3321) Charles Aznavour’s Shocking Interview: “Genocide Or Another Word; It’s The Same To Me”

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com October 7, 2011

What follows is a translation of the recent interview given by the famous singer/songwriter and Armenian Ambassador to Switzerland, Charles Aznavour (Shahnour Vaghenag Aznavourian) to the French-Armenian magazine Nouvelles d'Arménie.

Editor – On September 4 of this year, Charles Aznavour was interviewed on the popular “Vivement dimanche” French TV talk show by host Michel Drucker.

Drucker asked Aznavour about his views on the 1915 Armenian Genocide. In response, Aznavour said – The word itself
. .

(genocide) is disruptive and it upsets me as well. What I am saying here can be used against me by some Armenians, but I believe that’s not important. If the Turks are sincere enough to say that the word ‘genocide’ prevents them from doing anything, then let us come up with another word; just as long as the border between Armenia and Turkey is opened and the Turkish government thinks about starting a dialog with us.”

When the host observed that 1.5 million was a considerable number for such a tiny country, Aznavour responded: “2 or 1.5 million. It’s the same. Whether they murder 2 children, 1.5 million Armenians or 6 million Jews. It’s the same. They killed and wanted to kill. That’s what is important.”

Nouvelles d'Arménie –The “Vivement dimanche” interview also made a number of enemies for you; no?

Charles Aznavour – I’ve grown tired of all that. We will never realize our goals. Our enemies are waiting for those Armenians with any memories of the Genocide to die so that this matter can be put to rest once and for all. What country has ever helped us? Not a one. France recognized the genocide but will not do anymore. No country will ever come to our aid. Never.

Furthermore, the Arabs now carrying out revolutions want to create governments on the Kemalist model. This is a feather in the cap for Turkey that is growing richer and more influential. Turkey is already a member of the G-20. Turkey is no longer concerned that much about becoming members of the European Union.

And where are we going? In this process, Armenia is suffering. Each day the country is being emptied. In the near future it will resemble an empty snail shell. And who profits from this? Three Mafiosi families? All the while hundreds of thousands of poor people will be dispersed throughout the world. All this troubles me greatly. In the meantime we remain transfixed on the word “genocide” and the Turks use this to their advantage.

Thus, I ask the Turks the following – If those events weren’t genocide that what do you call the extermination of an entire people? What did you call it at the time? How did Ataturk describe that situation? What was it called prior to the coining of the term ‘genocide’? At least we should confess that those events constituted a massacre. If we get to this point then it will be a huge victory for us.

Armenia faces a huge threat and all linger on the word ‘genocide’. I don’t see how this helps the advancement of the country. Where is such logic taking us? Where are those people who criticize me for such views? What are they doing to help Armenia? When do they send money? Should I be taking lessons from these people? I was the first to give them such lessons. I discussed this with an Armenian lawyer in the U.S. whose office employs about 300 lawyers and legal people. He was thinking like the others. But when I explained my viewpoint, he saw that I was correct.

I am not a politician and don’t understand anything about that field. I only know one thing. We have a tiny and unfortunate country that is almost dying off for the second time. And we are still talking about other things.

NA – But you were always engaged in the genocide issue, especially when it was debated in the French Senate. You even spoke before the Senate…

CA – And what did it all accomplish?

NA – You participated in demonstrations and rallies…

CA – And what good did it serve?

NA – Do you really believe that we are not moving forward?

CA – We haven’t been advancing either back then or now. Never. I am periodically invited to Turkey. Once, the Turkish foreign minister even invited me to spend my vacation there. He wanted to reach an agreement on what the Armenians were demanding. But let’s not play political games for partisan interests.

I am not interested who becomes the next president of Armenia. All I want is for the border to open so that this country can catch its breath a bit.

NA – So, you are sending messages in bottles out on the water.

CA – Yes, I always say good things about Turks. I think they are an interesting nation. There’s not one Armenian in Turkey that doesn’t like the Turks. Perhaps they don’t like their manner, their politics…but not the people themselves. My aim is to move forward just a bit.

NA – Aren’t you disappointed regarding the failure of the 2009 Protocols signed in Zurich?

CA – They were signed in the evening but the next day they were made meaningless. I wasn’t disappointed because I suspected that would happen. No such treaty was ever signed with the Turks in such a manner. A moment always arises when either they compromise or we aren’t capable of doing anything. Such an inclination benefits their strategic position. They feel their strength and are more disinclined towards compromising. So, what should we do? I hope that we do nothing more. There is no need to place any more hope on me. It has tired me out. I don’t want to waste my energies on senseless matters.

NA – So we have to be smart on both sides?

CA – Yes, in a word. In all cases we must act and come forth with initiatives. I would like to ask you the following – How long have the Turks lived on our lands? And I’m not even talking about the fact that they seized those lands from us. I’m talking about prior to that.

NA – Centuries, About 1,000 years.

CA – The Germans no longer demand Alsace-Lorraine and we French no longer think about the Ruhr. We should at least get smart. We must understand the reality of things. All this has ended. I’ll say more. Even if they return those lands to us, who will go there and live? No one. Let’s get real.

NA – But don’t you think that the Armenian authorities have a good mastery of the issue and that steps are being taken in the right direction?

CA – I know nothing about that. We speak to the authorities regarding this the next time. I do not want to take any steps without getting their opinion. All I know is that their priority is the opening of the border. It’s the outside world that is based on this war of words. Domestically, they are suffering from it.

NA – Don’t you believe, however, that the basic reason for the exodus from Armenia is the domestic system which offers no hope to the population? And we are not even taking into account the military situation in Karabakh. So must we compromise in this issue as well?

CA – Yes. This is how it is. We are doing nothing to help the people living there. Just the opposite. I know awful stories about the Mafiosi who are literally devouring the villagers on their lands. Those Mafia members must be executed. Things cannot continue like this. Those who want to become the Mafia should go live in other countries, not in Armenia. For the love of God, don’t fight against your own people.

NA – What’s your priority regarding the Armenian Question?

CA – I want agreement. I want the Turks to recognize that which happened. For me it’s the same; genocide or another word. Even if they use that word, what will it give me?

I want them to recognize the massacres. That’s the description they used at the time. The entire world spoke of the massacres. And all of a sudden, starting in the 1950s, we got transfixed on the term ‘genocide’. Even though it equates with the reality, it’s a tough pill to swallow.

NA – In any case.

CA – They don’t want to accept the fact that they took a decision to wipe a people off the face of the earth. Thus, we cannot forget what happened. But we must advance towards hope.

The Turks along the border aren’t opposed to Armenians. The mayor of Diyarbekir has openly stated that such recognition must happen. But there are also those who state the opposite. The Turkish nation is moving and moved at the funeral of Hrant Dink.

NA – And what is your opinion on Karabakh?

CA – It’s part of an overall program. At a minimum, it must be made clear whether Karabakh belonged to Azerbaijan prior to Stalin presenting it to Baku. Is Karabakh a part of Armenia? No, it’s a sovereign country.

NA – Do you seek agreement with the authorities in Armenia before making such pronouncements?

CA – Whenever I discuss my positions with them, they always say that I am correct. But they do nothing. The same in France. It’s not possible to talk with the authorities whoever they are.

I do not believe that France will do anything for us. Turkey is very important for France and we can’t overlook this. France always presents itself as powerful but come decision time it’s another matter. France will never do anything for the Armenians. We have been in a waiting mode for the past 90 years.

And today you are waiting for miracles even though the odds are stacked against such a thing. I do not dream. My life is proof. I have worked. I might not possess the mental prowess to effectively articulate what I believe but I say it nevertheless because it’s what I am thinking.

NA – Have you always been interested in politics?

CA – I am interested in politicians, both male and female. I want to wait and see what they will do. Promises, promises. Yesterday, I hosted my friend Besancenot. (Olivier Besancenot - French far left political figure and trade unionist). I respect the man for his sincerity.

NA – So, in reality, you wish to help Armenians?

CA - We must help them and the Turks. This issue between us must be resolved is we are people with the will to do so.

NA – But the Armenians? Aren’t you plundering them just a bit? Do you hold yourself accountable?

I have spent my life plundering society. Wouldn’t I do the same with Armenians? One day my sister said to me – Do you believe that the Turks can kill you one day?

The Armenians can do the same for the same reasons. I am a risk taker. This is how I see reality. Will I suffer as a result? Perhaps. But let the others show me a resolution and not just protestations.

I discussed the plight of Islamized Armenians with the RA President. I told him something must be done because these people are neglected. They must be helped.

We are not opposed to Islam. There are six wonderful mosques in Armenia that were ‘saved’ despite orders by Stalin to destroy them. Iran is doing what it can to renovate them.

We are a nation and a nation is comprised of all different sorts; the very good and the very bad, and all religions. It is normal that we have Christians, Jews and Muslims. Armenia must move in this direction, just like Europe.

NA – You have known all three presidents of Armenia. Can you tell us your impressions?

CA – No, that’s not my job. They are all men of goodwill. But sometimes circumstances get in the way. In any case, none of the three presidents has ever said ‘no’ to me. Perhaps they should have on certain occasions.

What does it mean to be Armenian today? I would like to know. What does a diaspora Armenia mean? To eat and drink well? To own a store and rattle on about the genocide? Is that what being an Armenian is all about? It is just not enough.


Comments By Sukru Server Aya

1. This interview reminded me of Hovannes Katchaznuni's Manifest of 1923 in Bucarest, in which he had admitted all the mistakes by the Revolutionaries and concludeds that the "Dashnaks had nothing more left to do, but liquidate" themselves.

2. Well, despite his desire the Dashnaks are pretty much in control of everything in Armenia and diaspora of USA and France but it is nice to hear Mr. Aznavour's mentioning of "three mafia families in Armenia", who undoubtedly must have ties also outside. Mr. Aznavour, who was and is much loved in Turkey, this time spoke of bitter realities and emphasized that the "king is naked and decent people desert Armenia" regardless of the boastings and propagandas which fill no stomachs other than a few mafia pockets!

3. Yet, Mr. Aznavour like most Armenians, "believes in intended massacres" but disagrees now only with the label "genocide". I have never claimed that Turks did not kill any Armenians, but these were in retaliation and did not include women and children (who were killed unexceptionally by revolutionaries) but murder of men only that were caught and who were "executed but without refinements of cruelty" which was emphasized by Captain Emory Niles in his report. For an excellent example of the Turkish retaliations, readers are advised to read the excerpt in pages 652 to 656 of my first book "The Genocide of Truth".

4. I am attaching a portion from my book chapter no.21, excerpted from the "Armenian Affairs" magazine, from the long report of Mr. Roy Carlson (or Arthur Derounian) who was in Berlin in mid 1949, talking to "black-market rulers" the Dashnaks, and explaining their talents. My question is very simple and directed to Mr. Aznavour or Baliozian or other Armenian friends "who believe in a large scale pre-planned massacre or genocide": If that was to be true and really important, how come that the Dashnaks and other persons Arthur Derounian interviewed in Berlin, did not mention massacres (or genocide)?

My findings are that the word "genocide" or "massacre stories" were fabricated after 1960's once the "innocent displaced Armenians were transferred to USA" in order to establish a cause of unity among Armenians who were assimilating, and also prepare a psychological cause for the "Armenian mass killings of all Turkish diplomats" after 1973 and was a "brain storming story to train Justice or ASALA commandos, who were trained in Bekaa valley in Lebanon" to kill Turks!

If I am wrong I need a logical explanation as regards "why Arthur Derounian made no mention of massacres/genocide" by Turks in his interesting article!

With my love and respect to Mr. Aznavour and compliments for his delayed sincerity!

Sukru S. Aya

Comments at http://hetq.am/eng

Hovsep - 9 October, 2011
Anyone who starts demanding that Turkey's border must be open at all costs in order for Armenia to "Breath" or to "have a future", he hasn't a clue about economics nor politics, and is not doing Armenia a favor. Charles Aznavour should stick to what he knows and can do best, which is sing. If he wants to be helpful to Armenia, then let him resign his position as ambassador of Armenia to Switzerland in protest against this corrupt regime as he seems to at least understand Armenia is run by several mafia families. He can also use his vast fortune to fund NGO's fighting corruption in Armenia instead of being a puppet Representative for criminals. Shame on Charles!

levik - 9 October, 2011
I guess Hovsep doesn't live in one of the impoverished border villages in Armenia. He wouldn't be mouthing off so bravely if he did. The man says the mafia in Armenia must be stood up against a wall and executed - what more do you want? I'd rather have him stay on as an Ambassador of the RA and make such statements. I haven't heard anyone else from the Spyurk with his standing make such statements or describe Armenia as heading down the road to ruin. Let him keep on talking!!!Let the traditional diaspora parties, AGBU, etc, fund NGo's fighting corruption and fraudulent elections in Armenia. Or are they too busy lobbying in Washington for handouts.

Vehari - 9 October, 2011
I'm sure Aznavour against him for an interview only a few toghn comment writers to read: If we assume I would have said that corruption is widespread in the world's powerful countries have to care about the human rights and the kentarkvein ignored my statements, but also a great Aznavour great diplomat says great mastery of the same words: it does not say that he was to direct the majority of them are liars but it does say, the Turks are a nation whose hakachshmartutyunner to teach, to: Aznavour, a man in the world to listen to and end - the end of his statement nmanneri sooner or later the world must recognize the Armenian claims, and we returned to our homeland.

Steve - 9 October, 2011
It is a rather late conversion to reality from Mr Aznavour. Especially from one who has been very willing to play the genocide recognition game himself to generate praise from Armenian organisations, and who has also been very willing to lend his name to certain projects that have substantially enriched the Mafiosi. But the conversion, though late, is welcome and should be encouraged and praised. I just hope he sticks with it and doesn't recant.

drizzlebrain - 8 October, 2011
Thank you for the very powerful insights of the great man with more than a life of experience. Trying to make a difference for the 1,800,000. Open, daring, honest, minimalist in words, capturing everything...

Reader - 9 October, 2011
I read and compared to Ara Baliozan interview with mountains, valleys, there is criticism, but that's all done srtavatsutyamb, every thought and contemplation to a nakhdasutyune, and that's Baliozyane nicely that there was a fascist, even after the others had to say. fascism against its own people: Where are nushik mikayelyannere that vot and dzer Ara Baliozyani nmannerin in the Propaganda, and dingy in the throat to rupture the pages of newspapers, read them and know who is the man.

Hovhannes - 10 October, 2011
In his lifetime, Baron Aznavour has gone from goodwill ambassador to real ambassador for Armenia -- a role which he is honored to fill and for which he tries to make a difference. Of course, there are "shish kebab Armenians" in the Diaspora. But there are ALSO "khorovats Armenians" in the ROA! Neither peoples should be stereotyped or painted with one brush. Over the many decades, a fair share of Diasporans have sent funds to struggling Armenians in Armenia, Artsakh, Javakh, Lebanon, Iran and elsewhere -- most often at the expense of strengthening their collective cultural identity, preservation and survival in the Diaspora, and only to later be criticized for not being Armenian enough! Many have worked and lived in Armenia, including myself, and I am not alone in having been looked down upon and stolen from for being no more than an honest patriot. Many in the Diaspora has asked the ROA to be trained for a militia to contribute if a war breaks out, and have been denied such a program. Diasporans have finally begun to form their own. Exactly what does Mr. Aznavour now want from us when the ROA regime has made perfectly clear that the Diaspora is to be milked like cows and then dismissed and discarded? Armenians of the Diaspora need an entity that will speak for them and advocate for them, something that they do NOT have coming from ROA or from Western Armenia, leaving them orphaned, just as their ancestors were.

Vahe 11 October, 2011
Genocide is not just words, it is a historical fact: Charles Aznavour and much love and respect as a singer and as a person and as a patriot, but it should not conclude that he is a good diplomat, they are two different things: Either that, or Turkey. Armenians by the Turks did not like, people are not the only issue here, which is very doubtful kindness, leadership is not something other than the same people, and eventually even the posn is a donkey, what is, again and again the Turks love, Christ is even now known as "Make a face aptakoghin other" is not, this is no more than what they ankhelkutyun

Janna 12 October, 2011
This is a man in all living cells of the anguish he has endvzumi all stages in all champanerov: This is the wisdom of years of experience with which to agree: It's hard to drag ourselves out of the sand, and the impetus to say, yes, our way of holding into the abyss: Who is so husatsel and husakhabvel, who every day look at the eyes of loved one? The chapter has more? And finally, he showed him the type of life he is no longer understood.

ara baliozian 12 October, 2011
Baron Aznavour is right! Madame Justice is not blind. She has 20/20 vision – but only for her friends. During our Ottoman and Soviet periods, and today, under our own semi-sultans and neo-commissars, she has consistently ignored us.

12 October, 2011
/ / We are a nation: a nation composed of the best people to all sorts of circumstance, and professing any religion, is that we have Christians, Jews and Muslims, should go in this direction, which is also in Europe: / / No in Europe where they want to let go of the right to make mistakes.

Comments at http://massispost.com/?p=4636

ara baliozian
October 11, 2011
the law is the law only when the law (or the judge) is on our side.
justice in abstraction has no weight.
that’s reality.
we may not like it. we may even hate it.
but so far and after a hundred years
the law has been favoring the opposition.
go ahead and speechify until you are hoarse…

ara baliozian
October 12, 2011
Madame Justice is not blind.
She has 20/20 vision – but only for her friends.
During our Ottoman and Soviet periods,
and today, under our own semi-sultans and neo-commissars,
she has consistently ignored us.

October 12, 2011
I understand the need for recognition but right now that problem is outside of the country (Armenia), there are immediate, real, and serious problems in Armenia right now, unless those issues are solved this “fight” is meaningless. If the Armenian people want to move forward they need to stop wasting all their time in the million cafés and start doing something more constructive. Start writing, start speaking, start listening, and most importantly start thinking.

Even if Turkey acknowledged the Ottoman events what would Armenians in Armenia do? They will still go to the café, they will still go to the club at night and crouch behind their cars, play backgammon and smoke. I do not see the ambition in the populous. If we are going to get real, lets get real. Otherwise the rest of this talk is BS, but hey its what we Armenians do best right?

Anoush Seferian
October 12, 2011
Oh, so according to Mr. Ara Baliozian’s warped logic, Armenians should just accept a dictated history and relinquish all claims. Why not even go further and apologize to the Turks?

No, Mr. Ara Baliozian’s – Most Armenians will never relinquish any claims to land return, reparations and restitution. Genocide acknowledgment without accountability is hollow and meaningless.

Just because Armenians will never relinquish their rights for land, reparation and restitution, it does not mean that their are not focused on rebuilding and developing the Armenian Republic.

October 13, 2011
This apologetic tone and calls of some Armenians for moving on by focusing on the present and future and disregarding the history reminds me of the European liberal “tolerasty”; just because there’s no justice towards Armenians about the Armenian question, it doesn’t mean they should not demand it. Traditions or laws are not abolished just because they are not followed.

ara zeibarian
October 13, 2011
i believe aznavour made good comments. genocide must not be sidetracked though. but i do believe if it’s the oligarchy somehow stopping the border being opened(and here i picture a conivining turk saying it is) then we should “ask for help from the cia” to topple them. i want open borders and an end to bleaching the armenian landscape of its citizens. i believe in an “prosperous armenia”.

ara baliozian
October 14, 2011
opposing turks in the abstract is easy.
i should like to see our self-righteous heroes exposing and opposing
our own semi-sultans and neo-commissars.
and if so far they have failed to do that,
how may we dare to hope they will have better luck with the turks?

ara baliozian October 10, 2011
Aznavour knows what he is talking about.
i find him more insightful than our Turcocentric ghazetajis and speechifiers.

Diana hambardzumyan October 10, 2011
“For the love of God, don’t fight against your own people.” At any rate this time listen to the hopeless cry of your son, Armenia! And you, bastards, making your people suffer so greatly, hear it and become alert!

Anoush Seferian October 10, 2011
There are two types of stupid Armenians: one says, we will accept any form of acknowledgment, the word genocide does not matter. The other says, ask for genocide acknowledgment first and then you can seek reparations.

Imagine this: a man stands in court and tells the judge, you honor, I did not kill the victim, I only stopped him from breathing. Oh, alright then, since there was no killing involved, then your acknowledgment is accepted.

Imagine this: a man stands in court and tell the judge, your honor i acknowledge that I killed, so let me goo for now; and we will discuss reparations and punishment at some later date.

What Aznavour-oglu and his likes need to understand is: that only the word genocide has legal weight. Any substitute word is meaningless. The word genocide has legal weight.

Crime and punishment go together – you can not sentence and later decide the punishment.



Glendale's Armenian Voice said...

LTP & Charles Aznavour are Disgrace To Our Race!

if anyone should talk against the Armenian Genocide or bash the Armenian nationalism which won our freedom and fought for Artsakh, should be punished and shamed.

Levon Ter Petrosyan, the cursed first president of Armenia, who brought total criminal regime in our country, now bashes Armenian nationalism, and Armenian nationalistic parties for the failure of his regime and the current administration. In his words, nationalism is a cursed ideology which should be banned from every country.

The speech he made to the people, it seemed that he would be fine for Armenia to be a Turkish province, just for little economic help from them.

LTP is a traitor to the Armenian people and our stance, which our freedom fighters and our lobbying groups fought for tirelessly. Another prominent member, who the world knows and loves, seems to be out of touch in reality or he has been bribed by the Turkish authorities.

Charles Aznavour, the famous French singer, last week made a statement in his interview, that Armenians should forget about the Armenian Genocide and try to be friends with Turkey.

Let me ask you this, how can we have normal relationship with a country that doesn't even want to open the borders with us, and is pursuing Pan-Turkism against us, which jeopardizes our independent state?

The Armenian nationalism, it's ideas, it's beliefs are the only salvation for the Armenian people both at home and abroad.

The problem with our state is corruption and loss of values within our authorities. Install nationalistic government just like in Georgia and you will see Armenia will become stronger, bigger (Naxichevan and Getashen should be ours) and prosperous.


Bixby Ay said...

The word genocide is not a "word". It's a concept. It is a verdict.

In the case of sad events that happened during the First World War, there never was a Judgment. Never. It is a Fact. No Real Court, no Real Judgment, no Verdict. (I don't consider the opinion of politicians in need to have more votes from some diaspora as a Legal Verdict with any kind of Universal Power upon Turks or other given groups of humans)

For Turks, it's not the same. It's the whole difference. Because Turks respect the meaning of words, their total implications. A Genocide means the Intention clearly established to get rid of a group of Humans. During World War One, if there ever was an Intent of Genocide, clearly expressed, (not by fake documents or else) it was to get rid of Turks of the face of Earth.

If people want to play with words coming from the legal world , the basic politeness consist to know that there are war crimes, crimes against humanity and crime of Genocide. The millisecond a child, any child, whatever his blood, religion, color, is touched is a war crime

The minute a child is slaughterd, it's a crime against humanity
These are Facts.

War crimes and Crimes against Humanity happened, on all the sides. It's terrible, it's sad, it's unforgettably True and to cry for (people used to live together, before, so it's even sadder to imagine the pain of the war, the treason, the slaughters from all sides). But Turks, who had to go on living among their neighbours, chose to go on, and not open the wound every second. They chose to teach their children that this war had been cruel, sad, and the best way to go on, was through education, shared, through love, shared, and hope of new memories to build together. While, sadly, for Armenians, the hate became a cement of any future, sort of... (I speak french like Aznavour, sorry for my english, in french, as he should know, there are words like prévenu, accusé, condamné, and I know the french speaking diaspora's hate too much...)

If Aznavour feels free to dismiss words, I think that if The G word is used for 1 side, it should be used twice as much for the bones Turks fall onto, every week, every monthes, every year, only in trying to build new homes, they find new mass graves full of ... TURKS

UzayGözlemcisi said...

Aznavour would try to forget what Armenia had done to Turks in armenia to Azeri,and Akhıska Turks before 1915,for example ,in 1905.Deportation !!! After 1915,just in Russia invasion,Hıntschacks,made genocide with the aid of Russia army,later by themselves .Turkish Historians have to reveal yhese realities.

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