Recognize the Armenian Genocide

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1 - Write to your MP

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MP Email Address {{mpemail}}

Here is a sample subject line: UK must recognise the Armenian Genocide

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Dear {{mpfname}} {{mplname}},

I am writing to you as a member of your constituency, regarding the British government’s current position on the Armenian Genocide, which is commemorated every year on 24th April. The entire academic world, the governments of 34 countries (including the USA, France, Canada, Germany, Scotland and Wales), the EU, and dozens of regional governments, humanitarian and religious organisations have rightly recognised the murder of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government between 1915 and 1923 as a genocide. However, the UK still does not – a correction of this position is long overdue.

The British government’s current position is that determinations of genocide should be made by competent courts, rather than by governments or non-judicial bodies. However, not only is this policy confusing – Parliament is now adding to its own list of atrocities it recognises as genocide, separately from government – but it completely fails to take into account the enormous body of evidence (a lot of which can be found in British archives) which has compelled so much of the wider world to acknowledge that what happened to the Armenians as a textbook example of genocide.

The UK has endorsed direct talks between the Republics of Turkey and Armenia as an alternative to recognition. However, this overlooks the way in which relations between the countries have deteriorated in the absence of third-party oversight. There is no evidence that Turkish President Erdogan’s authoritarian government is at all interested in exploring the subject, preferring instead to simultaneously deny the genocide and glorify it, even going as far as to label and modify what little Armenian cultural heritage remains unscathed in Turkey in such a way that it no longer appears Armenian.

Erdogan in May 2020 in a public speech referred to the survivors of the Genocide of Armenian, Greeks and Assyrians as “the leftovers of the sword”.

Turkey remains utterly hostile to Armenia, having closed its border to the latter since 1992, and its airspace in 2022. This hostility has filtered down to the global Turkish population – Armenophobia is rife in Turkey and remains a problem here in the UK as well. The Armenian Genocide memorial, installed in the London Borough of Ealing late last year, has already been vandalised.

The UK’s emphasis on dialogue is especially inappropriate considering Turkey’s recent and decisive support of an entrenched, multi-generational dictatorship, the Republic of Azerbaijan. It is no exaggeration to suggest that Azerbaijan seeks to finish what Turkey started in 1915 – the former having committed multiple massacres against Armenians as recently as 1992, expelled hundreds of thousands of Armenians from Azerbaijan and Nakhichevan, occupied Armenian territory in 2022, ethnically cleansed 120,000 Armenians from the Republic of Artsakh in September 2023, systematically destroyed acres of treasured Armenian cultural heritage in plain sight, and at the time of writing this letter, continuing to threaten to invade Armenia.

The influence of democratic states like the UK remains key to resolving these serious and longstanding problems, and facilitating genuine, long-term peace. The government must be bold, challenge impunity in all forms, exercise its considerable soft and hard power, and above all else, reaffirm its commitment to justice and affinity to truth by recognising the Genocide, thus sending a strong message to Turkish leadership to resolve this century-long saga in good faith and appreciation of historical fact.

I trust this is a message you will bear in mind as you carry out your duties as my representative in Parliament.

Yours faithfully,

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