State Identity, Continuity, and Responsibility: The Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Turkey and the Armenian Genocide: A Reply to Vahagn Avedian
by Pulat Tacar* and Maxime Gauin**
We have been asked by the European Journal of International Law to write a reply to an article entitled ‘State Identity, Continuity and Responsibility: The Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Turkey and the Armenian Genocide’. The article accuses Turkey of ‘practising a denialist policy’ with regard to ‘the act of genocide committed during 1915–1916’, demanding that it ‘make itself responsible for its own internationally wrongful acts committed against Armenians and other Christian minorities’, and also accuses it of ‘expanding the massacres beyond its borders into the Caucasus and the territories of the independent Republic of Armenia’. According to the same article, there is a state succession and continuation of responsibility from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic, and the Republic must assume full responsibility for and should also repair the injury caused by the Ottoman Empire.
The Armenian question is especially sensitive, among other reasons because of the long accumulation of prejudices against Turks,1 Armenian terrorism in 1973 – 1991,2 the Armenian invasion and occupation of western Azerbaijan since 1992,3
* Pulat Tacar has been Co-Chairperson of the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO (1995–2006); he was Ambassador of Turkey to UNESCO (1989–1995), Ambassador of Turkey to the European Communities (1984–1987) and to Jakarta (1981–1984). He is the author of many books and articles.
** Maxime Gauin is a researcher at the International Strategic Research Organization (USAK, Ankara) and a PhD candidate at the Middle East Technical University. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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