May 22
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April 24 is not just a day to commemorate the martyrs, April 24 is a day to strengthen our national demand, it is a call, a message coming to us from our glorious martyrs. Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Aram I, stated this in his remarks at the commemoration ceremony dedicated to the 109th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Aram I noted as follows: "Our people are demanding in the full sense of the word and shall remain demanding until Turkey accepts the genocide it committed against our people in 1915.

Our people will remain demanding as long as Artsakh [(Nagorno-Karabakh)] remains seized by genocidal Azerbaijan. Our people shall remain demanding until the people of Artsakh have disappeared from their ancestral lands as a result of genocidal fear.

The Armenian Genocide has a legal basis and complies with international laws. Therefore, it is impossible to ignore our demand, its validity and timeliness. In the passing decades, countries, governments, presidents, churches, religions, international organizations successively recognized the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide. This process must continue.

Today, when Azerbaijan continues to erase the traces of Armenians in Artsakh in various ways, tries to destroy or change our cultural monuments, when Azerbaijan tries to successively and consistently make demands on Armenia, demands that take away Armenia's territorial integrity, security and sovereignty, today, when Turkey, in its turn, imposes new conditions to erase the ideals, values, and symbols of our people, and even stop the persecution of the Armenian Cause, in response to this situation, let us say with the words of our people's song: ‘Should we be silent now as well, when the enemy has put his sword on our chest?’

There is no need to be silent. If we remain silent, our martyrs shall condemn us. If we remain silent, the monasteries and churches of Artsakh, Cilicia, Western Armenia shall cry out."

Also, Aram I commented on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement made Tuesday. "The president of Turkey said: ‘Forget baseless memories and imaginary stories.’ This is the message of the president of Turkey to our people. Standing here in front of our martyrs, I say to the president of Turkey. "Mr. Erdogan, where did these remains of our martyrs come from within the borders of the Ottoman Empire? Our ancestors were massacred by your ancestors. Mr. Erdogan, today history testifies, even by Turkish historians, that what was done in 1915 against my ancestors by your ancestors was a genocide, planned and executed on a state scale. Mr. Erdogan, don't try to opposed the [Armenian] diaspora to Armenia. Armenia and the [Armenian] diaspora are one entity, we are one nation with one demand. Therefore, we shall not be silent. Be awake, Armenian people!

A new pan-Turan movement has started to form in the Caucasus by Turkey and Azerbaijan, and an attempt will be made to suffocate Armenia in the ring of this movement. The [two] genocidal neighbors of Armenia will set such conditions in front of Armenia, conditions that, if not today, tomorrow will endanger the sovereignty of Armenia, even the existence of Armenia.

We refuse to be subjects of others by making unilateral concessions and getting nothing in return.

We reject the dangerous approach of accepting forced settlements and emphasize the imperative to define a new strategy and tactics in the face of new geopolitical realities.

We refuse to put up with situations where the judged becomes the judge, the defendant—the claimant, the genocidaire—the right holder.

We require creation. In exchange for geopolitical interests and power politics, we demand the rule of international law.

We demand the return of the [Armenian] people of Artsakh to their native land, and the reaffirmation of their rights with an international guarantee.

We demand the release of all [Armenian] captives unjustly arrested by Azerbaijan.

We demand the recognition of the [Armenian] Genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against our people and the reparation of our people's rights."

Also, Catholicos Aram I called for consolidation and unity to the Armenian people.

"Let us unite around the highest values and ideals of our nation, let us unite around the salvation of Armenia, let us unite around the Pan-Armenian agenda. What unites us is Armenia, the salvation of Armenia. We have no friends, we are our friend, it is our unity, it is our power. Let us continue our demanding struggle with this awareness and full commitment.

A thousand glory to our people."

This text available in   Հայերեն and Русский
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