Erdogan’s and Afeyan’s remote “dispute” and the real danger -

Erdogan’s and Afeyan’s remote “dispute” and the real danger

Erdogan’s and Afeyan’s remote “dispute” and the real danger

On April 23, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan said:

“I hope that Armenia will get rid of the darkness that the Diaspora has enslaved them and choose the way to make new beginnings for a bright future. Doors of opportunity are not always open. Not only the Diaspora, but also many circles are trying to influence Armenia in this process.  I hope that Armenia will choose the right path and that a new era will begin in the region.”

The next day, on April 24, The New York Times and The Washington Post published the call of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative co-founder Noubar Afeyan.

“Even as we mourn the past, history is repeating itself. Armenians are once again the target of ethnic cleansing, political leaders are unlawfully held as hostages, and the country of Armenia faces existential threats to its sovereignty and self-determination,” Afeyan wrote.

“Today is the 109th anniversary of 1.5 million Armenians being driven from their homes and killed at the hands of Ottoman Turks, and now, it is happening again. Today, we must do more than mourn the massacres of the past,” he added.

In February, Singapore-based The Straits Times published Want to save the world? Ask the big, what-if questions, says Moderna co-founder Noubar Afeyan article, which we translated into Armenian, presenting it under the title The lessons of aunt Armenuhi and the life story of Noubar Afeyan.

I am sure that for Noubar Afeyan, the lessons of aunt Armenuhi are much more important than Erdogan’s “calls” for a “new era”, the cost of which is obvious: to be uprooted and forget the past.

As for the Diaspora, I can assume that Noubar Afeyan is concerned not by Erdogan’s statements, but by the issues he raised in January 2021, a few months after the 44-day war:

“We as a Diaspora have collectively done very little compared to our potential. The current environment and the crisis that Armenia is facing is an opportunity for the Diaspora. We must try to understand why the Diaspora wants to remain a member of the “club” of being Armenian. We must understand what responsibilities we bear or can bear before Armenia. The Diaspora does not participate in everyday decisions. Many say it should, maybe they are right, but then the question arises, ‘what should the Diaspora do?’ The current crisis in Armenia makes it have a more difficult discussion on our roles and responsibilities.”

It’s been over three years since those words were spoken, yet that difficult discussion still is not taking place. And this, in my view, is much more dangerous than Erdogan’s well-disguised threats.

Ara Tadevosyan is the Director of Mediamax.


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