By Mushvig Mehdiyev
Holocaust is a fact, but the "Armenian genocide" is just a historical opinion, said a high-ranking French official.
There is not a law criminalizing the Armenian interpretation of the events during the World War I, Gerard Araud, French Ambassador to the U.S., said in his interview with the MSNBC News, a U.S.-based television channel.
In the interview with Araud, Andrea Mitchell, the MSNBC journalist, said there were laws in France, laws that say one cannot deny the Holocaust, laws that say one cannot deny the "Armenian genocide".
Araud noted that actually, there is no law about the denial of the "Armenian genocide" in France. "There is only one law about the denial of the Holocaust because, it is not an opinion. The Holocaust took place in the history. So, you do not express an opinion when you say that Holocaust did not take place. Holocaust is a fact,” he added.
On December 17, 2013, the European Court of Human Rights confirmed by five votes to two that Switzerland violated the right to freedom of expression by convicting Doğu Perinçek, for publicly denying the existence of the so-called "genocide" against the Armenian people.
Doğu Perinçek, Chairman of the Turkish Workers’ Party, called the "Armenian genocide" an international lie for several times at different events. For his denial of the "genocide", the Swiss courts found Perinçek guilty of racial discrimination, as they say the "Armenian genocide", like the Holocaust, was a proven historical fact, recognized by the Swiss Parliament.
Referring to Article 10 of the European Convention, which provides the right to freedom of expression and information, including the freedom to hold opinions, and to receive and impart information and ideas, Perinçek complained before the Strasbourg Court that the Swiss authorities had breached his freedom of expression.
The ECHR found that Perinçek had not committed an abuse of his rights within the Article 17 of the Convention, prohibiting activities aimed at the destruction of others’ rights and freedoms set forth in the Convention.
According to the European Court, the rejection of the legal characterization as “genocide” of the 1915 events was not such as to incite hatred against the Armenian people. The Court believes that it is still very difficult to identify a general consensus about the qualification of the "Armenian genocide”. While only 20 states out of the 190 worldwide have officially recognized the so-called "genocide", the notion of “genocide” is a narrow legal concept which is difficult to substantiate.
Dirk Voorhoof, a professor at the Belgian Ghent University, said the criminal conviction for denying the existence of the "Armenian genocide” violates freedom of expression.
Hasan Celal Guzel, a well-known Turkish journalist and politician, claims that the alleged "Armenian genocide" is just a falsification of historical events, which bear no sign of a genocide.
"Relocation of the Armenians dating back to May 27, 1915, is not an "Armenian genocide." When the Armenians massacred more than 30,000 Turks and Kurds in Van, the leadership of the Ottoman empire decided to relocate the Armenian population. Relocation cannot be interpreted as a genocide or massacre under any circumstance," Guzel said.
The Ottoman archives along with the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and national archives of England, Russia, France and Germany clearly reveal that the number of Armenians who were lost over that period was about 400,000, said Guzel, adding that the ungrounded facts about killing of nearly 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman empire is just an Armenian claims contradicting the real truth.
The Armenian authorities have always hanged on a hope to hear the word of genocide from the world leaders. But they have always been rejected by the world's elite, as the top figures, including U.S. President Barack Obama, unequivocally avoid to use the word of genocide in his annual speeches about the falsified "Armenian genocide."
Justin McCarthy, an American history professor at the University of Louisville, said: "I do not believe the Ottoman government ever intended a genocide of Armenians. It was, in fact, in the regions where Ottoman control was weakest that columns of Armenians suffered most."
The Armenian authorities and diaspora are preparing to solemnly mark the 100th anniversary of the so-called "genocide" on April 24 this year. They are going to keep on their calls for the recognition of the unreal events of 1915, inviting the international community to unanimously blame Turkey for the actions of its predecessor Ottoman empire.
Meanwhile, Turkey has decided to arrange a solemn ceremony to mark the centennial of the Battle of Chanakkale on April 24, which coincides the date of the so-called "Armenian genocide." Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has even invited his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan to attend the ceremony, who, in turn, rejected that invitation recalling his same address to Erdogan calling him to participate in the celebration of the "genocide" anniversary.
But it seems, the "genocide" jamboree of the Armenians will be a deadpan this year. First of all, no facts on "genocide" have been presented to the international community this year as the Armenian authorities has once more avoided to delve into the history and extract at least one real fact about the "genocide."
Moreover, the world is thinking of a plan B to escape the catastrophe that may likely happen following the non-stop decline in oil prices on the global markets. In this case, no ceremony, except the measures for preventing oil prices' decline, is interesting for the world's powers. In other words, the world needs to put its shoulders under the falling oil prices rather than being a shoulder to cry for Armenia. The year of 2015 is expected to bring serious challenges in terms of the economy, finance, as well as the politics given the ongoing confrontation between the western powers and Russia. On the background of global deadlocks, the "Armenian genocide" celebrations will emerge as just a darker spot on a huge black board.
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