the singular condition experienced by the Armenians in Turkey, which partly differentiates them from the rest of the Armenian communities scattered around the world, also with regard to the memory of the bloody events of 1915. " As Armenians", said the Patriarch of Constantinople, "we are integrated in Turkey and we have tied our future with that of Turkey. We are in harmony with all the components of this nation". The choice to live in Turkey - Sahak acknowledged - involves a particular way of living the memory of the bloody events experienced by the Armenians in the Anatolian Peninsula (events that the Patriarch never publicly defines with the expression "Genocide"). "We experienced the trauma of 1915" stresses Sahak II "and we have overcome it in some way, continuing to live here. And of course the political developments recorded outside the Armenian community of Turkey concern us. And the excitement caused in Turkey has the effect of fomenting hatred". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 17/12/2019)