Armenian Genocide Commemorations List and related articles
Posted 29 October 2019 - 03:30 PM
It's done 405 for, 11 against it;s adopted long overdue!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Edited by Yervant1, 30 October 2019 - 07:33 AM.
Posted 30 October 2019 - 07:33 AM
With an overwhelming majority, the US House of Representatives voted in favor of passing a resolution to label the Ottoman Empire's killing of approximately 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to 1923 as a genocide.
On Tuesday, the House voted 405-11 in favor of both recognizing and condemning the Armenian genocide, an act the Turkish government has historically denied and argued accusations did not take into account the death of Turks.
“Many American politicians, diplomats and institutions have rightly recognized these atrocities as a genocide, including America's ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at the time, Henry Morgenthau, and Ronald Reagan," House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-NY) said on the floor prior to the vote, according to The Hill. He went on to assert that "only by shining a light on the darkest parts of our history can we learn not to repeat them."
The bill's three main points declare the US will commemorate the Armenian genocide, reject "efforts to enlist, engage," or associate in the denial of the genocide and work to educate the public on details surrounding the atrocity.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu fired back at the US lawmakers' backing of the resolution and accused them of "exploiting history in politics"
The WWI-era genocide has been recognized by Russia, several European Union states and the World Council of Churches. Earlier this year, French President Emmanuel Macron moved to declare April 24 as the country's Day of Armenian Genocide Remembrance.
In another Tuesday bipartisan showing, the House, with a 403-16 vote, passed sanctions against Turkey over its Operation Peace Spring in Northern Syria. The bill, entitled "Protect Against Conflict by Turkey Act" received overwhelming support from the Republican party with 176 GOP lawmakers voting in support and only 15 opposed.
Posted 30 October 2019 - 07:36 AM
ErDOGan and his puppies started barking the usual nonsense!
ReutersOct 29 2019Turkey slams U.S. move to back measure recognizing Armenian 'genocide'Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends a news conference, a day ahead of the first meeting of the new Syrian Constitutional Committee at the Untied Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, October 29, 2019. REUTERS/Denis BalibouseANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slammed a move by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday to vote in favor of a resolution recognizing the mass killings of Armenians a century ago as a “genocide”, saying the decision was “null and void”.The U.S. House of Representatives voted 405-11 in favor of a resolution recognizing the mass killings of Armenians a century ago as a genocide, a symbolic but historic vote likely to inflame tensions with Turkey.In a tweet, Cavusoglu said Turkey had thwarted a “big game” with its offensive into northeastern Syria and that the move by the House was aimed at taking revenge for the operation.“Those whose projects were frustrated turn to antiquated resolutions. Circles believing that they will take revenge this way are mistaken. This shameful decision of those exploiting history in politics is null&void for our Government and people,” Cavusoglu said on Twitter.
Posted 06 November 2019 - 10:35 AM
Famous Turkish intellectual Ahmed Altan, who was sentenced to 10 years and charged with collaborating with and knowingly helping the members of the Gülen movement, has been released from court.
According to Haberturk, after the attempt of coup d’etat in Turkey in 2016, famous Turkish intellectuals, brothers Ahmed and Mehmed Altans were arrested and suspected of collaborating with members of the Gülen movement and making an attempt to overthrow the constitutional order. Later, the court had changed the charge by removing the point about overthrowing the constitutional order.
During a regular court session, the court released Ahmed Altan with a signature, and his brother, Mehmed Altan was acquitted.
Turkish intellectuals Mehmed Altan and Ahmed Altan are among the famous people who recognize the Armenian Genocide and have always called on the Turkish authorities to recognize it.
Posted 06 November 2019 - 10:36 AM
The famous writer, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature, Orhan Pamuk, arrived at Sharjah International Book Fair and expressed his dissatisfaction with Erdogan’s policy, speaking also for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, MK reported.
Pamuk’s political views and the persecution he suffered from local nationalists when he said in an interview that thirty thousand Kurds and one million Armenians were killed in Turkey were not ignored. The writer does not consider himself a brave man, but simply expresses what he thinks.
“You know, I live in that part of the world where many writers are imprisoned for their beliefs. So I'm a happy writer and telling the truth is all I can,” he said.
With these words the audience burst into applause. The Armenian Genocide of 1915 is the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey rejects allegations of the mass extermination of more than one and a half million Armenians during the First World War and is extremely sensitive to criticism from the West on the issue of Armenian genocide.
- MosJan likes this
Posted 19 November 2019 - 09:46 AM
A monument dedicated to the Armenian Genocide of 1915 was unveiled in Kalamata, Messinia on Sunday.
The ceremony was presided by His Holiness Archbishop Kegham Khatcherian, Prelate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Greece.
At the heart of the monument is a cross carved in red marble which was brought from Armenia. The colour is of significance as it symbolises the blood of the Armenians who witnessed the genocide.
The unveiling of the monument took place after Divine Liturgy at the chapel of Saint Nicholas of Ephesus, which has been granted to the Armenian Community of Kalamata for their religious ceremonies.
*Source and Image Credit: ArmDiaspora
Posted 03 December 2019 - 08:49 AM
AHVAL NewsDec 1 2019Diyarbakır Bar Association members under investigation over Armenian genocide notice
- Dec 01 2019 07:49 Gmt+3
- Last Updated On: Dec 01 2019 07:53 Gmt+3
The Diyabakır Chief Public Prosecutor’ Office has launched an investigation against the former administration of the Diyarbakır Bar Association over a notice they published on April 24, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
The notice published by the bar association titled, “We share the great unrelieved pain of the Armenian people,’’ pointed to the massacre of Turkey’s Armenian population from 1915 to 1917, highlighting the cruel policies of the Ottoman Empire and expressing sorrow for the victims.
Former head of the bar association, Amet Özmen, and former administrative council members Mahsum Bati, Nuşin Uysal Ekinci, Cihan Ülsen, Sertaç Buluttekin, Muhammet Neşet Girasun, Serhat Eren, İmran Gökdere, Velat Alan, Ahmet Dağ and Nahit Eren are accused of “provoking people to hatred and enmity and insulting Turkish parliament,’’ Tarafsız news agency reported on Sunday.
Turkey strongly denies the mass killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire a century ago as genocide.
The U.S. House of Representatives last month approved a resolution recognising the Armenian genocide, sparking outrage by the Turkish government.
A total of 30 countries, including Germany and France, have recognised the mass killings as genocide thus far.
Posted 05 December 2019 - 07:28 AM
The History that Happened: Setting the Record Straight on the Armenian Genocide
For a brief moment this fall, world interest fixed its attention to an event of the past. News that the U.S. Congress approved a formal resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide was carried as a leading story by media outlets worldwide. Most analysis of the vote focused on the immediate political implications. With U.S.-Turkish relations still reeling from earlier confrontations over Syria and Ankara’s ties with Russia, Washington was simultaneously preparing to welcome President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in only a few weeks’ time. Most outlets in the United States accepted the material substance of the resolution at face value.
Turkish media sources struck a stark contrast in their treatment of the resolution. Newspaper commentators and television personalities reiterated the Turkish government’s categorical rejection of the bill. More than a few outlets condemned Congress’ decision as an insult, one inspired by the political tensions of the day. Embedded within this coverage was a staunch rejection of the resolution’s historical premise. “The Armenian bill,” in the words of Turkey’s presidential spokesperson, was “one of the most embarrassing uses of history in politics.” He added, “Those who charge Turkey with genocide should look at their own history.”
On this side of the Atlantic, it has been difficult to find voices in support of Ankara’s point of view. Among the most prominent to detail such criticisms was Edward Erickson, retired professor of history from the Marine Corps University. In an essay in War on the Rocks, he agreed that Congress erred factually in passing the bill. The significance of this fallacy, the article contends, goes beyond Congress’ folly in passing judgment on Turkey’s national history. Acknowledging this history, he poses, promises to “damage[s] Turkish-American relations at a time when neither country can afford it.”
My aim in responding to Erickson’s article is limited: It is not my intention to debate the efficacy of Congress’ decision to recognize the Armenian Genocide (or other genocides for that matter). Nor is it my intention to delve into how Congress’ actions may affect relations between Washington and Ankara. My goal here is to dispute two of the essay’s central contentions: that historians are divided on this issue and that the available data related to the Armenian Genocide is either exculpatory or has been left untapped. I write this response as someone who has spent the whole of his career writing about the end of the Ottoman Empire. Each book I have written is predicated on archival research in Turkey and outside of it. I write this response as someone who has not only written specifically about the fate of Ottoman Armenians but also more broadly about the violent conditions that beset the empire’s collapse. My first book was a comparative history of Ottoman Muslims and Christians who were victims of mass violence at the hands of the government.
Erickson’s article is riddled with gross inaccuracies. His mischaracterization of the state of research regarding the Armenian Genocide cannot be chalked up to differences over perspective. It is wrong and misleading on multiple counts.
The most revealing, and I would argue most heinous, claim made in Erickson’s article is his contention that the literature on the Armenian Genocide “tends to be dominated by non-historians.” Only historians, specifically those with “the appropriate linguistic and research skills,” should be trusted to weigh in on the genocide’s authenticity. This statement is not only baldly inaccurate, but it is also clearly underhanded in its intent. A person who professes expertise in late Ottoman history should know that the study of the Armenian Genocide has grown into a rather sizable subfield of research. To say that non-historians dominate the field, or that professional historians “try to avoid the topic entirely,” requires one to be either unaware of or ignore the contributions of both younger scholars — such as Ümit Kurt, Uğur Ümit Üngör, Fuat Dündar, and Lerna Ekmekçioğlu to name just a few — and long-established experts, a list by no means limited to the likes of Ronald Suny, Hilmar Kaiser, Hans Lukas Kieser, and Raymond Kevorkian. Even if one were to set aside the decisive contributions of these and many others, to assert that scholars like Fatma Müge Göçek and Taner Akçam lack the expertise to explore the Armenian Genocide is scandalous. Both have produced an impressive body of work that speaks to their linguistic abilities and general mastery of the field of late Ottoman history. Though trained as sociologists, their contributions to the study of the Ottoman Empire have earned them some of the highest honors awarded in the broader field of Middle East studies.
After casting these early doubts on the state of expertise in the field, the remainder of Erickson’s article focuses on what he contends is the mistaken belief that genocidal intent can be proven in this case. The archival record, he asserts, should leave historians with some certitude that genocidal intentions did not drive the Ottoman government’s actions during World War I (though he concludes the piece by saying the genocide remains “an open question” as a historical event). Much of his analysis derives from his book, Ottomans and Armenians. But like the title of this volume (which may be read as though Ottomans and Armenians were separate peoples), the essay misrepresents critical elements of the field at large. In doing so, he presents the casual reader with interpretations and observations that do not reflect the wider scholarly consensus.
Critical to Erickson’s rendition of events is his assertion that “a large amount of archival evidence” has been excluded from what he derisively calls “the Armenian version of the narrative.” Beyond presuming that ethnic bias is the cause for the controversy, such a statement infers that genocide scholars have failed to take advantage of the full archival record. Again, such a claim is both inaccurate as well as highly misleading. For one thing, rigorous archival research is now, more than ever, the yardstick by which any work dealing with the Armenian Genocide is measured. One may say that the high bar for scholarship in the field is due to the Turkish government’s insistence that Ottoman archival documents prove there was no ill intent in the 1915 campaign against Armenians. Cumulatively, there is a broad understanding of what the archival record says and does not say. Though there is always more work to be done, the evidence that has already come to light is damning.
The records of foreign representatives living in the Ottoman Empire during World War I are both diverse and consistent. Even if one ignores the accounts of Istanbul’s wartime opponents (such as British, French, American or Russian observers), reports from German and Austrian diplomats and officers offer testimony drawn from both high Ottoman officials and observations in the field. Though certainly not privy to all available information, German and Austrian accounts give clear indications of what one diplomat referred to as Ottoman efforts “to make a clean sweep of their internal enemies, the indigenous Christians.” From the contemporary perspective of Istanbul’s allies, the Ottoman administration intended to use mass deportations and massacres to cull the empire’s Armenian population to the point that it no longer presented a threat to the state and nation.
The Ottoman documentary record does not undermine these impressions. More than anything, internal correspondence among imperial officials offers both nuance and clarity to our understanding of the Armenian Genocide. Recent research underscores that the deportations of Armenians were not fully contingent upon events that unfolded in 1915. Rather evidence suggests that the plans implemented against Armenians at least partially derived from policies conceived during the preceding years. The intended goals of the deportations are most visible in Ottoman records pertaining to Armenian property seized by government officials. Senior officials carefully tracked the locations and value of homes and business taken from banished Armenians. The mass appropriation of Armenian wealth was a policy publicly touted as a broader effort to strengthen Muslim control over industry and commerce. Ottoman directives make clear that the resettling of Armenian homes with Muslims was itself one of the key achievements of the deportations, a step aimed at more broadly eliminating “hostility to Ottomanism and Turkishness.” In this respect, the archival record delivers a clear judgment: In seizing Armenian homes and installing Muslims in their place, the Ottoman government expected Armenians not to return.
It is certainly true that available archive sources do not give us a complete picture of the genocide. The Ottoman archives, for example, offer no clear insights into how high imperial officials arrived at their decision to deport Armenians in 1915. Nor do the archives provide copies of memoranda explicitly ordering the murder of Armenian men, women, and children. Although newly uncovered documents may yield direct evidence of a government-directed plan of mass killings, this challenge underscores critical limitations within the Ottoman archival record. It is widely believed, for example, that several records belonging to the Committee of Union and Progress, the governing party, were destroyed at the close of the war. In more recent years, scholars have accused Turkish officials of purging the Ottoman archives of incriminating documents. The difficulty in establishing the extent to which records have been lost is magnified by the conflicting policies that govern access to state archives. It is true that scholars tend to be given unfettered access to the main Ottoman archives in Istanbul (much of which is now digitized). This is less the case for other repositories. Scholars can access the Archives of the General Staff, which holds Ottoman military records, without any tools (for example, cameras or cell phones) other than pencils and paper. Obtaining copies of the documents is possible but laborious. Other archives, such as those of the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Justice, are closed altogether.
What is especially glaring in Erickson’s depiction of the historical record is its utter avoidance of perhaps the most important source of all: the testimony of victimized Armenians themselves. Collections such as those amassed by the Zoryan Institute and the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation allow students access to literally hundreds of videos of men and women who experienced the worst of the 1915 campaign, massacres, rapes, and abductions at the hands of Ottoman soldiers, gendarmes, and irregulars. Unlike with the archives in Turkey, one does not need to travel to Toronto or Los Angeles to access these collections. The value of these oral accounts extends beyond the insights they offer into the organization and execution of the genocide. They stand as vivid and essential reminders of the human costs of 1915.
This latter point is not meant purely to pull at the reader’s heartstrings. It is critical in understanding the origin and effect of efforts to deny the validity of the Armenian Genocide. Since the time of the deportations, government officials have labored to refute charges of wrongdoing by placing the blame on the victims themselves. While denying any attempt at harm, senior Ottoman ministers insisted that all deported Armenians, be they men, women, or children, were participants in a grand conspiracy to rebel against the empire (“Armenians committed treason,” the Ottoman Foreign Ministry declared in 1916, “this is very clear”). The real crime, the government countered, was the Armenian campaign of murder targeting Muslims in Anatolia. Counter-charges of Armenian treason and mass killings remain critical to the Turkish government’s defense of Istanbul’s actions — a defense echoed in Erickson’s article.
This effort at “bait and switch” has not escaped the attention of present-day scholars. Pointing to the crimes committed by Armenian irregulars or soldiers from the Armenian Republic does not absolve the Ottoman government of its own transgressions. More importantly, scholarly recognition of the killings of Muslim civilians during World War I has not led to a thawing among denialists. In this regard, one must recognize the great lengths to which the Turkish government has gone in its attempts to thwart discussion of the Armenian Genocide (attempts that have included past and present efforts at making public use of the phrase itself illegal). Conversely, works that defend Ankara’s refutation of the genocide, including Erickson’s book Ottomans and Armenians, are actively promoted through official outlets.
A casual reader should not take this response to Erickson’s article as a matter of conflicting opinions. It is instead meant to underscore the degree to which such essays are symptomatic of longstanding attempts to negate the Armenian Genocide as both history and as a human experience. The legalism found in Erickson’s argument echoes Ankara’s exceedingly narrow, and misleading, standard for what constitutes proof of any wrongdoing. Rather than engage the work of contemporary scholars, the essay recycles long-refuted arguments (some as old as the genocide itself). At its core, the essay is meant to make the events of 1915 appear obscure or muddled. Understanding what happened to Armenians, however, is not challenging. During World War I, government agents forced almost every Armenian person, with limited exceptions, from their homes. The breadth of the deportations included tens of thousands living well beyond the front (contrary to Erickson’s contention, this did include areas such as Edirne, Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa). Most were then exiled to the northern Syria desert. There or along the way, untold thousands were either murdered, starved to death, or died of exposure or disease. Similarly, large numbers were subject to sexual violence or abduction. The goal of this government effort was to effectively eliminate the Armenian population as a viable community in the empire. It was a campaign that complemented other initiatives that targeted native Greeks, Assyrians, Kurds, and others. It is true that scholars do debate key semantics regarding the goals or the staging of the deportations. But the consensus among scholars of the Ottoman Empire, and in the field of genocide studies as a whole, is strong. Undergirding this consensus is a body of data that points overwhelmingly in one direction. To say otherwise is false.
Posted 05 December 2019 - 07:31 AM
Delfi Lithuanian news portal reporter Vladimiras Laučius conducted an extensive interview on November 14 with Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda, who, among other things, touched upon Turkey-NATO and Turkey-EU relations, stressing that recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey is “a matter of time and one day it will happen”.
Below is the English version of the part of the Lithuanian leader’s interview on Turkey and the Armenian Genocide.
Vladimiras Laučius: You emphasize common values as a fundament of the “friendship alliances”. But what do you think about Turkey? Erdogan openly threatens Europe, urges the Turks to have multiple children so that they become the “future of Europe”; his army attacks Kurds, the allies of other NATO countries; Turkey is subjected to Islamization, it rapidly moves away from the values that NATO was founded to preserve for. Does the West go along with “this” Turkey – bearing in mind Russia’s value-alienation from the West?
Gitanas Nausėda: It’s a very difficult question. In fact, Turkey is changing. We see rather aggressive actions destabilizing the region. And in this regard, the question is whether the West will achieve any positive result by moving away from Turkey or taking any decision on it or its NATO membership? The question is, will this bring more peace to the region and to the world in general?
However, Turkey's role in the region, both in terms of refugees and in terms of military strength, remains crucial. And perhaps at this point it is necessary to openly refer to the problems that Turkey is raising, but at the same time to monitor the situation and draw conclusions as to what could happen in the future without taking any radical decisions. Because the role of Turkey remains very important due to the circumstances that I’ve mentioned.
Vladimiras Laučius: Turkey is a NATO country that committed Armenian Genocide, which, moreover, has been recognized by Lithuania and, more recently, by the US House of Representatives. Turkey does not recognize the fact of genocide. Can you imagine a situation, where a state that does not recognize Holocaust is a NATO member?
Gitanas Nausėda: No, I can’t. But, nevertheless, on this issue [the recognition of Armenian genocide] I still think that it is a matter of time and one day it will happen. Maybe it won’t happen very soon. However, it is difficult to expect this to happen in the next five or ten years. But I think, that as it is a fact, one way or another it will be recognized.
Posted 05 December 2019 - 07:31 AM
The Lithuanian Ambassador to Turkey was summoned by Ankara following Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda's statement on Armenian Genocide, LRT reported.
The meeting of Ambassador Audrius Bruzga and Aylin Tashan, a representative of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, took place in the second half of November, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry told BNS.
One of the topics discussed was the "events of 1915, which part of the international community sees as Turkey's genocide of Armenians," according to the Lithuanian foreign ministry,
According to the Lithuanian MFA, no note was handed out during the meeting.
This meeting took place after an interview published by delfi.lt on November 14. Nausėda said "Lithuania recognises" that "Turkey is a NATO ally that carried out the genocide of Armenians" during an interview with the Lithuanian news website delfi.lt. However, Turkey did not lodge a formal protest.
G. Nauseda told reporters in London that he did not believe that his statement would affect bilateral relations or Turkey’s position on NATO’s defense plans of the Baltic countries and Poland.
"That is, I would say, a thing that is always in the margins, and [...] parliaments of various countries, including the US Congress [...] have expressed their positions on [the Armenian genocide]. But that in no way means that any decisions need to be made tomorrow and not later," said Nausėda. "We were just speaking about that event and its historic assessment, and that's all.”
In a resolution in 2005, the Lithuanian parliament recognised that the Ottoman Empire carried out "genocide of the Armenian nation" during World War One, which Turkey denies.
Posted 08 December 2019 - 07:56 AM
The Armenian Genocide continuous unabated!
Panorama, ArmeniaDec 7 2019Society 15:43 07/12/2019 WorldCross stone dedicated to Armenian Genocide victims vandalized in France
A cross stone Bandol commune of France in memory of the Armenian Genocide victims was desecrated by unknown vandals.
“The Armenian Embassy in France strictly condemns the desecration of a cross tone in French Bandol town as an act of vandalism,” the Embassy said in a released statement.
The details and circumstances of the incident are yet to be clarified.
Posted 11 January 2020 - 09:29 AM
Posted 17 January 2020 - 10:33 AM
TORONTO (Horizon Weekly)—A Toronto woman believed to have been one of the last Canadians to have survived the Armenian genocide died on Thursday, four months shy of her 105th birthday. Eugenie Papazian (Kokorian-Yerganian) passed away on January 14, 2020.
Papazian was born in Turkey, in the Ionia district of Samsun by the Black Sea in 1915. She never knew her parents. Her father was taken to the army in 1915 and did not return home, while her mother died when she was still a newborn. She had a large family: two sisters, Arousiag and Azniv, three brothers, as well as three maternal aunts and uncles, whom she has not met or seen.
At the start of the 1915 deportations, the members of her extended family gathered and found refuge in the mountains, and then descended into the gorge, where she was born. Seeing how frail her mother was, many advised and almost forced her to leave Eugenie there on the road, in order to avoid hard times. Naturally, her mother could not agree. Others argued against abandoning her, considering it a sin committed against God’s will. Due in part to her beauty and golden hair, they named her Voski (Gold). After Eugenie’s birth, her mother, exhausted, died in a place her daughter would never know.
Following her mother’s death, her maternal grandmother struggled to look after her for three years, and gave her to an orphanage when she was no longer able to feed her. So began her painful odyssey through three children’s homes in Greece, where an American relief organization had arranged the placement of Armenians in 13 orphanages.
An Armenian couple took Papazian to Egypt, and she spent her early teens in Cairo where she met her husband, Garabed Kokorian. She was 15-years-old when she married Garabed.
In 2019, Horizon Weekly special correspondent Sarine Poladian interviewed Eugenie Papazian and her son, Bedros Kokorian.
Eugenie Papazian had five children, nine grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Posted 19 January 2020 - 10:02 AM
Items preserved in Diaspora from years of Armenian Genocide in the focus of Los Angeles Times19:14, 17 January, 2020
YEREVAN, JANUARY 17, ARMENPRESS. Husband and wife Vahé Tachjian and Elke Hartmann living in Berlin initiated a program of gathering in one place all the items that are linked with Armenians dating back to the years of the Armenian Genocide and before it. The Los Angeles Times did not bypass this important initiative. ARMENPRESS presents the most interesting moments of the article.
“A soldier, rushing to gather whatever spare belongings he could carry, was fleeing to board a boat on the Gallipoli Peninsula. It was a boat of survival, taking him and other Armenians away from the Ottoman Empire and the campaign of genocide it was waging against them and other ethnic minorities. As he left, he knelt in the garden of his home and scooped up this bit of dirt. Carried in his pocket, it was a literal piece of the homeland to which he’d never return. The handkerchief has since been handed down for three generations”, writes the periodical, adding that it was one of the hundreds items presented by Vahé Tachjian and Elke Hartmann.
The periodical notes that the Armenian Genocide took place between 1915 and 1923, the genocide killed an estimated 1.5 million Armenians and dispersed many more to adopted homes around the world, from Lebanon to Syria to France to the United States. Turkey says the death toll was much smaller and describes the violence as a civil war, not genocide.
“The project started in 2010. After scouring libraries and archives for their limited Armenian-language resources, Tachjian and Hartmann found a vein of material in what were known as “houshamadyan,” handwritten and self-published memory books that describe — sometimes simply, other times in great detail — the villages and ancestral lands Armenians were forced to flee. In 2011, they began posting information from these documents on their website, which they named Houshamadyan.
Almost as soon as the site launched, they began receiving emails from around the world written by the descendants of Armenians offering their own records. Surprised by this outpouring, Tachjian and Hartmann, both of whom have Armenian heritage, redirected their focus from formal archives to the heirlooms of the Armenian diaspora”, reads the article.
“There were so many treasures in family houses, family closets,” Tachjian said.
“To document these materials and the handed-down history they carry, Tachjian, Hartmann and a small team of part-time collaborators began staging workshops around the world where people could bring their family heirlooms and documents to be added to the collection.
Funded by private donors and foundations, these workshops have been held in Istanbul, Beirut, Paris, Los Angeles and Glendale, all destinations for the Armenian diaspora, and Tachjian says each place offers its own unique angle on this history.
he most recent workshop was in Athens, where a small minority of Armenians has lived since thousands arrived as refugees in the early 1920s. A mile south of the Acropolis, in the back room of a primary school that doubles as an Armenian cultural center, about a dozen descendants trickled in on a Saturday afternoon. Mostly in their 50s and 60s, they came carrying shopping bags of photos and carefully wrapped books, textiles and pieces of jewelry. Speaking fluent Armenian in his clipped baritone, Tachjian interviewed each person about their family’s history, the heirlooms they’d kept and any memories that had been passed down about the Ottoman villages and towns from which their families fled”, reads the article, adding that by the end of the day, hundreds of items had been shared and photographed, and Tachjian had nearly filled his notepad with stories and family histories.
He estimates that the Houshamadyan project has collected more than 30,000 photographs from across the diaspora, as well as a variety of more quotidian documents such as recipes, school rolls and musically annotated hymns that were sung in some of the first Christian churches.
Posted Yesterday, 10:37 AM
January 23, 2020
Anglo-American tradition, Armenian Genocide, Protestant missionaries
Revisiting the “Armenian Question”
by Mark L. Movsesian|2 Comments
Yerevan, Armenia - April 24, 2018: Armenians laying flowers at the eternal flame
in the center of the twelve slabs of Armenian Genocide memorial on anniversary
of Armenian Genocide of 1915. (Image: Artem Avetisyan/Shutterstock.com).
Last fall, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate adopted bipartisan
resolutions commemorating the Armenian Genocide, an ethnic cleansing campaign
the Ottoman government carried out 100 years ago, during the First World War,
against Armenians and other Christians in the eastern provinces of the Empire.
The vote on the House resolution was 405-11; in the Senate, the vote was
unanimous. At a time of deep partisan division, honoring the victims of the
Armenian Genocide seems one of the few things that unite Democrats and
This is not the first time the suffering of Armenian Christians has figured in
our national conversation. As Charlie Laderman recounts in his fine new history,
Sharing the Burden: The Armenian Question, Humanitarian Invention, and
Anglo-American Visions of Global Order, in the first decades of the twentieth
century, the “Armenian Question” was a familiar topic for Americans. Newspapers
continually ran stories about the “starving Armenians.” Sunday Schools across
the country took up collections for them; as a result, Herbert Hoover
remembered, American children in 1919 knew more about Armenia than any other
foreign land, with the possible exception of England. One American charity alone
raised more than $40 million to assist Armenian refugees, more than $600 million
in today’s money.
Prominent politicians of both parties—Republicans like Hoover, Elihu Root,
Charles Evans Hughes, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Theodore Roosevelt, and Democrats
like William Jennings Bryan and especially Woodrow Wilson, who proposed that the
United States accept a Mandate for Armenia after the war—repeatedly declared
their support for an independent Armenian state.
Laderman, a historian at King’s College London, writes that many factors made
the Armenian Question salient at the start of the 20th Century, including,
principally, American leaders’ belief that the Armenian crisis might offer an
opportunity to spread “civilization” throughout the Middle East, perhaps in
tandem with Great Britain; and the American public’s affinity, influenced by
decades of American missionary activity in Turkey, with Christians suffering
under a militant Islam.
Laderman also explains why, notwithstanding the good intentions, and the
substantial efforts by private groups, the U.S. Government ultimately did
nothing for Armenia. In the end, America was unwilling to shoulder the immense
responsibility of protecting vulnerable Christians in the Middle East. Turkey
was allowed to regain control of its Anatolian provinces, cleared of the
Armenians and other Christians who had been killed or removed across the border
to Syria—where, as it happens, a new Turkish campaign has exposed their
descendents to grave danger. The story Laderman recounts thus has implications
for the present day. The American abandonment of Armenians a century ago
suggests disquieting lessons for Christians and other Middle East minorities
The Armenian Genocide’s roots go back at least a generation. In the 19th
Century, the Ottoman Empire, under pressure from European powers, granted formal
legal equality to all its subjects, regardless of religion. When Armenian and
other Christian minorities began to assert this equality, it caused a backlash
in the wider Muslim population, especially in the eastern provinces. Some
Armenians formed paramilitary groups to protect themselves, which in turn led to
brutal state repression, particularly the Hamidian Massacres of the 1890s, which
killed hundreds of thousands of Christians.
The Hamidian Massacres drew the attention of Americans and Europeans. Theodore
Roosevelt wrote in 1896 that the massacres constituted the “great crime of this
century against civilization.” But, aside from protests and an ineffective naval
demonstration, the West did nothing. “No power was willing to risk continental
stability,” Laderman writes, or its “own interests, to intervene on behalf of
the Armenians.” Roosevelt himself counseled caution. While he would personally
“head a crusade for the Armenians” if he could, he told a correspondent while
President in 1907, America “has not the remotest intention of fighting on such
When World War I began, Turkey sided with Germany and against Russia. Fearing
that Armenian paramilitaries in Anatolia would fight for Russia, the Young Turk
government decided to deport the entire Armenian population. Scholars estimate
that 1.5 million Armenians died during the deportations, along with hundreds of
thousands of Syriac and Greek Orthodox, who were also caught up in the
anti-Christian violence. The victims died in terrifying conditions, murdered by
Kurdish and Turkish irregulars, often with the cooperation of government
officials, or as a result of starvation, thirst, and exhaustion in the Syrian
desert. A small percentage of refugees eventually found safety in Syria and
elsewhere in the Levant, where they established new communities. Some escaped to
Western Europe, principally France, and the United States.
In the run up to America’s entry into the war in 1917, the plight of Armenians
was, in Hoover’s words, “on the front of the American mind.” American leaders
thought the crisis might afford an opportunity to spread American civilization
throughout the Middle East. An independent Armenia, supported by America, could
be a beachhead for liberal democratic ideals that would, in time, transform the
entire region. As Laderman recounts, in public speeches and private
correspondence, politicians voiced the idea that American intervention could
defeat “barbarism” and “fanaticism” in favor of liberty and the rule of law.
American leaders were encouraged to think this way, Laderman writes, by Britain.
Beginning in the late 19th century, British diplomats assiduously sought to
interest the United States in a joint, Anglophone partnership to superintend the
Middle East according to American and British values. The British appeal was not
disinterested. As the Ottoman Empire crumbled, Britain desperately wanted
American troops to provide a buffer against Russian expansion in Turkey, which
could threaten British supply lines to India. By appealing to America’s
moralism, British diplomats thought they could enlist America’s help in the
Americans also identified with Armenians because of the influence of American
Protestant missionaries, who had been working in Turkey for decades, building
schools, hospitals, and churches. Many, including the missionaries themselves,
took credit for sparking minority aspirations for equality in Turkey, “by
teaching men and women to think in harmony with our Western ideals.” As Laderman
writes, the missionaries viewed Armenians as their “principal wards,” and they
used their considerable influence at home to promote the Armenians’ cause. The
missionaries’ reports about the Armenians, an ancient Christian people
threatened with extinction at the hands of a militant Islamic empire, found an
attentive audience in America’s overwhelmingly Christian culture. The appeals
resonated especially with Wilson, the son of a Presbyterian minister who
maintained close ties with the missionaries’ organizations.
When the war ended, Armenians had great hopes that America’s leaders would live
up to their oft-repeated assertions and support an Armenian state in Anatolia.
Their hopes were dashed in May 1920 when the Senate rejected, by a vote of
52-23, Wilson’s proposal that America accept a Mandate for Armenia, much as
France had accepted a Mandate for Syria and Britain for Palestine and
Mesopotamia. As Roosevelt had foreseen in 1907, America was simply unwilling to
accept responsibility for guarding a poor and desolated region in the Middle
East—a responsibility, in Hoover’s estimation, that would have required “at
least 150,000” American troops and brought America “into direct political
entanglement with the whole weight of Russia”—especially when Britain, America’s
ostensible partner, had taken for itself oil-rich lands in Iraq. Turkey regained
sovereignty over its Anatolian provinces in the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, and
the idea of an independent Armenian state in Anatolia evaporated. A small
Armenian state, made up of Russia’s Armenian territories, was absorbed into the
Laderman’s persuasive and readable history has implications for the present day.
The congressional resolutions last fall were, largely, a rebuke of Turkey for
its current invasion of northern Syria. The invasion, which a sudden withdrawal
of American forces made possible, has created 300,000 refugees, many of them the
descendants of Armenians and other Christians who settled there after the
Genocide. Christians, once again, are targets, this time of a revived ISIS,
which the Turkish invasion has emboldened. Last November, a Catholic priest was
ambushed and murdered by ISIS outside a church in Deir ez-Zor, a city that
witnessed the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians 100 years ago.
Congressional resolutions are very welcome, but history suggests that these
Christians should not expect much more from America. Just as in the last
century, despite the best intentions, America’s commitment to Christians in the
Middle East today is limited: well wishes, exhortations for equality and
tolerance, some humanitarian assistance—though nothing like the massive
humanitarian campaign that took place in the last century and saved so many
lives. Ultimately, nations act in their political and economic interests, and
America does not perceive long-term interests that would justify putting at risk
the large number of troops necessary to defend Mideast Christians on an ongoing
basis. Many private citizens and charities continue to help Mideast Christians,
thank God. But the sad lesson of Laderman’s book is this: if Christians in Syria
expect the American government to do more to help them, they will find
themselves on their own.
Mark L. Movsesian
Mark L. Movsesian is Frederick A. Whitney Professor and Co-Director of the
Center for Law and Religion at St. John’s University Law School.
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