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10/13/2020 Nagorno Karabakh (International Christian Concern) – A ceasefire agreed between Armenia and Turkish-backed Azerbaijan on October 10th continues to be violated. The World Council of Churches issued a statement condemning these violations and expressing shock at the targeting of Ghazanchetsots Cathedral. Turkish-Armenian Member of Parliament Garo Paylan has opened a parliamentary inquiry as to how Turkey can ensure the ceasefire holds.

The current conflict is driven by Turkish nationalism and includes significant anti-Armenian sentiment. Both Turkey and Azerbaijan share a common religious and ethnic identity. They are geographically separated only by Armenia, who is not only a different ethnicity but also Christian. They are currently fighting in a disputed territory internationally recognized as belonging to Azerbaijan but predominately Armenian. They have made it clear that their military operation is to expel Armenians from these lands.

The resulting anti-Armenian sentiment is extremely worrying as it bears resemblance to events preceding pogroms and genocides committed by Turkey against religious minorities. Turkey has eliminated most Armenians by pursuing genocide in the 20th century, yet wrongly claims that this violence against Armenians was justified. Unfortunately, this kind of language continues to be evident in today’s conflict. Turkey’s support of Azerbaijan in the current conflict includes a position of leadership and influence. If any ceasefire is to be fairly and consistently implemented, then Turkey must set the example.

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