The Official Blog for Safe Harbor By Leonard Howard and David Deranian
Now that the Armenian Genocide has reached the 97th anniversary mark, and with the vast majority of world scholarship, 43 US states, and 21 countries recognizing this genocide, the question of reparations is gaining ever increasing attention. Exactly what those reparations should be then becomes an all important secondary question. Succinctly, what do Armenians want? This is especially a question for which Turkish government might be most interested. Why? For the straight forward reason of knowing what the penalty will be for the crime of genocide. It’s a very natural inquiry that most would agree is reasonable to request. Importantly, it could be the very information which the Turks need before they can recognize the Armenian Genocide. Without such information, the Turks are essentially playing a guessing game with serious issues related to their national security. In the case of the Armenian Genocide then, the old adage of placing the cart before the horse may very well apply. Just imagine the possibilities if Armenians and Turks would sit together at the negotiation table in a serious discussion, not about recognition of the Genocide, but rather of fair compensation for what Armenians have suffered as a consequence of that Genocide. It goes without saying that such negotiation would more often than not be quite heated. Still, it would provide a working mechanism by which Turks and Armenians could work out an acceptable solution to the Genocide problem that each has had to deal with for some 97 years now. Importantly, once reparations have been determined, the position of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government could tend towards the more natural stance of recognition.