Recognition of the Armenian Genocide by US President Joe Biden constitutes a huge political victory with high moral and political symbolism, Theodosios Kyriakidis, Doctor of Historical Sciences, researcher at the Department of Pontic Studies at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, said in an interview with Ermenihaber.am.
Mr. Kyriakidis is not certain about the legal consequences of the recognition, but believes it will motivate other countries to follow the suit.
“I think the fact that the incumbent president used that word is indicative that the US has made up its mind on the issue. Even if the circumstances helped, with Turkey’s international isolation and the bad US-Turkish relations, I think that this moment would have come relatively quickly as the issue had matured both historically and politically. Turkey’s moral and political defeat is undoubtedly significant,” he said.
While the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide is gaining momentum, the recognition of the geocide of other Christian nations, including Pontic Greeks, is not on the agenda.
“The Genocide of the Pontic Greeks began to occupy a more central position in research and public discourse only in late 1980s, and this is certainly related to the central importance that memory began to acquire in the public sphere. Moreover, the fall of the dictatorship in 1974 triggered the need for society and its citizens to be heard. From the 1980s onwards, civil society emerged dynamically. In the case of the Pontians, this new reality is reflected in the creation of associations and increased number of publications of testimonies and memoirs,” the historian said.
According to him, what gave a significant impetus to the issue of the Genocide of the Pontic Greeks was the recognition of the International Association of Genocide Scholars in December 2007.
In this regard, he attaches importance to the cooperation with Armenian organizations struggling for genocide recognition, and believes the expansion of collaboration will bring desirable results in terms of international recognition of the genocide of Pontic Greeks.
Speaking about the future of Turkey, Theodosios Kyriakidis said: Turkey has unfortunately followed an undemocratic path by restricting democratic voices within the country. The political choices made in international diplomacy in recent years, combined with the dire economic situation, do not bode well for the country’s future. More important than the economic problem, is the absence of a democratic culture, which led many progressive Turks to emigrate abroad.”
“The crisis must be accompanied by an understanding of the problem, which does not seem to exist in the case of Turkey. That is, the country should understand its role in a completely different way and become a factor of stability and peace in the region. But the fact that it has not freed itself from the burden of the genocide by admitting its responsibility, which would help it to chart a new peaceful and creative course, shows that the problems both internally and with its neighbors will unfortunately continue in the future,” the historian said.