Commentary No : 2019 / 6
4 min read

In spite of his various statements that he would continue to support Armenian allegations regarding 1915 Events, it seems that certain influential members of the Armenian diaspora in France are not only actively working, but violently waging a struggle against French President Emmanuel Macron.

As it was elaborated in a Center For Eurasian Studies (AVİM) commentary last year, Emmanuel Macron made a statement almost a year ago on 31 January 2018 about the 1915 Events at the annual gala dinner of the Coordination Council of the Armenian Organizations of France, umbrella organization of the Armenian diaspora in this country and announced that so-called Armenian genocide commemoration day will be included in the national event calendar of France.  He also said once more that the crime of genocide denial should be added to the agenda of the French Parliament and that the struggle for the recognition of the 1915 events as “genocide” is at the same time a struggle for the fight against genocide denial.[1]

It is well known that violent tactics and methods were employed by the certain Armenian organizations in the past including terrorist attacks not only against Turkish missions and diplomats in France but also against the French people and France. Turkish Ambassador to France İsmail Erez was brutally assassinated on 24 October 1975 in Paris by Armenian terrorists.  Turkish Tourism Counsellor in Paris, Yılmaz Çorpan and Attaché Cemal Öz were martyred as well by the Armenian terrorists respectively on 22 December 1979 and 24 September 1981 also in Paris. It should be remembered in this respect that almost 36 years have passed since the Orly Airport attack by an Armenian terrorist organization on 15 July 1983. In this heinous attack eight people, four of them French were killed and fifty five people injured. This horrible terrorist attack is still remembered as Massacre de Orly.

France recently has faced with “yellow jacket” protests. Protests have started as simple political reaction against the rise in fuel prices. However, in a short period of time the simple political reaction has turned into a violent riot. It is reported in the press that “extraordinary violence unleashed in Paris and other cities”  and “much of the smashing and burning was carried out by a radical wing of the Yellow Jackets themselves: men and some women, aged 20 to 50, who poured into Paris from struggling towns in northern France, Brittany and Normandy.”[2] It is also reported in the same news that the “yellow jackets” threatened “to wreck Emmanuel Macron’s presidency:”

Most probably it was a surprise to Emmanuel Macron that one of the self-proclaimed leaders of the “yellow jackets” is from the Armenian diaspora in France. Bloomberg introduces this leader as “Hayk Shahinyan, a 29-year-old salesman who is a Yellow Vests organizer in Normandy.”[3] Public TV Company of Armenia TV 1 in its exclusive interview with Hayk Shahinyan on 24 December 2018 states that “Hayk Shahinyan, one of the four founders of the movement, said in an exclusive interview with News that the issue is of systematic character.”[4] It is also reported in the press that he has also actively supported the “velvet revolution” in his home country of Armenia.[5]

It transpires that Hayk Shahinyan is an active member of the Armenian Diaspora in France and for some time now suggested the reorganization and increasing the visibility of Armenian Diaspora in France.[6] Latest violent acts perpetrated in France involving this Armenian revolutionary activist may indicate that Armenia tries to export its “velvet revolution” to France through the members of the Armenian Diaspora, hence, the Armenian Diaspora becoming more “visible” in France. This development might be considered as a surprise new-year “gift” to Emmanuel Macron by Armenian Diaspora in France in return for his generous support for the unfounded Armenian claims. It is a matter of fact that history is full of surprises and the Turks have bitter remembrances of betrayals.

*Photo: https://www.independent.ie


[1] AVİM, “What Did The French President Imply With The ‘Armenian File’.,” AVİM Commentary 2018, no. 9 (February 22, 2018).

[2] John Lichfield, “Why Are France’s Yellow Jackets so Angry? The Movement Fits a Worldwide Pattern of Populist Revolt against Politics-as-Usual, but with a Very French Accent,” POLITICO, December 14, 2018, https://www.politico.eu/article/why-are-france-yellow-jackets-so-angry-fuel-tax-emmanuel-macron/.

[3] Gregory Viscusi, “France’s Yellow Vests Might Enter Politics—If They Can Unite,” Bloomberg, December 19, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-19/france-s-yellow-vests-might-enter-politics-if-they-can-unite.

[4] “News Interviews Armenian Founder of Yellow Vests Movement,” December 24, 2018, http://news.1tv.am/en/2018/12/24/News-interviews-Armenian-founder-of-Yellow-vests-movement/108984.

[5] “ID  L’info Durable. Des ‘Gilets Jaunes’ à La Recherche d’une Issue Politique,” December 4, 2018, https://www.linfodurable.fr/des-gilets-jaunes-la-recherche-dune-issue-politique-8512.

[6] “Conférence/ Débat. Le Collectif Azat Dzayn. Discoures de Hayk Shahinyan.,” Online, Info Armenie, November 24, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XsfEfQultA.

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