Naming streets in Turkey after Talaat Pasha is like the streets in Germany were named after Hitler, said Serj Tankian, System Of A Down frontman in an interview with the German online magazine Laut.de.
“We – not just System Of A Down, but the entire Armenian, Hellenic, Assyrian community around the world – have worked hard to ensure that the genocide perpetrated by the Ottomans is properly and officially recognized by all nations of the world. Many countries, including Germany, followed suit a long time ago. In December 2019, the US Congress finally did its job and formally recognized the genocide. And as you said: Biden was the first to … well, Reagan kind of said it before, but not completely and formally. This is what Biden has now done as the first President,” said Serj Tankian.
“The momentum to recognize the genocide has grown and attention is increasing worldwide. It does not help, that under Erdoğan’s government, Turkey invaded Syria and Libya as a rogue state, led troops and Syrian mercenaries to the Caucasus to attack the peaceful people in Nagorno Karabakh, drilling in the Mediterranean Sea and harassing the Greeks and Cypriots, et cetera. All of this plays a role in the modern context,” added Tankian.
“Garo Paylan is the only member of Armenian descent in the Turkish parliament. His life is constantly in danger. All the leaders of his party HDP – basically the only opposition party in the country – are in prison. Paylan was left in there as an example to be able to say: “Hey, look, we also allow other opinions.” Garo Paylan shows great courage to appear in parliament every year and to demand that the genocide be recognized.
This year he said: “In Turkey streets are named after Talat Pasha.” Talat Pasha was the minister who organized the Armenian genocide. It’s as if streets in Germany were named after Hitler. Of course Paylan is threatened. There is a member of parliament who only threatened him with death yesterday Turkey is currently in a downward spiral – economically and politically. Erdogan’s men for the rough thrown opposition politicians, journalists and Kurds in jail, killing them in Afrin in Syria and so on. It will not go on forever. Turkey must be properly democratized. The Turkish people need their vote back and a righteous government to represent them, and Erdogan wants to be sultan.
“I believe there will be real forgiveness and reconciliation if Turkey gets a leadership that makes the right decisions, looks impartially at history and says, “We have to make concessions. We have to do the right thing.” Like Germany after the Second World War – you have to deal with your own history appropriately. We are all waiting for this day. All of this is minor pressure to make diplomatic changes and pressure on Turkey to ultimately do the right thing,” he said.