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Home / Resources / News / Sweden-Turkey: a new chapter of the Armenian genocide

Sweden-Turkey: a new chapter of the Armenian genocide

Patnos, Van-Armenian women“. Photo by: haabet2003/Flickr).

“People who ignore their past, will never understand their present”. (Indro Montanelli)

In the past days came to the fore an argument of which nobody want to talk anymore. Perhaps for ignorance, for fear, or simply to live in peace. On March,11, the Swedish Parliament approved, against the government’s will, a motion to recognize the Armenian genocide made by Turkish in 1915. The resolution passed with just one different vote: 131 votes in favor and 130 against. After this, its opened a diplomatic crisis between Sweden and Turkey. As referred by the Swedish local journal “The Local“, the day after of the implementation, the Swedish ambassador in Ankara Christer Asp, has been convoked by the Turkish Foreign Affair Minister, just few hours after two strong decisions made by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan: to cancel the Swedish summit for the 17th of march and to send back the Turkish ambassador in Stokholm, Zergun Koruturk. Koruturk declared that this resolution will have a drastic impact on the relations between them, and added: “Deputies can not decide if there have been a genocide or not. The Assembly is not a court“. Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Bild said that this motion is a mistake, but added that anyway will not compromise the positive position of the government towards the Turkish entry into the EU.WHAT DOES ARMENIAN GENOCIDE MEANS?

It is one of the most forget and discussed. Hitler took it as an example, talking about the projects he had in his mind: “Who is still talking about the Armenian genocide?” The expression Ermeni Soyk?r?mi (Armenian genocide) refers to two specific events which took place between the end of the 19th Century and the start of the 20th. The first is the campaign against Armenians perpetuated by the Ottoman sultan Abdul Hamid II (1894-1896) ; the second refers to the deportation of Armenians of the World War I, between 1915-1916 (the word genocide refers particularly to this event). In fact, in this period the Young Turks of the Committee of Union and Progress, took power: at first, they proposed equality and brotherhood, but they also needed a blood’s tribute. They were scared about the alliance between Armenians with Russians and French, who were they enemy: they were giving their help to fund Armenians, encouraging them to rebel from the rising Republican State. Thus, in the night between 24th and 25th of April 1915, they started to arrest Armenians, especially intellectuals: in just one night around 600 Armenians have been killed, and from that moment, they start to send them in the arid deserts of Syria. In 1919 the principal liables have been condemned in absence, because they were refugee in Germany. With the Paris Conference,1920, the political responsibility of the genocide has been imputed to Abdul Hamid II, to the triumvirate of the Committee of Union and Progress (Talaat, Djemale and Enver) and finally to Ataturk, who posed the genocide as an integral part of his political and military action. Official data attest around 1.200.000/1.300.000 victims. The end of the war, with the Treaty of Sevres, will ratify the born of the Armenian State.


Very popular in the modern society, especially talking about the Holocaust, this is the intellectual behavior of who use dialectical instruments to deny the evidence of the facts. Their reason is based on the description of the Young Turks as a simple propaganda; they attest that have never been an actual project to eliminate Armenians, and moreover this is not comparable with the Nazi genocide against Jewish of the War World II. The Turkish government refuse to recognize the fact as a genocide, and this is a strong motivation of clash with the EU: the national judiciary bench punish with prison to whom mention the Armenian genocide in public, with the accuse of a bad propaganda against the country, and also the the Nobel Orhan Pamuk suffered this charge. Taner Akcam is the historian who has been charged the first time for this reason, in 1976, with 10 years of reclusion. Last week a Turkish Televion put Italy in the list of 20 countries which recognize the Armenian genocide, but later the government denied, and underlined that Italian Parliament in a 2001 resolution, expressed government’s goal as a “complete overtaking of any conflict between different population and minorities, to create conditions, respecting the territorial integrity of the two States (Turkey and Armenia) to a pacific cohabitation and a correct protection of human rights, in a perspective of a rapid integration of Turkey into the European Union“. In the list of 20 States which recognize the Armenian genocide, France have an important role: in fact in the State is a criminal offence to deny the genocide. As I previously said, looking forward to a complete integration in the EU, Turkey should face its lacks and mistakes. It is important to have a personal opinion, but we can not change the history, and every State have to adopt all the responsibilities connected to its past.