A resolution on the Armenian Genocide was adopted by a large majority at the 23rd European Green Party Council in Lyon, on Sunday, November 15.
The text acknowledges that the Ottoman Empire perpetrated Genocide against the Armenian people. It also calls on Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide and work towards reconciliation with Armenia and its people.
With this initiative the European Green Party calls upon all countries which have not yet done so to publicly recognize the Armenian Genocide. It underlines that doing so will positively impact the normalization of the relations between Turkey and Armenia and help prevent further crimes against humanity.
The European Green Party mourns the destruction of the Armenian cultural heritage and calls upon the Turkish government to respect the Armenian cultural legacy and take strong measures to protect it. The resolution asks the Turkish government to re-evaluate historical and cultural narratives and open its archives to historians, researchers and academics in an effort to come to terms with the past. The logical continuation of this would be to immediately abolish Article 301 of the Turkish penal code, which censors political and public debate on the genocide.
The text emphasizes that everybody has the right to have their history recognized and their culture respected. By acknowledging the Armenian Genocide the European Green Party wants to pay due respect to its victims as a step towards reconciliation and historical reparation.
MEP Michèle Rivasi, who is vice-chair of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament and member of the European Friends of Armenia Advisory Council, comments: “As the tragic events in Paris reminds us: the world is in trouble, more than ever. For many years hate speech has not been sufficiently condemned, and helped extremists in spreading their propaganda and raising the level of violence. We cannot continue like this, we have to reverse this vicious spiral with an even more opened democracy and also the duty to recognize the errors and crimes that led to the current situation.
The European Green Party resolution on the centenary of the Armenian Genocide aims at reminding every country that they have a part to play for a more peaceful world. This is one of the reasons, why Turkey has to stop now its state policy of denial. Because denial is the fuel that feeds the engine of hate and prevents us from reaching peace. Turkey will only find advantages in finally recognizing the Armenian Genocide and step into History. There will be no peace without recognition of the Armenian Genocide.”
As 2015 marks the centenary of the Armenian Genocide many other European countries, Pan-European institutions and political parties have acknowledged or reaffirmed their recognition of the Armenian Genocide and have urged Turkey to so as well.
“I am very pleased to see a growing number of European Political families recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” says Eduardo Lorenzo Ochoa, director of European Friends of Armenia. “The European Green Party resolution is especially important because it not only pays tribute to the victims of the first Genocide of the 20th century, but also explains clearly the importance of doing so if we want to secure a common future and prevent further crimes against humanity.”