Although modern-day Turkey continues to deny the Armenian Genocide, it’s an undeniable fact that Turkey was the first country to condemn the atrocity, expert of Turkish studies Meline Anumyan told a press conference today.
She reminded that in 1919-1921 Turkey held 63 trials on accusations of deportation and mass killing of Armenians. Naturally, the term ‘genocide’ could not be used at the time, as it was coined much later, she said, adding that “the indictments and court rulings make it clear that the facts presented during the trials can well describe the term ‘genocide.’
According to Meline Anumyan, the Turkish official historiography tried to consign the topic of the trials to oblivion up until 2005. When Germany-based Turkish historian Taner Akcam and genocide scholar Vahagn Dadryan published books on the topic, the Turkish authorities came to understand that concealing trials and verdicts would be impossible. Turkey changed the policy by publishing a book dedicated to the topic of deportation, once again trying to conceal the reality and distort the facts.
“Thus, one can assume that Turkey has already recognized the Armenian Genocide. The indictment of the main trials, which includes 41 different documents, reveals that the massacre was deliberately planned by the state. The indictment of also comes to refute the assertion of deniers that the deportation was carried out as a military measure. It clearly mentions that in places far from military actions there was no need to deport people,” she said.
Meline Anumyan noted that “today Armenian historians and international scholars speak about the trials as a legal assessment of the Armenian Genocide on the part of Turkey. She added, however, that not all documents have been put into circulations, but when all facts are revealed, they will grossly contribute to the international recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide.