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Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s article for TPQ, entitled “Turkish–Armenian Relations: Is a ‘Just Memory’ Possible?” created a unique opportunity to initiate a dialogue about the application of the concept of “just memory” to Turkey-Armenian history, and more specifically to 1915. In addition to garnering significant interest from the media, Davutoğlu’s article was followed by a critique by Professor Gerard Libaridian, former official negotiator for Turkish-Armenian relations and advisory board member of TPQ.

We encourage you to join the conversation: #JustMemoryDebate

The Debate so far…

9 June 2014: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s article “Turkish–Armenian Relations: Is a 'Just Memory' Possible?” is published in TPQ’s Spring 2014 issue

“The ‘just memory’ concept that we have frequently employed during this process is critically important. In order for Turks and Armenians to understand what each other has experienced, it is essential that they respect one another’s memory. For the Armenians, 1915 was a year of relocation during which exceedingly great tragedies took place. The years prior to and after 1915 were also a time of tremendous tragedy for the Turks in Anatolia. It was at this time that Turks fought for their very survival in the Balkan Wars, at Çanakkale, and in the War of Independence. Actually, this was a time of ‘shared pain.’”


The media responds to FM Davutoglu’s TPQ article:


26 June 2014:Turkey mulls ‘bold steps’ of Armenia to begin ‘new era’,” Hurriyet Daily News

“In an article published in the spring edition of the Turkish Policy Quarterly journal, Davutoğlu wrote that Erdoğan’s statement should be the foundation for further steps.”

26 June 2014:‘Just Memory’: Davutoglu Urges Armenians to Deny the Genocide,” Asbarez.com

“The ‘bold steps’ Davutoglu is advocating is for Armenians to deny the Armenian Genocide and adopt Turkey’s version of history, which has recently been rebranded to included phrases such as ‘shared pain,’ which in Davutoglu’s mind will foster a concept he calls ‘just memory.”



30 June 2014:Davutoglu experiences serious crisis as politician and theorist,” Panarama.am

“Melkonyan stressed that Davutoglu experiences a serious crisis as a politician and theorist and confuses theory with politics.”

4 July 2014:Giro Manoyan says Erdogan could visit Armenia as President,” Public Radio of Armenia

“Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in an article published in the Turkish Policy Quarterly journal that an ‘unjust memory has been created around the events of 1915.’ Head of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau’s Hay Dat and Political Affairs Office Giro Manoyan says this was yet another attempt by the Turkish Foreign Minister to distort history and facts.”


The Armenian President joins the debate


10 July 2014:Sarkisian Rejects Davutoglu’s ‘Just Memory’,” The Armenian Weekly

“It is not ‘a just memory,’” Sarkisian said, referring to Davutoglu’s recent statements. “We cannot accept this ‘just memory.’ In fact, this is an updated, improved, and re-packaged version of the policy of denial of the Armenian Genocide.”

16 July 2014: Gerard Libaridian’s Commentary on FM Davutoglu’s Article on the Armenian Issue is released on TPQ’s website

“It is antihistorical to treat the Armenian issue, or any issue for that matter, as if time and history began with the Ottoman Empire. There was a world be- fore and outside the Ottoman Empire, and that world included an Armenian people, an Armenian identity, and Armenian states in a good part of what is today Turkey, long before the word Turk appeared anywhere in those territories.”



22 July 2014:Professor Libaridian responds to Turkish FM’s call for a ‘just memory’,” Hurriyet Daily News

“I cannot expect Diaspora Armenians to relativize what happened to their people when it comes to relations with the Turkish state when that Turkish state seems to continue the path of engineering memory instead of respecting it.”

Join the debate #JustMemoryDebate