Competing Invitations: Experts say Turkey tries to steal Armenia’s thunder on April 24

Competing Invitations: Experts say Turkey tries to steal Armenia’s thunder on April 24


Turkey has started the final and, apparently, most aggressive phase of opposition to international efforts on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has invited the leaders of 102 countries, including President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, to come to Turkey on April 24 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the victory of Turkey in the Battle of Gallipoli.

In response, Sargsyan reminded about his earlier invitation to Erdogan to visit Yerevan on the same day on which Armenians around the world will remember the victims of the massacres perpetrated in Ottoman Turkey – on the centennial of the Genocide.

“What purpose does it serve if not a simple-minded goal to distract the attention of the international community from the events dedicated to the centennial of the Armenian Genocide? Whereas, before organizing a commemorative event, Turkey has much more important obligation towards its own people and the entire humanity, namely the recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide,” Sargsyan said in a reply on Friday.

Judging by the aggressiveness and the scale of its actions Turkey has serious fears that on April 24 the international community, especially the United States and a number of Western countries, may recognize the Armenian Genocide and support the political and legal claim of the Armenian Diaspora in the international court against Turkey.

Such a claim is being prepared, and the consent of one of the leading international lawyers, Amal Clooney, to become part of a team defending the Armenian case at a European court, among other things, may mean that the trial involving Switzerland and a Turkish denialist will be widely covered internationally.

An international process on the claims of the Armenian Diaspora against Turkey may lead to a revision of the foundations of modern-day Turkey and in Ankara they are afraid of the possible decisions of the international community for such a revision.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Turkey has pursued a coordinated fight against the international recognition of the Genocide.

Yerevan-based Turkey expert Levon Hovsepyan thinks that Ankara fears the measures that may be taken in the U.S. Senate, Congress and other instances in connection with the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

The Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations of France has noted with regret that the repeatedly expressed concerns about Ankara’s attempts to interfere with the commemorative events in connection with the centenary of the Armenian Genocide are getting a factual ground.

“The invitation of foreign leaders to Turkey on April 24 clearly aims to neutralize the expected presence of heads of foreign states in Yerevan on the same day, forcing them to make a choice,” the Council, in particular, said in a statement.

Ruben Melkonyan, another specialist in Turkish studies, notes that Turkey has been spending enormous amounts of money on such activities, including the invitation of world leaders. In other words, the leaders of many countries will get two invitations for April 24 – from NATO member Turkey and Armenia. “Of course, political interest may prevail here,” the analyst says.

Turkey is using the entire set of tools to neutralize the legal claims of Armenians. One of such means, according to experts, is the significant worsening of the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone and at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.

With the help of its ethnic cousin and satellite Azerbaijan, Ankara appears to be trying to divert the attention of Armenia from the issues of the Genocide Anniversary by escalating the situation on the Karabakh frontlines.