24th of April should be called "Peace Day"
On the centenary of the Armenian Massacre
The ongoing discussions about the centenary of Medz Yeghern, the incident in which over one million people were massacred and many more were deterritorialised, are shameful. What is leaving its mark on these discussions is imperialist manipulations, liberal distortions, and nationalist conditionings. In this picture, peoples of Turkey and Armenia become the plaything of the imperialist diplomacy once again and they are being distanced from each other on every anniversary. In reality, 24th of April should be called a peace day in our region. The Peace Association of Turkey calls for the humanity to join hands and pay respect to the memory of the great grief that our Armenian sisters and brothers experienced.
It was nothing other than the annexationist imperialist war that led the whole world, particularly Europe, the Middle East, the Balkans and Caucasia into a blood bath at the beginning of the century. The Ottoman regime at the time and the nationalist Armenian movements were both captivated in the framework determined by imperialist competition. The Peace Association of Turkey calls to break free from this captivity now, a century later.
Imperialism cannot survive without aiming to re-share the world. For this cause, they deliberately played off peoples of our region, who used to live together even beyond neighbourship, against each other. The Peace Association of Turkey defends the opinion that for the 24th of April to become a peace day, it has to be perceived as an anti-imperialist day of unity.
The basic phase of the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic of Turkey was the Independence War. However, the class characteristics of the same process created new sorrows. While the old order collapsed down and a new republic was established, capital and property passed into other hands; especially the rising Turkish-Muslim bourgeoisie confiscated the wealth of the Armenians and the Greeks. The underlying reason for nationalist conflicts is not the fact that the people hate each other, but economic competition! The Peace Association of Turkey would like to emphasise that peoples' unity is possible only through the struggle against the system of exploitation.
We object the fact that the term "genocide" is used as a tool for creating animosity between the two peoples. This term sheds light on neither the reality of imperialist sharing out, imperialism's class characteristics nor the identity of the culprit. The scuffle to use or not to use the term "genocide" is a black veil covering the reality and provoking nationalist hostilities. The solution is to declare that the Turkish and Armenian peoples, turned into enemies by imperialism and capitalism, are brothers and sisters, and to organize them. The Peace Association of Turkey disapproves of this "genocide" controversy.
The tragedy experienced a century ago is used to disregard the historical legitimacy of the Republic of Turkey. Even though the issue is presented as an oppression from which various national identities suffer, the real intention is different. They want to disgrace the fact that Turkey was established through the struggle against imperialism. They want to disgrace the fact that Turkey replaced the old theocratic regime with secularism. They want to disgrace the fact that Turkey itself is a historical progress, compared to the Ottoman Empire. The implication that Armenians and other peoples were living happily under the "Pax Ottomana" is a historical lie. We refuse the attempts to vindicate a regime where people were considered as servants of the Empire, not citizens, by using the deep agonies of 1915. The Peace Association of Turkey declares that every step taken from today onward will rise on this anti-imperialist and progressive heritage.
The Peace Association of Turkey calls all the peoples of the region to unite against imperialism, exploitation and reactionism in order to turn the anniversary of the Medz Yeghern into a peace day that bind our peoples.