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Armenian Genocide Commemorations List and related articles

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#1661 Yervant1


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Posted 29 March 2018 - 09:09 AM

News.am, Armenia
March 28 2018
Armenian Genocide remembrance resolution submitted at California State Assembly
14:07, 28.03.2018

California State Assembly Member Laura Friedman has introduced Resolution 37 at Monday’s assembly meeting, and which declares April 24, 2018 as Armenian Genocide 103rd Anniversary Commemoration Day in California, according to Asbarez Armenian daily newspaper of the US.

Friedman recalled that on April 24, Armenians in the US State of California will commemorate the terrible crimes that were committed against their people, pledging to rekindle the fight against hatred and intolerance throughout the world. 

She noted that this resolution is an opportunity for Californians to pay tribute to the memory of millions of Armenian victims, and to demand from leaders to condemn any attempt to deny the historical fact of Armenian Genocide.

Laura Friedman will read this resolution during the respective voting at the California State Assembly, and which is slated for April 23.


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Posted 03 April 2018 - 10:37 AM

The Armenian Weekly
April 2 2018
Boston Prepares to Commemorate 103rd Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide with Weekend of Events

By Weekly Staff on April 2, 2018

Annual Mass. State House Commemoration (April 20); Protest at the Turkish Consulate and Commemoration at Armenian Heritage Park (April 21) Planned

BOSTON, Mass. (A.W.)—Each April, the Armenian community of Greater Boston holds a number of commemorative events to honor and remember the victims of the Armenian Genocide and to voice the community’s demands for justice.


A scene from an Armenian Genocide rally in Boston (Photo: Araz Chiloyan)

The target of this year’s programs, according to the committee’s two young co-chairs, will focus on coming together as a community, united against genocide.

“Each year, our committee aims to present a fresh program, full of new novel ideas—whether it is through different speakers, new dance and vocal performances, and so forth. This year’s program is to encourage and be able to connect with the community’s youth,” committee co-chair Saro Sakaian, an active member of various Armenian organizations and initiatives in the Boston-area, told the Armenian Weekly.

The commemorative event, open to the public, will be held at the Armenian Heritage Park on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway on 3 p.m. on April 21. It will feature guests such as Massachusetts House of Representatives member David Muradian, editor of the Armenian Weekly Rupen Janbazian, among others.


The commemorative event, open to the public, will be held at the Armenian Heritage Park on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway on 3 p.m. on April 21

“Our program, especially with our speakers, this year is to allow the youth to feel a sense of exigency and excitement by the time they are leaving the park. We hope to fill the park with young souls who are excited about the future and making a change,” Sakaian added.

Prior to the commemoration at the Armenian Heritage park, the local Armenian Youth Federation (AYF-YOARF) “Nejdeh” chapter in collaboration with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Sardarabad gomideh, have planned a demonstration, protesting Turkey’s ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide.


The protest will take place at the Consulate General of Turkey (31 St. James Ave., Boston, Mass. 02116) beginning at 1 p.m., after which demonstrators will march to the Armenian Heritage Park to take part in the commemoration

The protest will take place at the Consulate General of Turkey (31 St James Ave., Boston, Mass. 02116) beginning at 1 p.m., after which demonstrators will march to the Heritage Park to take part in the commemoration.

According to the commemoration committee’s other young co-chair, Michael Demirchian, this year’s committee has taken all of the ideas from past years and integrated them to produce improved programs as well as improved efforts for publicity. “Our program lineup varies significantly from year to year adding new and exciting elements,” Demirchian, who is also active in a number of community organizations, added. “We have some first-time participants this year that we hope will truly inspire those in attendance to continue the fight, not just for one day each year, but for many years to come.”

Scheduled performers at the Heritage Park commemoration include Armenian-American rapper R-Mean, Zangakner Performing Arts Ensemble, with more acts to be announced.

A day before the protest and commemoration in the park, the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be remembered and commemorated in the annual Massachusetts State House Commemoration on April 20, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


The 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be remembered and commemorated in the annual Massachusetts State House Commemoration on April 20, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

A light breakfast will accompany an art exhibition prior to the State House program, and a light reception will follow the commemoration. More details about the annual State House Commemoration will be released in the coming days.

“We’re hoping we can create a new buzz around the events and increase attendance to collectivize our voice and truly stand united against genocide—not only for the Armenian Genocide but for all that have occurred and are still taking place,” Demirchian noted.

To learn more about the commemoration, visit the committee’s Facebook page or e-mail BostonAGCC@gmail.com.


#1663 Yervant1


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Posted 04 April 2018 - 09:21 AM

On April 24, March for Justice at the Turkish Consulate in L.A.
10 hours ago

The annual March for Justice to commemorate the Armenian Genocide will take place on Tuesday, April 24 at the Turkish Consulate

LOS ANGELES—The Armenian Genocide Committee, a broad-based, unified, coalition of the major religious, political, social, youth, and cultural organizations of the Armenian community of Southern California, has announced that on April 24 beginning at noon, the March for Justice will take place from Pan Pacific Park to the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles.

“We call on all segments of the community to join us as we commemorate the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and as we continue to voice our collective demands for justice for this immense crime against humanity,” said AGC Chairman Karo Khanjian.

Continuing a more than four-decade tradition of bringing the demands of the Armenian community directly to the offices of the Turkish Consul General in Los Angeles, the AGC has been working diligently for the past year to plan the Rally for Justice which will take place immediately upon the conclusion of the March for Justice in front of the Turkish Consulate located at Wilshire Blvd. and Crescent Heights.

“We are thrilled to announce that we have brought together prominent Federal and State officials, as well as cultural icons, to provide participants in the March and Rally for Justice with a deeply meaningful program which pays homage to our martyred Saints through artistic performances and moving and inspirational addresses,” said Mehran Khatchatourian, of the Public Relations sub-committee of the AGC.

In 2015, which marked the Centennial Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, over 166,000 Angelenos took part with the Armenian community in the March for Justice, making it one of the largest protest marches ever recorded in the history of the City of Los Angeles. At this year’s March for Justice, it is anticipated that tens of thousands will once again gather 103 years after the traumatic events as the Armenian community reasserts its demands for international recognition for the crime of genocide committed against the Armenian people.

The March for Justice will also raise awareness that the Armenian Cause does not end with recognition, but, in addition, reparations and restitution under international law remain central to the struggle, as the Armenian people call for the right to return to their ancestral homeland.
Armenian youth have played a vital role in the organization of the 2018 March for Justice bringing on the participation of numerous undergraduate and graduate university Armenian student associations and the student bodies of every Armenian private school and numerous public schools in the greater Los Angeles area.
“The Armenian struggle is a movement we can call our own and only through us and our will may we shape our destiny. Together, let us prove that our united call for justice will not cease until our demands are met. The March for Justice is an integral part of this world-wide effort and we encourage everyone to join us on April 24 for this historic event,” concluded Van Der Megerdichian, of the youth coordination sub-committee of the AGC.

Mihran Toumajan, member of the AGC committee, concluded by stating: “Be a part of history, join us on April 24, as the March for Justice once again leads a global effort to obtain recognition and secure legal remedies for the Armenian Genocide. We encourage everyone to join us on April 24.”

For more information about the March for Justice, please visit www.march4justice.com.

Armenian Genocide Committee: Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America; Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church; Armenian Catholic Church of North America; Armenian Evangelical Union of North America; Armenian Revolutionary Federation; Armenian Democratic Liberal Party; Social Democrat Hunchak Party; Armenian General Benevolent Union – Western District; Armenian Relief Society – Western USA; Homenetmen Western U.S; Armenian Youth Federation; All-Armenian Student Association; Armenian Assembly of America; Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region; Armenian Council of America; Armenian Bar Association; Organization of Istanbul Armenians; United Armenian Council of Los Angeles; Committee for Armenian Students in Public Schools (CASPS); National Armenian Law Students Association; and Open Wounds


#1664 Yervant1


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Posted 08 April 2018 - 12:53 PM

Pasadena Now, CA
April 7 2018
Pasadena School Board Recommits Itself to Armenian Genocide Education
The Pasadena Unified School District Board of Education unanimously voted to pass a resolution ensuring the Armenian Genocide is taught to its faculty, student body, and the community.
April will also now be known as “Pasadena Unified School District’s Month of Commemoration for the Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.”
The important March 29 resolution also recommits board members involvement with teachers in discussions about ways to educate about genocide and also the most effective ways of communicating societial themes that run through the continuum of genocides of modern history.
The resolution was jointly introduced by Armenian Student Club Chairs Aram Chalikyan of Marshall Fundamental School, and Hamlet Nortikyan of Pasadena High school.
Alison Ghafari, a representative of the Armenian Council of America, commended PUSD for recognizing the atrocities of the Armenian Genocide and recommitting to teaching the history to its faculty and student body.
“The one topic that I do not recall covering in depth was the Armenian Genocide in my Honors World History class,” Ghafari said. “In a chapter of my textbook, the Armenian Genocide was vaguely summarized into one, small paragraph. My teacher at the time was also vague on the subject and showed us a short video clip of an Armenian grandma weeping and giving her testimony on the event and what she had to endure. The video could have resonated with the students within the class, but it did not. There was no discussion after that, no information further given to educate the students. No one understood its importance….I believe that it is important to learn and discuss what has happened in our history to prevent it from repeating itself. Failure to recognize the Armenian Genocide has led to many other ethnic cleansings. That is why it is important to educate our youth on the Armenian Genocide and any other crime against humanity that our education system has forgotten.”
The Armenian Council of America promotes the civic and civil rights interests of the Armenian American community. It hopes to achieve these goals through education, community organization, leadership development, and coalition-building with diverse communities.

#1665 Yervant1


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Posted 13 April 2018 - 09:42 AM

The Armenian Weekly
April 12 2018
A Haunting Death Photo Connects a Great-Great Grandson to His Family History

By Seb Peltekian on April 12, 2018 in Family Histories

Seb Peltekian's great-great grandfather once sat elbow to elbow with the architect of the Armenian Genocide, Djemal Pasha

“It’s undeniably a haunting photograph, no matter who you are.” (Photo: Houshamadyan)

Special to the Armenian Weekly

It’s undeniably a haunting photograph, no matter who you are. Taken sometime in 1918, in Al-Salt in what is now Jordan, it depicts three disheveled young men, 1,000 yard stares on their stubble-covered faces; three women—two young and one elderly with sad eyes—and a number of small children surrounding the body of an old man who lays in a simple box coffin.

But the image’s surreal contents are amplified for me. The name of the dead man is Bedros Peltekian, and I am his great-great grandson.

I had only seen one photograph of Bedros (in fact, I had only seen one photograph of his son, Sahag, my great-grandfather, as well). Bedros’ photo was published in a yellowed Armenian Life Weekly newspaper from Aug. 2, 1991, that my parents kept on a bookshelf in our home. In that photograph, a very alive Bedros, wearing a suit and fez, stands amongst a number of other similarly dressed, official-looking men. In the caption for that photograph, Bedros is titled “pasha,” the yerespokhan [parliamentarian, or deputy] of Adana Vilayet. To this day, my family still refers to him as “Bedros Pasha.”


Of the 20 or so men in the image, only a few have names listed besides Bedros Pasha—he is easy to find, as the number “1” is written above his name—including another relative whose name is simply given as “yerespokhan Balian” (there is a 3 above his name). But it’s the man with the large handlebar mustache and sword, seated in the center of the picture, directly in front of my great-great grandfather, who is the most notable.

His name was Djemal Pasha and he was the governor of Adana Vilayet. He happened to also be one of the chief orchestrators of the Armenian Genocide—the systematic killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire—which, one way or another, led to my great-grandfather’s eventual demise.

It was no coincidence that Bedros was standing close to Djemal, according to my grandfather, the two men would “sit on pillows, elbow to elbow,” the Ottoman style of sitting. Was it just out of formality, or did they sit that way because they were they friends? I suppose I’ll never really know, but either way, this odd photograph is the only record we had of Bedros—until recently.

In Nov. 2014, we suddenly had access to a collection of old family snapshots, including two more with Bedros, thanks to a cousin in Lebanon who submitted a number of photographs from her late-father’s (my great-uncle’s) collection to the website Houshamadyan, a website whose work documenting the lives on Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire has, in effect, created a kind of digital Western Armenia.

The disturbing “death” photograph was one we found on Houshamadyan. This photo confirmed what we knew before, but placed faces and emotions to names that we had always heard. It told us that Bedros lost everything and died far from home. This treasure trove of historic family photographs led me to want to learn more about that part of the family, which nobody seemed to know much about.

While some of the family members had been identified on Houshamadyan’s site, some were mislabeled or did not have names listed at all. My father and I studied the photographs and the captions and were able to piece together who was who.

Then one day, I Googled “Bedros Pasha Peltekian” and discovered a book, Sacred Justice: The Voice and Legacy of the Armenian Operation Nemesis by Marian Mesrobian MacCurdy. The book is a piecing together of memoirs from the author’s grandparents’, which details their involvement in Operation Nemesis, a clandestine campaign carried out by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) to assassinate high-profile Ottoman officials who implemented the Genocide.

Apparently, Bedros, along with two other prominent Armenian men (one of whom was the author’s great-uncle), were blamed for the Dortyol Rebellion that took place in 1909, as a response to the Adana massacres. Bedros and his colleagues were sent to a prison where they were tortured, and set to be hanged. At the last minute, the execution was called off, due to protests by influential Armenians in Constantinople.

Bedros Pasha survived for another nine years. Perhaps his status as a government official and his son Khatchig’s role as a prominent Constantinople lawyer, played some part in this. But even if that was the case, it was short lived. My grandfather told me a story where Djemal Pasha confronted Bedros just before the numerous massacres of Armenians evolved into a full-blown genocide. Djemal gave Bedros a warning, telling him that “We are going to start killing Armenians. If you convert to Islam, you will be spared.” My great-great grandfather refused, stating, “How could I live with myself knowing that my friends and family were killed?” Bedros and his family were deported, and somewhere along the way, he died.

Had Bedros taken up Djemal on his offer, I wouldn’t have been born. He could have converted to Islam, survived the genocide, and potentially lived to a ripe old age. But he stuck by his principles and suffered because of it, eventually losing his life. If this had happened, it’s possible that my father would have been born, but he wouldn’t be the man I know today: Culturally speaking, he’d be Turkish, whether he knew he had Armenian roots or not.

A hundred years ago, a photograph was taken of a grieving family surrounding the body of their patriarch—a man who was a father, a husband, and a grandfather. I don’t know why this photograph was taken all those years ago. I do know that “Victorian death photography” was not uncommon in the West at that time, in which photographs were taken of recently deceased individuals surrounded by their families. Perhaps my ancestors had the same sort of idea in mind?

Whatever the intention, today, this obscure photograph, taken all those years ago, in a very different world, connects a great-great grandson to his family history.


#1666 Yervant1


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Posted 13 April 2018 - 09:44 AM

Pasadena Now, CA
April 12 2018
New Signs on I-210 Foothill Freeway Lead to Pasadena's Armenian Genocide Memorial
Published : Thursday, April 12, 2018 | 5:46 AM
State Senator Anthony J. Portantino will be joining the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee for the official unveiling of the I-210 Freeway signs for the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial on Saturday, April 21, Armenian news agency PanArmenian said in a report Wednesday.
The event at Memorial Park in Pasadena is open to the community.
The Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial is a solemn reminder of 1.5 million Armenians who were killed during the Armenian Genocide. It also serves as a religious and cultural celebration for the thousands of Armenian American descendants of survivors within the 25th Senate District and Los Angeles County.
Prior to his election to the State Senate, Senator Portantino served on the Board of the Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee which constructed the memorial. After his election, Senator Portantino requested for informational signs to be installed to direct the public to the memorial.
As of April 1, Caltrans has installed two freeway and two off-ramp signs on Interstate 210.
Senator Portantino currently represents Senate District 25, which is home to the largest Armenian-American community in the country.
Saturday’s unveiling ceremony will start with a march at 5 p.m. arriving at the Armenian Genocide Memorial, and will also include distinguished clergy and dignitaries, a Pasadena Armenian Genocide Memorial Committee announcement said.

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Posted 13 April 2018 - 09:52 AM

PanArmenian, Armenia
April 12 2018
Australian national TV to air film about Armenian Genocide
April 12, 2018 - 10:54 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) has announced that the Compass television program on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) will broadcast a shortened-for-television version of "Children of a Genocide", which Armenian-Australian director Shahane Bekarian has titled "Echoes of My Ancestors".

The first Australian-produced feature documentary covering the Armenian Genocide, "Children of a Genocide" delves into the inter-generational effects of the Genocide on Armenian-Australian descendants of survivors and victims. "Echoes of My Ancestors" will premiere nationally on Compass on April 21 and will repeat the next day. Thereafter, it will be available for on-demand viewing on ABC iView.

ANC-AU, as a proud co-producer of the film, congratulated Shahane Bekarian on this magnificent news.

"Mr. Bekarian is a local product of the Armenian-Australian community, of whom we are immensely proud for having excelled in his field of filmmaking," commented ANC-AU Executive Director, Haig Kayserian. "We were genuinely excited to partner with him on this project, and are glad it is now receiving deserved recognition with the ABC announcing its upcoming national television premiere on Compass."

"We trust the ABC will do the story and the history justice, and we look forward to the greater Australian community being further informed on our community's battle for justice for the Armenian Genocide on behalf of our ancestors," Kayserian added.

Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as Genocide.

Turkey denies to this day.


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Posted 13 April 2018 - 09:59 AM

ArmenPress, Armenia
April 12 2018
Armenian Genocide commemoration events to begin April 17 in the Netherlands

YEREVAN, APRIL 11, ARMENPRESS. The 103rd anniversary commemorative events of the Armenian Genocide in the Netherlands will begin April 17th.

Mato Hakhverdyan, president of the Federation of Armenian Organisations in The Netherlands, told ARMENPRESS that a rally will take place against the Government on April 17 in a square near the parliament building in the Hague.

“As you know, the parliament of Netherlands has recognized the Armenian Genocide, a document was adopted two times, but the government continues using other terms while speaking about this topic, saying – “the issue of the Armenian Genocide”. The parliament’s recognition didn’t impact the vocabulary of the government. It is important for us that the government uses correct terms in speeches, rather than make up some thing every time. We plan to submit a petition to the government,” he said.

In accordance to the recently adopted document, a government official of the Netherlands should visit Armenia once in five years and pay tribute at the Armenian Genocide Memorial. Hakhverdyan said that this year the government’s representative will visit Armenia for the first time since the adoption of this document.

“We’ve made numerous questions until now, however, no name has been released. We don’t have a final answer yet. It is probable that they will fail to make a final decision until April 24”, he said.

A new cross-stone and a monument in honor of the Armenian Genocide victims will be unveiled on April 21 on the occasion of the 103rd anniversary. The monument will be placed in the territory of the Holy Spirit Armenian Church of Amsterdam.

A commemoration event will take place April 24 near the cross-stone.

Another event will take place April 24 near the Armenian Genocide memorial in Assen, where politicians and public figures will deliver remarks.

A mass will be held near the Armenian Genocide memorial of Almelo on the same day.

English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 07:30 AM

PanArmenian, Armenia
April 13 2018
Annual torchlight procession to mark Armenian Genocide anniv. on Apr 23
April 13, 2018 - 14:00 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - The traditional torchlight procession commemorating the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be held on April 23, the organizers revealed in an emailed statement.

This annual procession is the symbolic part of the struggle for the recognition of the mass killings throughout the world.

Prior to the launch of the march, the youth usually pay tribute to the 1.5 million innocent victims of the first Genocide of the 20th century with a moment of silence, then burn a Turkish flag to protest Ankara's denialist policy.

Carrying Armenian tricolors and chanting national songs, the protesters process towards Tsitsernakaberd where the Armenian Genocide memorial is nestled.

Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as Genocide.

Turkey denies to this day.


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Posted 14 April 2018 - 07:40 AM

RFi, France
April 13, 2018
Genocide: the Alevi of Europe in Armenia for a "journey of forgiveness"
By Elena Gabrielian Published on 13-04-2018 Last modified 13-04-2018 at 15:35
A delegation from the European Alevis Confederation to the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, the capital.Elena Gabriellan / RFI
For the first time, a delegation from the European Alevis Confederation went to Yerevan, the Armenian capital. For members of this religious minority itself discriminated against in Turkey, it was a matter of apologizing for not being able to prevent the genocide which made about 1.5 million Armenian victims in 1915.
At the time of boarding the plane, Eldar Kiliçkaya distributes to his group brochures specially made for this occasion. From the outset, the symbolic dimension of this trip to Armenia is palpable. For the President of the European Confederation of Alevis, an important event awaits these men and women. The choice of title attests: "Alévis-Arméniens: a historic meeting in Yerevan". For the first time, a dozen Alevis living in France, Germany and Austria visit the Armenian capital.
Two million Alevis, a Muslim minority with between 15 and 20 million members in Turkey, live in Europe. Three years ago, a handful of activists launched in France "a manifesto of forgiveness". In this text, the Alevis expressed their regret that they could not prevent the genocide of the Armenians in 1915, which Turkey still refuses to recognize. A decision that sparked division within the Armenian diaspora.
"Opening doors was a difficult task," recalls Suleyman Akguc, representative of the Alevi Federation of France. There was distrust in the community as a whole. On the occasion of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide in 2015, the Alévis launch this manifesto and make contact with some associations including the collective "Common Dream" of Michel Marian, French philosopher of Armenian origin. The latter, along with the producer Gorune Aprikian, seize the outstretched hand and then prepare together this historic visit to Armenia.
"The hardening of the Turkish state's policy towards us has fostered rapprochement between the two peoples," said Suleyman. By chance, this trip coincides with the cancellation of the protocols aimed at normalizing relations between Ankara and Yerevan, signed by both parties in 2009.
"We are more than neighbors"
In Armenia, during exchanges between parliamentarians, students and journalists, a question is constantly raised: "Who are the Alevis? ". A century ago, Alevis and Armenians lived together on the Anatolian lands in the Ottoman Empire. "We have a lot in common, we are more than just neighbors," says Yilmaz, who came from Germany, to French-speaking students at the Yerevan Language University.
If these young people perpetuate the memory of the 1.5 million victims of the genocide, they are still unaware that a few decades later, their neighbors have experienced an equally tragic destiny. In 1937, thousands of Alevis were massacred in the Dersim region, threatened by the Turkish state's assimilation policy. "It was a lesson for us because we thought it was our turn," said Eldar Kilickaya during the meeting with Armenian civil society.
On a large screen in a conference room, he shows pictures of the village of Zini Gedigi. These recent snapshots, made in northeastern Turkey, show bones in a charnel house, mixed with stones and left open. On August 6, 1938, a hundred Alevis were massacred there. Eldar travels every year to participate in the commemorations of this tragedy. According to him, for several years the families of the victims have been asking relentlessly for DNA tests to be carried out, but all the requests have been unsuccessful. The memorial, built on the scene of the tragedy, was even destroyed.
Persecutions suffered throughout the twentieth century have pushed thousands of Alevis to emigrate. Discriminated by the Turkish authorities, the 15 million Alévis live today in a climate of fear, describes Eldar who left Istanbul in 1991 to join France. "Currently in Turkey there is no prefect, nor deputy Alevi, he says. We are stigmatized. My 80-year-old mother lives in Istanbul. When she leaves home, she covers her head. During Ramadan, leave the light on at night. In order not to lose their work, Alevis traders close their shops and go to the mosque. Yet we are not Muslims.
Armenian Roots
These stories about this hidden identity are particularly close to Armenians. Ironically, in order to escape death in Turkey, many of them converted to Alevism, considered more "acceptable" than Sunni. Because this religious minority remains very far from classical Islam.
The Alevi practice a heterodox worship in which we find elements of Shiite Islam, but also Christianity and Zoroastrianism. Alevism does not prohibit alcohol, for example, and men and women can pray together. Another notable feature, believers do not attend mosques but practice their worship in "cemevi".
A famous Armenian ethnographer, Hranouch Kharatyan, has been studying the life of Armenians in Turkey for years after the genocide. This research took her to the Dersim region of eastern Turkey, where she became interested in Alevism. "There, I met many Alevis who claimed their Armenian roots, but they were not aware of the events of 1915 because they inherited" the memory of the empire, "says the ethnographer. Everyone knew the story of his family, but not the collective fate of his people.
According to her, many elements related to the history of Alevis still remain to be studied. Hranoush Kharatyan explains that there is no sufficiently dense bibliography of this cruel period of the Ottoman Empire. The Alevis make an oral transmission. But in Armenia, there are rare written sources dating back to the fifteenth century. In the capital, Yerevan, is one of the largest manuscript depositories in the world, Matenadaran. The ethnographer invites the Alevis to return to Armenia to deepen history together.
For the delegation, this first trip to their historic neighbors is just the beginning, although Eldar admits that "showing up alongside Armenians" can be a risk. In early February, the Secretary General of the Alevi Union of Austria was arrested on arrival in Turkey. "He was released later but it shows that we are living in a dark period. I do not know what can happen to me if I go back to Turkey, "worries Eldar after visiting the Yerevan genocide memorial with the entire delegation.
This concern is also shared by Suleyman. However, the latter would like to join this year the commemorative march for the victims of the Armenian Genocide, which takes place each year in Paris, April 24. "We want to be on the right side of the story," he insists.

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Posted 14 April 2018 - 07:41 AM

Tribune of Geneva, Switzerland
April 12, 2018
Street lamps in memory of the Armenians Decryption After much procrastination, a work by artist Melik Ohanian is inaugurated on Friday, April 13th in Trembley Park.
Their graceful verticalities address a silent poem to the walkers of Trembley Park. Individually, they possess the peaceful dignity of the solitary, but evoke, together, a communion of destiny. These nine "Street Lamps of Memory" were designed by the French artist Melik Ohanian in tribute to the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. The work also bears witness to the "privileged ties of the Genevans and Armenians", as well as "fragments of their shared history since the end of the 19th century ". It will be inaugurated tonight by the authorities of the City, in the presence of Charles Aznavour.

The culmination of a project marked by procrastination in view of the political sensitivity of its theme. Eight years ago, a dream born in 2004 in the Armenian community materialized with the launch, by the City's Contemporary Art Fund (WVF), of a contest. Unanimously retained, the proposal of Melik Ohanian is first conceived to settle on the bastion Saint-Antoine, then in the gardens of Ariana, close to the UN, much to the dissatisfaction of the Turks of Switzerland. In 2015, an intervention of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs prevents the issuance of a building permit. It is finally in Trembley Park that the memorial can be erected.

The idea of ​​street lamps sprouts in the mind of their creator in New York. He meets a street lamp "a little lonely" but "strangely reassuring". This banal urban object evokes in him a "vision of exile": "In every other place, there is a need to be attached to an element of the city," he writes. A need to produce familiarity to feel less foreign. "To suggest the diaspora, the artist declines its streetlights in nine variants. And, as a sign of sharing, the remains of their function enlighten to give their tears of chrome that of reflecting the world.

The Street Lights of Memory Inauguration Friday, April 13 at 6 pm at Trembley Park (TDG)

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:35 AM

SwissInfo, Switzerland
April 14 2018
Long-delayed, disputed Armenian memorial unveiled in Geneva
THIS CONTENT WAS PUBLISHED ON APRIL 14, 2018 3:47 PMAPR 14, 2018 - 15:47

The streetlights are 10-metres tall, and feature lamps in the form of teardrops.


A memorial series of street lamps commemorating the 1915-1917 Armenian genocide has been officially unveiled in Geneva. Turkish groups said that the initiative is a mistake.

“Streetlights of memory” was unveiled on Friday in the presence of various members of the Armenian community, including current Armenian ambassador to Switzerland Charles Aznavour, and the artist behind the work Mélik Ohanian.

No representative of the federal administration attended, a fact that could be ascribed to the ongoing diplomatic tensions around the 1915-1917 genocide, for which Turkey continues to deny responsibility.

Speaking to Swiss public broadcaster RTS in the Tremblay park in Geneva, not far from the United Nations building, Armenian ambassador Charles Aznavour (a famous French singer, in another life) said that the installation was not just a reminder of past disaster; “it’s a monument that says that this must never happen again”, he said.

+ Pierre Hazan on the transience, but importance, of such monuments

Turkish representative groups, notably the Federation of Turkish Associations in French-speaking Switzerland, called for demonstrations and criticized the authorities’ decision to allow the installation of the 10-metre-high posts.

“We are frustrated because this monument is symbolic of a conflict between communities, which I think is very dangerous,” said Federation president Celâl Bayer. “The city of Geneva has made a big mistake.”

The memorial was first approved by Geneva authorities a decade ago, in 2008, but disputes about location and diplomatic tensions delayed its installation. In the lead up to Friday, right up until the moment of inauguration, the work was surrounded by protective barriers to discourage vandalism.


The Armenian genocide was recognized by the parliament of Geneva in 2001 and by the Swiss federal parliament in 2003.


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Posted 21 April 2018 - 10:14 AM

April 20 2018
MP asks Turkish parliament to recognise Armenian Genocide

Turkish-Armenian parliamentarian Garo Paylan from the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) has announced that he has submitted a legislative proposal for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 via an e-mail sent to the press. 

Turkey officially denies that the measures taken by the Ottoman Empire against its Armenian population during the First World War constituted genocide.

Paylan’s proposal includes the recognition of events that took place in 1915 as a genocide and that April 24 be accepted as the official date for the commemoration of the events.

Furthermore, Paylan asks the parliament to confer citizenship on the descendants of those who were forced to leave Turkey or was deported because of the events.

Paylan also demands that a commission to be established to identify the names that were responsible for the deportation of Armenians and to clear those names from public spaces.



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Posted 21 April 2018 - 10:34 AM

The Dartmouth: Dartmouth College
April 19, 2018 Thursday
Call It What It Is: Forget politics — genocide denial is never excusable
by  Matthew Magann
The desert outside Deir ez-Zour is full of bones. They tumble out of hillsides, thousands of weathered skulls and femurs covered in dust. Up north, in Ras al-Ain, farmers plow through a mass grave, growing their crops amid fields of bones. In Deir ez-Zour itself, some of the remains lay respectfully under the floor of a church - or they did, until the Islamic State occupied the city and blasted the memorial apart. These are the bones of women and children. The men, after all, were often killed where they stood, leaving their families to endure the forced marches out to the extermination sites.
The people who died there in the Syrian Desert did nothing to deserve their fate. They were Armenian, and for that the Ottomans killed them in a vast, orchestrated extermination. In 1944, Raphael Lemkin, a Jewish lawyer from Poland, created a new term for that kind of systematic murder, the kind suffered first by the Armenians and later by his own people. He called it genocide.
Make no mistake - the Ottoman Empire committed genocide against its Armenian inhabitants. Hundreds of eyewitness accounts detail the killings. Mass graves litter eastern Turkey and northern Syria. Photos of starving families marching to their deaths, testimonies of survivors, ruined villages and Ottoman documents demonstrating genocidal intent provide evidence that leaves the reality of the genocide beyond doubt. The International Association of Genocide Scholars recognizes the atrocities as a genocide, as do 48 U.S. states. Shockingly, however, there are still those who deny that the genocide ever happened.
April 24 marks Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. Each year around this date, U.S. presidents release statements acknowledging and condemning the "mass atrocity" suffered by the Armenian people. Notably, their press releases always commemorate "Armenian Remembrance Day." The word genocide is conspicuously and intentionally absent; no president except Ronald Reagan has been willing to use the word.
As the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, Turkey leads the charge in Armenian Genocide denial. While it admits that the massacres occurred, Turkey denies the systematic nature of the killings and rejects the term genocide, dismissing the murder campaign as a consequence of World War I. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website even contains apparent justifications: Armenians, the ministry claims, "committed massacres against local Muslims," "agitated for a separate state" and "with pride committed mass treason." Turkey criminalizes recognition of the Armenian Genocide, labelling the acknowledgement of this criminal act as "insulting Turkishness." And America goes along with it.
Turkey remains a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, one that America is loath to offend. Undoubtedly, recognizing the Armenian Genocide would strain U.S.-Turkish relations. Turkey considers the issue a critical one, and the Turkish government spends millions of dollars lobbying to prevent U.S. acknowledgement of the genocide. But does friendship with Turkey justify America's participation in this deliberate burial of an atrocity?
American politicians consider condemnation of genocide a bargaining chip instead of the absolute it ought to be. This suggests that, to a degree, they find genocide denial tolerable - which should be disturbing.
In middle school, I read Anne Frank's diary. My class learned about Auschwitz, the trains and the gas chambers. I still vividly remember the elderly man who visited my school, who spoke to us and showed us the faint number tattooed up his forearm. Years later, I found myself in France, visiting a concentration camp. I saw the pictures: black and white photos of people crowded into the room where I stood, innocent people condemned to imprisonment and death simply for being Jewish. As much as anti-Semitism still resurfaces, the Holocaust is at least something that society strives to remember.
But the Armenian Genocide isn't on the public's mind. Turkey manufactures a controversy over whether it even happened, and in the confusion, the details get lost. Few survivors remain, and the issue seems detached, something that happened long ago and far away. But the facts of the genocide have not gone away, nor has the suffering of the Armenian people.
And for all that America has remembered the Holocaust and pledged "never again," even knowledge of the Holocaust has begun to slip away. Last Thursday, April 12, marked Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day. In recognition, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany commissioned a survey of 1,350 Americans to gauge Holocaust awareness. The results were startling. Forty-one percent of those surveyed were unable to identify what Auschwitz was. That figure rose to two-thirds for millennials. Similarly, 31 percent of respondents believed that two million or fewer Jews died in the Holocaust (the real figure is around six million). Again, the younger generation displayed a lower awareness, with 41 percent of millennials placing the Jewish death toll at two million or lower. The survey suggests the unthinkable: our society has begun to forget the Holocaust.
If the past is allowed to slip away from public conscience, genocide will happen again. After the international community failed to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, others noted the precedent. Adolf Hitler, on the eve of his invasion of Poland, proposed a genocide of the Polish people; after all, he allegedly asked his commanders, "Who speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?"
The systematic extermination of the Armenians was a genocide, and the world needs to recognize it as such. That at least offers some justice for the Armenian people. Beyond that, genocide ought to be established as an absolute wrong, inexcusable in any context. Acknowledging past genocides forms a key piece of that. Society must remember the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide and all other genocides, past and present. We must vow never to let those memories fade, and to never repeat the horrors of the past. Then, perhaps, we may say those words with conviction: "Never again."

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 10:35 AM

Cyprus Mail
April 20 2018
House hears speech on Armenian Genocide
April 20th, 2018 Jean Christou, Cyprus
Armenian Genocide Monument in Nicosia
It was inconceivable that 103 years after the Armenian Genocide there were civilised states that succumbed to Turkey’s pressure not to recognise the ‘extinction plan’ applied by Ankara in 1915, the Armenian Representative at the House Vartkes Mahdessian said on Friday.
Mahdessian was addressing the House plenary, which itself called on the international community to recognise the crime, which is marked on April 24 every year.
The Armenian representative in his address to MPs expressed his gratitude that Cyprus was the first European country to pass a parliamentary resolution recognising the genocide in 1975. In 2015, Cyprus was the first county in the world to then make it a crime to deny the Armenian Genocide, he said.
“It is truly unthinkable that civilized states, who appear to be protectors of human rights and democracy, continue to yield to the pressure exerted by Turkey, taking advantage of its geostrategic position and purchasing power, which stops them from recognising the Armenian Genocide,” said Mahdessian.
He said the genocide was a tragedy that shocked the then civilized world and which created deep wounds like no other event in the long course of the Armenian nation.
Between 1915 and 1923 more than 1,500,000 Armenians were killed, tortured, or forced to die in the inhospitable desert of Deer Zor, while more than 800,000 became refugees and became scattered around the world, shaping the Armenian diaspora as it is today.
Mahdessian noted that a century and a bit later, “Turkey continues to stubbornly refuse to acknowledge its blood-stained past and the commission of these crimes”.
“Using a well-organised policy plan, diplomacy, extortion and intimidation, reinforced by false academic evidence, falsified data and a number of threats, Turkey attempts to silence any attempt to reveal the truth,” he added.
As to why Turkey has so stubbornly refused to recognise the Armenian Genocide, while Germany has recognised the Holocaust of the Jews, Mahdessian said that the main reasons were the legal consequences of such a move and its impact on Turkish society.
“Turkey is not willing to pay even one cent to the survivors of the Genocide and their offspring, since it would not be only for the Armenians, but also the Greeks, the Assyrians, and perhaps the Kurds, and the Cypriots,” he concluded.
As part of the anniversary events this weekend, on Saturday, from 3pm to 6pm, a blood drive will be organised at the Armenian Primary School NAREK.
On Tuesday, April 24, the anniversary date, at 5pm, a youth march will take place, which will start from Makarios Avenue parking lot across from the Zena Kanther Building, which will head to Armenias Street by 7pm to meet up with other members of the community.
The marchers will then head for the Monument of the Armenian Genocide at the Armenian Church, where at 7:30pm there will be a memorial event with the main speaker being House President Demetris Syllouris. Also attending the event will be the Armenian Archbishop of Cyprus.

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Posted 21 April 2018 - 10:36 AM

Washington Examiner
April 20 2018
It's time for President Trump to recognize the Armenian genocide
by Andy Surabian
 | April 20, 2018 01:34 PM

The 1915 Armenian genocide has been outright denied by the Turkish government, but the U.S. has historically skirted around the issue.
(AP Photo/Oded Balilty) 

Last April, when I was serving in the White House, President Trump paid tribute to the victims and survivors of the Holocaust by giving one of the most moving speeches of his entire presidency. During this speech, he powerfully proclaimed that, “We must never, ever shrink away from telling the truth about evil in our time ... evil can only thrive in darkness.”

However, there still exists one early 20th-century atrocity that lives in darkness after all these years. Trump now has an opportunity to shine a light on the massacre of over 1.5 million Christian Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.

Each April 24, the U.S. president issues a statement commemorating this massacre. Yet instead of calling it what it is — a genocide — every president since Ronald Reagan in 1981 has sought to placate Turkey through the use of euphemisms and refused to utter the word genocide.


Thankfully, this April 24, Trump can finally end this 37-year presidential charade.

During his time in office Trump has shown bold leadership and a constant willingness to buck the bipartisan foreign policy establishment of the Obama, Bush, and Clinton years. From recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, decertifying the Iran deal, cutting off aid to Pakistan, destroying the Islamic State, and pressuring North Korea, Trump has taken Washington's foreign policy swamp head on.

He has also repeatedly spoken about Christians being massacred in the Middle East. One hundred years later, the cycle of genocide is continuing in that part of the world. He can continue his bold leadership and reinforce his standing as a protector of Christians worldwide by speaking honestly about what was the first Christian genocide of the 20th century.

The Armenian genocide was committed by Ottoman Turkey between 1915 and 1923, resulting in the deaths of millions of Armenians, as well as the displacement of many more from their Bible-era homelands.

The vast majority of scholars and historians agree that what occurred to the Armenians constitutes a genocide. In fact, Raphael Lemkin, who was originally responsible for coining the term“genocide” in the 1940s, specifically mentioned the massacre of the Armenians as part of his inspiration for coming up with the term.

But despite all the evidence of what happened, every president since Reagan has failed to bring American leadership to this issue, essentially enforcing Ankara's gag rule.

The worst of all was former President Barack Obama, who after making grandiose promises to the Armenian-American community during his 2008 campaign, showed nothing but weakness as he buckled under pressure from Turkey in embarrassing fashion. It was so bad that in a recent interview, Obama's Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and his deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes both apologized for Obama's broken promise and readily admitted that it was a mistake for him not to have formally recognized the genocide.

While the Obama administration had the chance to lead when he was in office and failed, Trump now has an opportunity to reject the weakness of his predecessors and do the right thing.

The inside-the-Beltway crowd will tell the president it can't be done. Ankara will threaten the end of the world. Turkey's lobbyists will work the swamp to stop him. "Experts" will say that Turkey deserves a veto over his words because it is an “ally," even though Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is undermining American interests, jailing American citizens for practicing Christianity, threatening to destroy Israel, and even threatening U.S. forces in Syria.

Speaking honestly and fearlessly about the Armenian genocide this April 24 is the right thing to do. It will earn us respect around the world. Turkey will understand it can't push America around. Erdogan will throw a fit, but the president should remember that strongmen like Erdogan don't respect weakness, they respect strength.

The Armenian genocide is recognized by 48 U.S. states and more than a dozen NATO allies. No president since Reagan has been better positioned than Trump to join them in recognizing it. It's time to tell the truth. It's time for Trump to call the vicious slaughtering of over 1.5 million Armenians what it really was: genocide.

Andy Surabian is a Republican strategist and former special assistant to President Trump and deputy strategist in the White House.

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Posted 23 April 2018 - 09:50 AM

Please watch the video! 


April 22 2018
Researcher Says Newly Discovered Telegram Is Evidence of Armenian Genocide Over 100 Years Ago
Posted 7:55 PM, April 22, 2018, by Ellina Abovian

As the April 24 anniversary of the Armenian Genocide approaches, the tragedy has been recognized as such by top lawmakers in California but still not by U.S. leaders on the world stage. Now, a researcher at Clark University in Massachusetts, Taner Akҫam, says a newly discovered telegram tied directly to heads of the Ottoman Empire — a document he describes as a "killing order" — is new evidence of the tragedy.

Ellina Abovian reports for the KTLA 5 News at 6 on April 22, 2018.

watch video at http://ktla.com/2018...-100-years-ago/



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Posted 23 April 2018 - 10:07 AM

The Federalist
April 23 2018
Why President Trump Should Recognize The Armenian Genocide
Despite the passage of a century, the Turkish government seems to have grown more resistant to hearing that its Ottoman forebears had anything to do with the mass killings of Armenians.
By Stella Morabito
April 23, 2018
If President Trump recognizes the Armenian genocide by specifically using the word “genocide” in his April 24 proclamation, he would send a strong signal to the world that America is unequivocally on the side of historical truth and the protection of innocent life. He would be only the second president, after Ronald Reagan, to do so boldly and officially.
Every year on April 24 there are memorial services, marches, and media reminders of the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. The beginning of the massacres is marked on that date in 1915, when hundreds of Armenian community leaders, merchants, and intellectuals were rounded up and killed in Constantinople.
That horrific incident was followed by the sorts of activities you’d expect of a government intent on mass slaughter of an ethnic group: propaganda campaigns intended to vilify Armenians in the eyes of their Turkish neighbors; conscription of all Armenian men ages 20-45 to deprive their families of their protection; gun confiscation programs; the release of violent criminals from prisons in order to form “chetes” or killing squads targeting Armenians; mass deportations and death marches into the Syrian desert with little to no food or water; and much more. I’ve written in detail about the genocide for The Federalist.
As the granddaughter of genocide survivors, I’ve always been well aware of those atrocities and hardships suffered a century ago. But most Americans are completely unaware, and the ignorance is growing. This is especially the case as our education establishment treats any serious study of history as, well, a thing of the past.
Official U.S. Recognition of This Genocide Has Been Thorny
For the United States, where many Armenian refugees settled, official government recognition of the genocide has never been a simple matter of acknowledging the historical record. Several American presidents in recent history issued commemorative proclamations that mourn the massacres and the tragedy of the killings, but—with the notable exception of Reagan—do not call it a genocide.
Turkey has been a key U.S. ally, and it is deeply offended by any mention of the genocide, which has long been a taboo subject in that nation. This is in stark contrast to Germany’s reckoning with its Nazi past and responsibility for the Holocaust shortly after World War II. But despite the passage of a century, the Turkish government seems to have grown ever more resistant to hearing that its Ottoman forebears had anything to do with the mass killings.
President Obama’s handling of the situation is perhaps the clearest exhibit of just how difficult it has been for recent U.S. presidents to utter the word “genocide” in reference to the Ottoman extermination of the Armenian population in Turkey. In his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama openly pledged that if elected he would call the killings a genocide.
He never kept that promise, even during the 2015 centennial marked by major events and memorial events around the nation as well as in Washington DC. Today two of his top aides—foreign policy advisor Ben Rhodes and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power—have said the Obama administration’s judgment call on this was a mistake.
Reagan called the mass killing of Armenians a genocide in an official proclamation in 1981. In addition to that, there have been two joint resolutions of Congress recognizing the genocide, passed in 1975 and in 1984, as well as one resolution of the House of Representatives, passed in 1996. Also, 48 U.S. state legislatures have condemned the mass killings as genocide. (I would guess the Alabama and Mississippi legislatures will soon come around.)
Trading Truth for an Ally
Turkey’s entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1952 during the Cold War marked a major U.S. partnership, with both nations having a common adversary in Russia. So American presidents and foreign policy officials often take meticulous care not to offend Turkey. Hence avoiding identifying Turkey’s Ottoman predecessors as mass killers of 1.5 million Armenians.
One might think that with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the rise of Turkey’s Islamist president Tayyip Erdogan, who habitually extols the glories of the Ottoman Empire and supports the Muslim Brotherhood, a U.S. president might be less hesitant to recognize the Armenian genocide. But U.S. foreign policy officials generally defer to pressure from the Turkish lobby because they continue to see a modern and secularized Turkey as an indispensable ally with a critical geo-strategic position. A recent op-ed in the Washington Times made that case.
With more nations acknowledging the Armenian genocide, Turkey’s situation may be getting more fragile. Erdogan was especially offended by Germany’s 2016 statement of recognition. He directly threatened to leave Europe “to your own worries” if the European Union continued to pressure Turkey on genocide denial and stated “we will never accept the accusations of genocide.” It’s difficult to tell how the Trump administration might calculate its decision.
Massacres Versus Genocide: What’s the Difference?
While the Turkish government doesn’t deny that hundreds of thousands of Armenians were killed under Ottoman rule, it rejects the term “genocide,” in large part as a matter of national pride. I think this is especially true considering President Erdogan’s unabashed reverence and nostalgia for the old Ottoman Empire. Those who try to bring back the perceived glories of an old era aren’t going to want to stain it.
Also, the term “genocide” was coined in 1944 by Raphael Lemkin, a Holocaust survivor who initiated the U.N. convention on genocide. No doubt Turkey has no interest in being called out before the U.N. on the matter.
But in addition to the perceived humiliations acknowledgement would bring, Turkey has another reason for objecting: the fear of having to pay reparations to descendants of the victims. In addition to the loss of life, much wealth and property was seized, including Armenian churches, monasteries, businesses, farms, and homes. A prime example of reparations for genocide was the post-WWII Israeli-West German agreement of 1952, in which West Germany agreed to pay reparations to Holocaust survivors and relatives of victims.
The Turkish government has made a number of claims in its denial, primarily stating that it doesn’t measure up to the U.N. definition of genocide. The U.N. Convention on genocide defines it as violent acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” The Turkish government states there was no “intent,” for genocide, no master plan; and that the deaths were basically the regrettable results of the ravages of World War I, in which both Turks and Armenians suffered. The Turks also rationalize the mass deportations of Armenians by stating the Armenians basically colluded with the Russians, thus rendering them “subject to relocation.”
But Turkey’s rationalizations defy voluminous evidence and scholarship on the matter. Were the Armenians simply casualties of war? No. In fact, wars serve as cover for genocide. World War I served as cover for the Armenian genocide, just as World War II served as cover for the Holocaust.
In a conversation at the German Embassy in Istanbul just before the genocide was launched, Ottoman leader Talat Pasha is quoted as stating: “Turkey is taking advantage of the war in order to thoroughly liquidate (grundlich aufzaumen) its internal foes, i.e., the indigenous Christians, without being thereby disturbed by foreign intervention.” Then in 1918: “The question is settled. There are no more Armenians.”
Eminent Turkish scholars such as Hrant Dink (assassinated in 2007) and Taner Aksam have also called for recognizing the genocide. As Aksam has noted, “If you want to have a democracy in our country, you have to face your own history. Without an honest reckoning of what happened in the past, you cannot create a peaceful future.”
Resisting the Facts of History Is Always Dangerous
As President Trump stated in his recognition of the Holocaust last year, “We must never, ever shrink from telling the truth about evil in our time. Evil is always seeking to wage war about the innocent and to destroy all that is good and beautiful about our common humanity, but evil can only thrive in darkness.”
‘We must never, ever shrink from telling the truth about evil in our time.’
The truth will always out. The question is always the cost of silence in the face of evil because shrinking from the truth encourages the perpetuation of evil. Consider how Adolf Hitler was encouraged by that sort of silence when he commanded deaths of all “men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language” in his 1939 invasion of Poland. He rationalized: “Who, after all, today speaks of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
But as more nations recognize the Armenian genocide, Turkey’s stubborn denials grow ever less tenable. There are virtually no living witnesses of these events that occurred a century ago. It’s past time for Turkey to simply step back, look at the big picture and say: Yes, it happened. It’s part of the historical record, and it was a crime against humanity. This truth alone can make Turkey a freer, more peaceful, and happier place in the long run.
President Trump should help make that happen. Otherwise, if we keep kicking the can down the road, the road eventually leads to forgetting. And to forget such harrowing history is to invite it to repeat itself.
Stella Morabito is a senior contributor to The Federalist

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 09:36 AM


The Armenian Genocide in WWI History Books
Zoryan Institute’s philosophy is to strive to convert the powerful emotional energy that springs from thinking about genocide and injustice into positive action. We do so by helping the general public understand just how integral the Armenian Genocide is to the understanding World War I. It is amazing how few World War I books and films mention the existence of the Armenian Genocide, even though the Ottoman Empire allied itself to the Central Powers of Imperial Germany, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Bulgaria in 1914 because of its perceived problems with the Armenians and Greeks.

As a natural process of the institutes scholarly work in research and documentation of the history of the Armenian Genocide making it incontestable, we must now mobilize the inclusion of these events into the World War I history books, globally.
The modern Turkish Republic has established its own, peculiar version of history, that it emerged from World War I in a heroic struggle against western imperialism, and that there was no genocide of the Armenians in the process. Such revisionism badly clouds our understanding of history and our ability to learn its lessons.
Among the many lessons to be learned, are that WWII is a direct product of WWI, not only because of the flawed Treaty of Versailles, but also because of the involvement of Germany in both wars, its participation in genocide during both wars, and the fact that impunity for the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide explicitly emboldened the Nazis to annihilate the Jews and other peoples. Indeed, the numerous crises of the modern Near East can all be traced back to legacies of the Ottoman Empire from the early nineteenth century up to its break-up after WWI. One can not understand the world today without knowing World War I and the Armenian Genocide. It would be like trying to understand World War II while ignoring the Holocaust.
On this day of April 24th, the Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day, it would be best to reflect on the need to commit to keeping the memory and combat denial, perfectly summed up by Dr. Roger Smith’s article:


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Posted 25 April 2018 - 10:48 AM

April 24 2018
'Why I decided to apologize for the Armenian Genocide' - Turkish journalist 

''I have been a reporter for almost 23 years. I do not remember one instance in which I would refer to the Armenian genocide without quotation marks or the _expression_ ‘so-called’ preceding it. This is the first article I use the word genocide without any qualifications. That, now, seems to me the first step to grasp the true nature of the suffering Armenians went through.''

''And I apologize on behalf on no one but myself.''

These are the words, a Turkish journalist, well-known and respected in the EU circles, published today

Recognition of the events in Anatolia in 1915, when more than a million Armenians - Ottoman subjects - were forcefully uprooted from their native lands to be massacred, remains still a rarity in today's Turkey, even among the elite intellectuals. 

Yet, those who join in acknowledging the episode in history as genocide are increasing, albeit slowly.

The most recent name is Selçuk Gültaşlı, a former Brussels correspondent of daily Zaman, a newspaper affiliated with Gülen Movement, shut down by the AKP government, on allegations of terrorist activity. Its entire digital archive is also destroyed, in an act against media memory.


Selçuk Gültaşlı

‘'History does not repeat itself. It rhymes’... It cannot be more true when it comes to Turkish history. When one starts reading the recent history, you cannot escape but have a strong conviction that it rhymes for the last 150 years. Different experiences of suffering are the rhymes of this history, wrote Gültaşlı, in an article published by the website, European Interest. 

In revisiting Turkish history, Gültaşlı offers new comparisons between the remote past and present. Here are excerpts from his argument:

''Turks worship their state and take pride by the fact that they created so many states throughout history. Worship brings total obedience and obedience makes one believe in whatever the authority keeps telling you.

Whether it is the Armenian genocide, the massacre of Alawis at Dersim or recently the liquidation of the Gülen movement a.k.a. Hizmet, one should admit Turkish state has been extremely successful in telling fabricated stories.

That is why controlling the media has been an obsession for most of the Turkish governments. Narratives challenging the official one should be suffocated. It is no surprise that Erdoğan has been waging such a reckless war against the critical media and making Turkey the champion of journalist-jailer even ahead of China. More than 100.000 websites are banned.

The monopoly of information enables those in the government to sell all but their version of the story. Armenians were exiled because they were siding with the invading Russian armies but it never bothers to explain how 2/3 of the Ottomans Armenians disappeared when they were travelling to Syrian deserts. 

Alewis were punished because they revolted against the state; Kurds faced a similar fate because they were also rebellious. Lately, Gülenists should be punished en mass as they all were behind the coup attempt.

In all these examples, there is a collective punishment -the worst befalling on the Armenians, which is incomparable to the others- and the state banalizes every single misery. Banalization leads to the astonishing indifference of the people. Buying the story told by their state, Turks, with very few exceptions, never asked the questions why so many Armenians perished if they were simply banished, what happened to their kids and who owned the properties of the Armenians that were left behind. There was never questioning let alone a meaningful soul-searching.

Coming to the question I raised in the beginning as to why the Turkish history rhymes so much, the initial answer might be the lack of proper naming that prevents people to understand the sheer gravity and the magnitude of others’ suffering.

I have been a reporter for almost 23 years. I do not remember one instance in which I would refer to the Armenian genocide without quotation marks or the _expression_ ‘so-called’ preceding it. This is the first article I use the word genocide without any qualifications. That, now, seems to me the first step to grasp the true nature of the suffering Armenians went through.''


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