PARIS—The Armenian community in France has expressed anger over a planned visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogam on January 5, Armenian Christmas Eve. The Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF) issued an announcement urging French President Emanuel Macron to be forceful with Erdogan, who has insulted and provoked Europeans for several years.
The CCAF also pointed out that Erdogan’s visit is taking place at a time when his regime is threatening members of the Turkish-Armenian community as was reported by Garo Paylan, an Armenian member of the Turkish Parliament representing the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) on December 20.
Macron has promised to address the issue of human rights violations in Turkey. The French-Armenian community is demanding that Macron also discuss Turkey’s continued denial of the Armenian Genocide, which the CCAF says has become a center piece of Turkey’s foreign policy, which the “root of the criminal and expansionist behavior of successive Turkish regimes for years. A tradition that today continues by Erdogan.”
The CCAF also questioned how the Macron administration can “roll out the red carpet” for a leader whose secret service was involved in the murder of three Kurdish activists in Paris five years ago.
“The terrible repression against the people of Turkey and the democracy-seeking community is part of a long tradition of political persecution, which reached its peak with the Genocide of the Armenians and later translated into successive massacres of Turkey’s Greek, Assyrian, Chaldean and other Christian minorities. Today, the same oppressive tactics are being used against the Kurds and Alevis, as well as those seeking democracy in Turkey,” said the CCAF statement, which also emphasized the continued occupation by Turkey of Cyprus, which a member of the European Union.
“The European Powers bear a great responsibility for this situation,” the CCAF continued. “International complacency over all these crimes has, for the past years, fed the arrogance of a power that has constantly shown contempt toward democratic norms and trampled on its values, while claiming to be an ally.”
The CCAF also pointed out that Turkey has shown the same level of contempt against France, as is evidenced by the murder of the three Kurdish activists and the arrest and imprisonment of French journalists in 2016 and 2017.
Furthermore, the CCAF said, the ultra-nationalism currently practiced by the Turkish regime has fanned the flames of radical Islamism, which poses a direct threat to its neighbors, especially the Republic of Armenia, “against which the Turkish State imposes a blockade and continues to spread hatred.”
The CCAF called for a firm response from the French leadership and senior officials in the international political arena.