The time has come for Armenians, if they are sincere in their proclamations regarding Genocide recognition and their desire for justice regarding their being exiled from western Armenia, to take a PRO-ACTIVE stance regarding the unresolved Armenian Question.
We use the term Armenian Question (Հայկական Հարց) because the Armenian dispersion still has not categorically stated what it wants or is willing to do regarding the events of 1915 and its consequences.
Some, if not a majority, who still talk about the injustices done to the Armenians in the final years of the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent initial phases of the Kemalist Turkish republic use the term Hay Dat ( Հայ Դատ) which translates into the Armenian Case ( as in legal case). We have always been repulsed by this terminology since it connotes the idea that the unresolved issues of 1915 will somehow be resolved through arbitration and legal proceedings. Something which is absurd and misleading!!!!!
The diaspora is a reality which is here to stay. It will evolve and develop according to a host of factors both external to it and internally intrinsic to it. In fact, if the number of Armenians in the diaspora number some 5-6 million as guesstimates say, then it is fairly logical to say that there are 5-6million individual mini-diasporas as well. Such is its complexity and scope.
Now, there are Armenians both in the diaspora and Armenia, who are living a set of contradictions, social, psychological and spiritual, etc, due to the forced exile and eviction of Armenians from western Armenia. Some may find answers to their own personal set of contradictions as diasporan Armenians in the Republic of Armenia (ROA). Others, for whatever reasons, may not. In fact, there are those who categorically state that the ROA is not the homeland of their fore bearers and thus not theirs as well by extension. (This is a political and philosophical debate for another time).
Thus, let us for the moment, agree with those who look to eastern Anatolia for answers. What has this segment and their ideological/political leadership done to bridge the gap between dispersion and the reality that exists in Turkey today. PRECIOUS LITTLE.
If the ultimate goal of this segment of the dispersion is their REINTEGRATION into an Anatolian reality, on the land of their ancestors of a mere ninety years ago, then we would say fine, this long term objective goes a long way to conceptualizing what is meant by the Armenian Question.
How will this reintegration be achieved? Through proclamations recognizing the events of 1915 as Genocide?? Of course not. By dusting off the Treaty of Sevres and parading it around the hall of government and courts in Europe? Let's not fool ourselves..
The minimum we can do of an immediate nature would be to take an active and vocal stance regarding the Armenian cultural inheritance that is left in Turkey today. This has to be organized a large scale, with a pan-diasporan scope. The possibilities are varied and can include research, archaeological digs and ultimately pilgrimages to certain important sites . Of course, all this will have to be done in coordination and with the consent of the Turkish authorities. Many will say it's a pipe dream, something Turkey will never consent to. But the attempt must be made!!!!! And each time Turkey attempts to hinder or block these efforts we must expose the government for doing so before the tribunal of world public opinion.
We must make it clear to all involved that we are dedicated to maintaining our links with western Armenia. Anything less would be a clear signal that Armenians have given up the idea of ever returning to the lands that a mere 90 years ago constituted the bulk of the Armenia homeland.
But first we must decide what exactly we mean when we say the unresolved Armenian Question. For the vast majority the Question has been resolved years ago. For those for whom it remains an open wound, what lies ahead is a struggle that will take place on many levels and in a variety of forms.
(To be Continued)