Young European Socialists (YES) Bureau meeting took place on May 29-30, 2015 in Riga, Latvia. All the full members of the organisation took part in the meeting. The Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) was represented by Aren Kerteshian (France).
The meeting’s agenda included the drawing of the action plan of the forthcoming two-year term, the discussion on the agenda of the upcoming Congress of the Party of European Socialists (PES), organisational matters concerning the summer camp, and discussion and adoption of resolutions presented by the member organisations.
AYF and France’s Mouvement des Jeunes Socialistes (MJS) introduced a joint draft resolution on the occasion of the Centennial of the Genocide of the Armenians, calling the socialist youth of Europe to recognise the Genocide of the Armenians, condemn Turkey’s policy of denial, and calling Turkish authorities to initiate the process of reparation.
The discussion of this resolution was heated and tensed. The representatives of the Youth of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) of Turkey opposing some of the points of the resolution proposed the following amendments:
– omit the word Genocide from the resolution and replace it with the word massacres, having in mind that it’s not yet clear for their party whether a Genocide was committed. At the same time, adoption of resolution such as this could harm the party’s rating in connection to the upcoming parliamentary elections in Turkey.
– omit the sentence concerning Turkey’s policy of denial, since that is offensive for their organization.
– add a point calling Armenia as well as all the states to open their archives; also calling Armenia and Turkey to bring to life a transnational commission to study the Armenian cause since historical matters should not be politicised.
Representatives of the Youth Organisation of the Social Democratic Party (JUSOS) of Germany condemned the behavior of their Turkish counterparts especially with regards to the policy of denial and stressed that what happened to the Armenians was indisputably a Genocide, that the archives of Armenia are open, and that historians have been studying those archives for the past 100 years, and that the fact of Genocide has been proven.
MJS representatives seconding their German counterparts emphasized on two issues: the forced islamisation of the Armenians and the identity crisis that Armenians face.
The Swedish Social Democratic Youth League (SSU) representatives proposed to add a clause calling YES to fight for the recognition by PES of the Genocide of the Armenians.
The representative of AYF spoke about the consequences of the Turkey’s policy of denial and expressed his regret that CHP Youth delegates were repeating the position of the Turkish authorities instead of having the courage, as young people, to call things by their proper name.
The Bureau meeting refused the amendments of CHP Youth and approved the proposition of SSU.
At the end all the delegates, with the exception of the Turks, voted for the resolution. Below is the text of the resolution.
ARF-D Youth Office
Resolution on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide
Resolution proposed by the AYF Armenia and MJS France
Impunity legitimizes violence and encourages future crimes. Our world faces constant dehumanization of the human nature, constant threat to human life, manmade catastrophes and atrocities of various type. The world is often silent on this, justifying its silence by the inutility of any attempt to change anything. We, the Young European Socialists, view silence as a form of negative contribution with regard to crimes against humanity. We believe that crimes such as the Armenian Genocide should never be forgotten and must always stay actual as a reminder to all of us that we, humans, are capable of committing the most inhuman acts. The Armenian Genocide must serve an example of what a world must try to avoid by all means. During 1915 -1923 more than 1 500 000 Armenians were brutally massacred in their ancestral lands what is largely known as Eastern Turkey today. More than 300 000 women and young girls were forced to convert and change their identity. Hundreds of thousands of children were kidnapped. The small number of Armenians who survived were spread all over the world. An ancient civilization was destroyed, its property stolen and confiscated, its heritage destructed. Anti Armenian sentiments are not over even today in the modern Republic of Turkey. The destruction of the Armenian cultural and religious heritage in Turkey is still in process.
YES believes genocide is the ultimate crime committed against humanity and should be punished regardless of when it happened.
With regard to the abovementioned, the YES is hence coming with a resolution on the Armenian Genocide as the world commemorates the 100th anniversary of the first Genocide of the 20th century.
• YES stands in solidarity with the Armenian nation as the Armenian people worldwide commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide committed by various regimes in Turkey between 1915-1923.
• YES strongly condemns the denial of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government as denial is the ultimate stage of the crime of genocide.
• YES supports the Armenian people’s struggle for the recognition and reparation of the Armenian Genocide and encourages Turkey to start an immediate process of eliminating the consequences of the Armenian Genocide and initiate a process of restoration of the rights of the Armenian people. The latter will bring positive changes both to the Republic of Turkey and its people as well as will contribute to the democratization of the country and its society. The just resolution of the Armenian Genocide is the only reliable path to reconciliation of the two countries and nations.
• YES welcomes all initiatives by member organizations aimed at educating people on the Armenian Genocide and spreading its knowledge, since we cannot change the future if we do not know the past, and changing the future is a core belief of any true struggle for democracy and socialist values.
• YES will actively work for a recognition of the Armenian Genocide within PES and demand that S&D Group works for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the European Parliament.