CORNELL UNIVERSITY MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
April 25, 2018
Unpopular leader falls to Armenian velvet revolution
Lori Khatchadourian, associate professor at the department of Near Eastern Studies and a scholar of the Soviet and post-Soviet Caucasus, comments on the political upheaval and street protests that have gripped Armenia over the last two weeks, prompting the resignation of the country’s prime minister, Serzh Sargsyan.
“The timing for a ‘velvet revolution’ in Armenia could not have been more auspicious.
“On April 24, Armenians around the world commemorated the Armenian genocide, which was itself a suppressive response to a movement for civil rights among Ottoman Armenians. To repress this week’s popular movement with force would have placed Armenia’s prime minister, Serzh Sargsyan, in an unimaginable parallel structural position with the Young Turks.
“It remains to be seen whether this revolution will lead to real reform, but for now Armenians are taking a moment to celebrate an unprecedented surrender of an unpopular sovereign to the will of the people.”
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