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Armenian Genocide Commemorations List and related articles

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#1821 Yervant1


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Posted 28 April 2019 - 09:18 AM

Arminfo, Armenia
April 26 2019
Ani Mshetsyan US Congressman: Turkish President`s Statement on Armenians on April  24 was a disgusting denial of historical facts 20190424085522.jpg

ArmInfo. Member of the US House of Representatives Frank Pallone commented on the statement of Turkish President Recep Erdogan about the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

"This hate-filled speech Erdogan gave yesterday on the day to  commemorate the Armenian Genocide was a disgusting denial of  historical facts. I stand with Nikol Pashinyan and Armenians  everywhere in condemning a new low from this brutal authoritarian,"  stressed the congressman on his Twitter page.

To note, on April 24, Turkish President Recep Erdogan sent a letter  to the Acting Patriarch of Constantinople, Archbishop Aram Ateshyan,  in which he noted that 1.5 million Armenians had become victims of  the First World War victims of the previously planned Genocide. And  during one event, he said that many at that time were the result of  unrest provoked by "Armenian gangsters and armed groups."

"The deportation of Armenian gangster groups and their supporters who  killed the kulman of Western Anatolia, sparing neither women nor  children, at that time was the most reasonable decision," Erdogan  said.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called the speech of the  Turkish President on April 24 a new level of denial of the Armenian  Genocide and "an excuse for the massacre of the nation." The head of  Armenia called on the international community to respond to the hated  remarks of the Turkish president.

" Calling victims of Armenian Genocide, Ottoman Empire's entire  Armenian population, which was sent to death marches, as "Armenian  gangs & thr supporters", killing 1.5mm & justifying it by "most  reasonable action" is not just new high in denialism,but  justification of nation murder", Pashinyan wrote in his Twitter  microblog.


#1822 Yervant1


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Posted 28 April 2019 - 09:19 AM

Arminfo, Armenia
April 27 2019
Already traditional flower gathering event took place in the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex 20190427032015.JPG

ArmInfo.AGBU Scouts of Armenia in collaboration with the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets, and with the participation of VivaCell-MTS volunteering team, the already traditional flower gathering event took place in the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex. The works continued next day, April 28.

The initiative combines the idea of giving these flowers a new lease of life and the environmental mission that promotes recycling. The flowers laid at the Genocide Memorial on April 24 are gathered and their stems are removed from the petals. The stems are used to derive compost, and the petals – to make handmade recycled paper. The compost is used for the treatment of the soil in the Genocide Memorial Park, while the handmade recycled paper is used to make certificates or postcards. 

The event was attended by representatives of non-governmental and international organizations, private and public sector representatives, schoolchildren and students, ambassadors and officials.


#1823 Yervant1


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Posted 28 April 2019 - 09:23 AM

Conservative Party, Canada
April 24 2019
Armenian Genocide Memorial Day
Conservative Party of Canada | April 24, 2019
The Hon. Andrew Scheer, the Leader of Canada’s Conservatives, issues statement to mark Armenian Genocide Memorial Day
APRIL 24, 2019
OTTAWA, ON – The Honourable Andrew Scheer, Leader of Canada’s Conservatives, issued the following statement on Armenian Genocide Memorial Day:
“Today, marks the sombre anniversary of the Armenian genocide, or Medz Yeghern, which began 104 years ago. In this atrocity, about 1.5 million innocent Armenian men, women, and children of all ages were killed and the Armenian people endured a degree of suffering which we can scarcely imagine, the wounds of which have still not healed.
“Our duty to remember must be backed by actions that would prevent future generations from committing grave mistakes of the past. We must learn the lessons of this awful chapter of the world’s history and educate our children about the consequences of hatred and intolerance. Unfortunately, there are millions of people around the world facing imminent threat, persecution and genocidal policies of hate ideologies.
“I am extremely proud that our previous Conservative government was the first Government of Canada to finally recognize the Armenian Genocide in 2006. Canada’s Conservatives will always be a staunch defender of freedom, democracy and human rights wherever these fundamental values are under attack.
“On today’s anniversary, Canada`s Conservatives join the Armenian community and all Canadians in remembrance, and in the hope that the memory of these events will lead to peace, mutual respect, recognition of everyone’s right to dignity, and a firm resolve to never let these atrocities happen again.
“We join all Armenian Canadians and Armenians around the world in paying tribute to the victims of the Armenian genocide.”
For more information:
 Julie Pham
 (613) 947-9932

#1824 Yervant1


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Posted 29 April 2019 - 10:18 AM

International Center for Transitional Justice
The Painful Costs of Denying the Armenian Genocide

New York: International Center for Transitional Justice has issued the following press release:

Evidence shows that up to 1.5 million Armenians were systematically massacred by the Ottoman Empire during its collapse. Ottoman forces shot, starved, maimed, worked to death, raped, burned, deported, and drowned Armenians en masse. Ottoman authorities destroyed or confiscated Armenian churches, homes, and cultural and other properties where Armenians had lived for 2,500 years.

The failure of Turkey and external actors like the United States to recognize the Armenian genocide has stunted progress for reconciliation and lasting peace between Armenians and Turkish people. Denying genocide undermines global resolve to prevent the recurrence of mass atrocities and achieve true justice in their aftermath. Only by recognizing and learning from history’s mistakes can humanity heal, build peace, and end the cycle of mass violence and tragedy.

Due to the absence of transitional justice between the Turkish government and the Armenian people, Armenians grow up living with the anxiety that their culture and existence are still threatened.


#1825 Yervant1


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Posted 04 May 2019 - 09:08 AM

News.am, Armenia
May 3 2019
Armenian ambassador on Erdogan's statements during OSCE session
20:23, 03.05.2019

In his speech in light of the current issues under consideration during Session 1226 of the OSCE Permanent Council, Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE, Ambassador Armen Papikyan drew the OSCE member states’ attention to the statements made by the President of Turkey on April 24th, the day marking the 104th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, as well as Turkey’s hindrances to peaceful rallies and freedom of speech, reports the news service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia.

Touching upon the April 24th statement of the President of Turkey, Ambassador Papikyan stated that those kinds of statements are more than offensive and painful manifestations of disrespect towards the memory of the victims and the survivors, as well as an extremely troubling attempt to justify the genocide and one of the brilliant manifestations of Turkey’s policy of denial.

The ambassador noted that the Turkish president’s statement attests to the intention to fully or partially annihilate the Armenian people as a national, ethnic and religious group in the Ottoman Empire.

Touching upon the violations of the fundamental rights to peaceful assemblies and freedom of speech in Turkey, Ambassador Papikyan particularly touched upon the Turkish authorities prohibiting the Armenian Genocide remembrance event held by the Turkish Human Rights Association Istanbul Office at Sultanhamet Square in Istanbul, the square where 235 prominent Armenian figures, including Members of the Ottoman Parliament, religious and community leaders, remarkable writers and artists were brought on 24 April 1915 and later murdered.

The ambassador also informed that, according to press releases, on the same day, an Armenian activist was apprehended by Turkish police officers for speaking out about the Armenian Genocide. In closing, Ambassador Armen Papikyan expressed gratitude to the OSCE member states for Armenian Genocide recognition and the decisions, proclamations and initiatives aimed at commemorating the victims of the genocide and called on the international community to strictly condemn the Turkish government’s insult to the memory and dignity of the Armenian Genocide victims and survivors.


#1826 Yervant1


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Posted 06 May 2019 - 09:13 AM

The National Herald, Greece
May 5 2019
Prof. Ze’evi Talks to TNH about The Thirty-Year Genocide
By Eleni Sakellis May 5, 2019

The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894-1924 by Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi is a reappraisal of the giant massacres perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire, and then the Turkish Republic, against their Christian minorities. Previous books have examined the genocides against the Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks separately or focused only on the period of 1913-1923, but The Thirty-Year Genocide is the first account to show that the three were actually one intentional effort to rid Anatolia of its Christian population.

This well researched book by Morris, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, and Ze’evi, Professor in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, is a must read for anyone interested in the tragic events and history which inevitably shaped the modern world.

Professor Morris has published books about the history of the Zionist–Arab conflict and has also written about the conflict in the New York Review of Books, New York Times, New Republic, and The Guardian. Professor Ze’evi has published several books on Ottoman and Middle Eastern history.

As noted in the book’s description, between 1894 and 1924, three waves of violence swept across Anatolia, targeting the region’s Christian minorities, who had previously accounted for 20 percent of the population. By 1924, the Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks had been reduced to 2 percent. Most historians have treated these waves as distinct, isolated events, and successive Turkish governments presented them as an unfortunate sequence of accidents. The Thirty-Year Genocide is the first account to show that the three were actually part of a single, continuing, and intentional effort to wipe out Anatolia’s Christian population.

The years in question, the most violent in the recent history of the region, began during the reign of the Ottoman sultan Abdulhamid II, continued under the Young Turks, and ended during the first years of the Turkish Republic founded by Ataturk. Yet despite the dramatic swing from the Islamizing autocracy of the sultan to the secularizing republicanism of the post–World War I period, the nation’s annihilationist policies were remarkably constant, with continual recourse to premeditated mass killing, homicidal deportation, forced conversion, mass rape, and brutal abduction. And one thing more was a constant: the rallying cry of jihad. While not justified under the teachings of Islam, the killing of two million Christians was effected through the calculated exhortation of the Turks to create a pure Muslim nation.

The National Herald contacted Professor Ze’evi for comment about the book and he took time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions via email.

TNH: How long did it take to put the book together from idea to publication?

Prof. Dror Ze’evi: We started thinking about this project about nine years ago. In the beginning, our aim was to study the Armenian genocide during World War I, but as we delved into the research, we understood that the wartime Armenian tragedy was only part of a much larger saga of torment and suffering that lasted three decades and destroyed the Christian communities in Asia Minor – Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians. The huge scope of this tragedy, in both space and time, led us to this nine-year research journey.

TNH: What was the most challenging aspect and also the most rewarding aspect of writing this book?

DZ: Our research took us to many archives in many countries, including the United States, Turkey, Britain, France, and Germany. In all these archives we found large quantities of primary sources. For me the most challenging aspect of writing the book was sifting through these mountains of material, comparing them, and sometimes combining, say, a deportation telegram from the Turkish Interior ministry with the report of a German consul and a letter written by an American missionary to create the narrative. Most rewarding was understanding that all these documents told a lucid and incontrovertible story and that they clearly complemented and completed each other.

TNH: What projects are you working on next?

DZ: We just finished this long and often exhausting project, and at the moment we are still writing articles and lecturing about it around the world. But I have no doubt that we will both continue to write about the fascinating history of our neck of the woods.

The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894–1924 by Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi, published by the Harvard University Press, is available in bookstores and online.




#1827 Yervant1


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Posted 14 May 2019 - 09:18 AM

Irish Independent
May 11, 2019 Saturday
Keeping histories alive: Ireland's thriving Armenian community
Having faced the ravages of genocide and deportation, many Armenians have made Ireland their home - yet our links go back many centuries
by  Sarah Mac Donald
An exhibition on show at Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin concludes with the statement: "Yes Ireland Can". Despite its Obamaesque echo, it is, in fact, a call for Ireland to recognise the Armenian genocide in which 1.5 million people perished between 1914-23.
The Armenian genocide saw the systematic extermination and mass deportation of Armenians from their historic homeland in eastern Turkey by the Ottoman authorities. The men were summarily executed while many of the elderly, women and children died on long marches into the Syrian desert having been treated brutally and deprived of the sustenance needed to stay alive.
In the grounds of Christchurch Cathedral, tourists often get their photos taken alongside a large red carved cross, no doubt thinking it is an Irish high cross. It is in fact an Armenian khachkar (cross-stone) and its inscription explains it was unveiled on April 24, 2015 - Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
Designed by Aram Hakhumyan, an Armenian electronic engineer living in Ireland, the cross was carved in Armenia by Artak Hambardzumyan, who incorporated into it Irish and Armenian motifs.
The exhibition explores the similarities between ancient Celtic high crosses such as Muiredach's Cross in Monasterboice, Co Louth, and the South Cross in Ahenny, Co Tipperary, and Armenian khachkars dating from the 4th century and later.
As Archbishop Michael Jackson of Dublin tells Review: "The crosses are instantly striking in their shared similarities."
This long connection between Ireland and Armenia is mentioned in the 13th century Book of Leinster, which references St Óengus Ceile Dé (the Culdee), who recorded the presence of an Armenian theologian bishop and scholar named as 'Cerrui' in Killeigh, Co Offaly a few centuries earlier.
Irish architect HG Leask believes local architecture from that era in Rathan was influenced by Armenian motifs and, according to Dr Paul Manook, an Armenian engineer married and living in Ireland: "There were probably Armenian monks who taught the Irish monks how to write manuscripts as well as Armenian stone carvers.
"At present I am looking at the Book of Kells (believed to have been created c800AD) and the (Armenian) Echmiadzin Gospels. One can easily see the similarities between them."
Manook's family were victims of the Armenian genocide at the start of the 20th century.
"My father was six years old when he, along with my grandmother and her five sisters, started their exodus from the village of Besni and walked to northern Iraq after the Ottoman gendarmes took my grandfather, along with thousands of Armenian men to be killed," he tells Review.
"It was a journey of more than two years. My two young aunties, who were aged 10 and 13, were left behind to die as my grandmother could not carry them. In all, my grandmother lost four daughters. Only auntie Miriam, my father and grandmother survived."
On his maternal side, his grandmother, who married as the genocide began to unfold, lost her parents, her husband and other members of the family and witnessed "their beheading after which their bodies were thrown into the river".
The Armenian community in Ireland is small but it is growing slowly. According to Manook, they are concentrated around Dublin as most of them work in IT. The Church of Ireland has reached out and offered Taney parish in Dundrum to the Armenians for their religious services. "We have a school on Sundays where a small number of children learn to read and write the Armenian language and learn about Armenian history," Manook explains, adding that there are also pockets of Armenians in Cork, Limerick, Galway and Northern Ireland.
The total number of Armenians on the island of Ireland is around 400.
Sadly, the conflict in Syria has meant that the country where many Armenians sought a safe haven in the wake of the genocide has now also been ravaged.
Syria, especially the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, is a "very sacred place" to the Armenians, explains Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, the primate of the Armenian Church in Great Britain and Ireland, because it is "the mother centre of the Armenian diaspora".
"After the genocide, Armenians settled in Aleppo and started their life there. Now they have had to leave their place once again and it is very painful," he adds.
One of those whose family sought shelter in Aleppo is writer, poet, artist and Fulbright Scholar Dana Walrath. A second-generation Armenian, she was born in the US. Walrath is a research fellow at Trinity College Dublin's Institute of Neurosciences, specialising in dementia. "I wrote a graphic memoir about my mother called Aliceheimer's and that brought me to the Global Brain Health Institute at Trinity where people from multiple disciples from all over the world are trying to problem solve and come up with new ideas and solutions about dementia."
Her novel, Like Water on Stone, written in verse, tells the tale of three Armenian children running for their lives during the genocide. It is based on her grandmother, Oghidar, who came from a family of Armenian millers. When Oghidar's parents were killed in the genocide, she, as a 10-year-old girl, hid during the day and ran at night with her younger brother and sister. The three children journeyed hundreds of miles on foot from their home in Palu along the eastern branch of the Euphrates River to Aleppo, a place of safety.
The title of Like Water on Stone comes from the notion that water eventually erodes a stone and forms and shapes it. "I was thinking of stone being like denial of the genocide and water being the truth. Bit by bit, the dripping water on the stone will reveal the complete and full history."
She firmly believes recognising and commemorating the Armenian genocide is important. "We need to keep histories alive so that it doesn't happen again. Every time we act as bystanders and let a genocide pass without condemning it - it opens the door for genocide to be perpetrated again."
Hitler's infamous comment in August 1939, justifying his expansionist programme and antisemitic agenda, was: "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" Walrath believes the Irish Government should recognise the genocide, as France, Italy and Portugal have already done. This has drawn the ire of Turkey, which still denies that the killing of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire constituted genocide.
Walrath's view is echoed by Archbishop Michael Jackson. "The loss of life, the method of forced removal from a homeland where two cultures had lived peaceably for generations; the method of killing male Armenians and the uses and abuse made of female Armenians are terrifying. There is currently in certain countries an unwillingness to recognise the genocide as a genocide. Ireland is one such country."
'I was thinking of stone being like denial of the genocide and water being the truth. Bit by bit, the dripping water on the stone will reveal the complete and full history' ;

#1828 Yervant1


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Posted 16 May 2019 - 09:33 AM

PanArmenian, Armenia
May 15 2019
German churches receive terror threats over Armenian Genocide events
May 15, 2019 - 14:07 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - Terror threats have been made against European churches marking the Armenian Genocide, according to the the Vienna-based Observatory of Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe.

The independent organization was founded with the help of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences.

Vandals and thieves have damaged at least eight Christian churches in Germany since early April, Crux Now reports citing the Observatory.

Churches have also been attacked, apparently at random, in Scotland, England, France, Poland, Spain, Italy and Austria.

The Observatory revealed that terror threats were made against churches marking the Armenian Genocide in the German cities of Stuttgart and Frankfurt, causing the events to be canceled.

It also reported continued attacks on churches in France, despite the national outpouring of grief that followed the fire that devastated Notre Dame Cathedral April 15.

April 24, 1915 is the day when a group of Armenian intellectuals was rounded up and assassinated in Constantinople by the Ottoman government. On April 24, Armenians worldwide commemorated the 104th anniversary of the Genocide which continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.


#1829 Yervant1


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Posted 16 May 2019 - 09:35 AM

News.am, Armenian
May 15 2019
Turkey village prefect wants to build public toilet right next to Armenian church wall (PHOTOS)
15:48, 15.05.2019











The prefect of Hamamlı village of Turkey’s Artvin Province has already brought the necessary sanitary ware and building material to the area of the local Armenian church, in order to have a public toilet built right next to the church wall.

But local residents as well as journalists visiting this village have condemned such an unacceptable action against the 1,100-year-old church, Artvinpost website of Turkey reported.

Representatives from the provincial department of tourism and culture have visited the village and recorded this disgrace.

To note, even though this church is Armenian, with the “efforts” of the Georgian side, it has been registered in Turkey as a Georgian church.



#1830 Yervant1


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Posted 21 May 2019 - 09:26 AM

The National Herald
May 20 2019
Israeli Scholars Say Turkish Genocides Wiped Out Armenians, Greeks, Christians
By TNH Staff May 20, 2019

The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894–1924 by Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi. Photo: Amazon

Putting the lie to repeated claims by Turkey it didn’t engage in genocides, two Israeli academics said they have documented the slaughter of Armenians, Greeks and Christians over a 30-year period from 1894-1924, including under the direction of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the modern Turkish Republic.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, about claims in their book The 30-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of its Christian Minories, Professors in Middle Eastern Studies at Ben Gurion University of the Negev Benny Morris Dror Ze’evi detailed the systematic slaughter by Turkish leaders that eliminated some 90 percent of the Christians.

Turkey has kept saying that their lives weren’t taken by planned massacres but in the fog of war and the chaos of the time that also took many Muslim lives but the scholars said the killings were designed to eliminate all Christians and nearly succeeded.

They wrote in a column in the paper that during the period they studied that the number of Christians in Asia Minor fell from 3-4 million to just tens of thousands, from 20 percent of the area’s population to under 2 percent.

“Turkey’s Armenian, Greek and Assyrian (or Syriac) communities disappeared as a result of a staggered campaign of genocide beginning in 1894, perpetrated against them by their Muslim neighbors. By 1924, the Christian communities of Turkey and its adjacent territories had been destroyed,” they wrote, contradicting Turkey’s claims.

It was no mere opinion piece but the result, they said, of 10 years of researching archives from Turkey, the United States, British and French archives as well as some Greek materials and the papers of the German and Austro-Hungarian foreign ministries.

They said they were thus able to prove “a strikingly consistent pattern of ethno-religious atrocity over three decades, perpetrated by the Turkish government, army, police and populace,” against Christians, which Turkey has denied, particularly the Armenian genocide which the scholars wrote was a “concentrated slaughter” from 1915-16.

They said it was driven by religion and aided by other groups of Muslims, including Kurds, Circassians, Chechens and Arabs with the purpose of a Holocaust-like Final Solution to kill every Christian in the region, murdering some two millions.

It was, they added, organized by three successive governments, those of the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II, the Young Turks and, finally, Atatürk. Besides the mass murders, some 1.5-2 million Christians were expelled, mostly to Greece.

Ze’evi, reached by The National Herald earlier, recounted how arduous the task was to find the material by poring over voluminous records for years in an effort to get at the truth, which they said verified Christian claims of the genocides and planned mass extermination efforts.


They said the killings conformed to the United Nations definition of what constitutes genocide but Turkey has fiercely resisted any such depiction as the scholars said the killings were accompanied by mass rapes of tens of thousands of Christian women and their forced conversion to Islam, as well as those of children whose parents were killed.

“So pervasive was the sexual violence and kidnapping that many of today’s Turks, whether they know it or not, can trace at least part of their ancestry to these abducted Christians,” they added in an ironic twist of how trying to wipe out Christians in a way perpetuated their blood in Turks for generations.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has continued the line there were no genocides and in April wrote to the Armenian Patriarch of Turkey to “offer my sincere condolences” to the grandchildren of “the Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives under (the) harsh conditions of the First World War” and to urge him “to avoid helping those who seek to create hatred, grudge and hostility by distorting our common history.”

The tragedy began during 1894-96, when Sultan Abdulhamid II authorized massacres of against the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian minority, fearing that they threatened the integrity of his realm, the academics said.

Some 200,000 people, almost all Armenians, were killed by Turkish soldiers, villagers, townspeople, officials and police as well as Kurdish tribesmen, they said the documents showed, finding a grisly pattern.

“At each site, alongside the pillage and murder, many thousands of Armenian women were raped or abducted. Some would eventually be killed; many more were forced into Muslim households and converted, serving for the rest of their lives as wives, concubines or servants,” they said, history that Turkey wants covered up.

The evidence came from eyewitnesses as well, they said, including in January 1896, in the southern Turkish town of Palu, where an American missionary reported that the Turks “continue to carry off girls and women, keeping them a few days and then returning them with their lives blasted.”


In August that year, another missionary in Mardin wrote: “We saw girls not a few who returned from the hands of their captors weeping bitterly, shrieking and crying: ‘We are defiled! No one will take us in marriage.’”

The record of horror was also backed by even by Germany, which was allied with Turkey in World War I. On July 7, 1915, the German Ambassador in Constantinople, Baron Hans von Wangenheim, reported Armenians being deported from the city of Erzurum were being ambushed by Kurdish bands, with “the men and children…butchered and the women carried away.”

On July 27, a German engineer on the Baghdad railway reported that a Turkish sergeant “abducted 18 women and girls and sold them to Arabs and Kurds for 2-3 Mejidiehs,” a coin that was a fifth of a Turkish pound, the historians said they had also found.

There were slave markets during the war in the Syrian cities of Aleppo and Damascus and several Anatolian towns, selling off Armenian girls for trivial amounts, destined for sexual slavery or domestic service or marriage to Muslims,  their lives otherwise valueless.

in which Armenian girls who had been corralled by Turkish troops were sold for a pittance.

War between Turkey and Greece from 1919-22 saw Ataturk conduct a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Turkish Greek communities along the Black Sea and the Aegean coast.

“Claiming that Ottoman Greeks were assisting the invading Greek army, the Turks took the opportunity to murder hundreds of thousands of them, as well as expelling more than a million Ottoman Greeks to Greece,” said Morris and Ze’evi.

It was especially seen in the destruction and burning of Smyrna, with navies from the Allied powers victorious in WWII offshore doing nothing to stop it, watching the fires and murders from onboard.

The American Consul General in Smyrna, George Horton, reported that one of the “outstanding features of the Smyrna horror” was the “wholesale violation of women and girls,” in mass rapes to go along with pillage and slaughter.

In 1924, the British Foreign Office said it estimated that “not less than 80,000 Christians, half of them Armenians, and probably more” were still being detained in Turkish houses, “many of them in slavery.”

The research was said to have found that that tens of thousands of Christian women suffered rape, abduction and forced conve  rsion during the 30 year reign of terror, along with the mass murder and expulsion of their husbands, sons and fathers.

Drawing a parallel to Germany recognizing the atrocities of the Third Reich during World War II to Turkey’s denial of the genocides and slaughters, the historians said there’s also been no remorse. “Every Turkish government since 1924—together with most of the Turkish people—has continued to deny the painful history we have uncovered,” they said.


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Posted 23 May 2019 - 08:40 AM

Gatestone Institute
May 22 2019
Turkey: Erdogan Describes Armenian Genocide as 'Reasonable Relocation'
  • "What Erdogan refers to as 'relocation' was actually the genocidal deportation of civilian populations --mainly women, children and the elderly -- to the very interior of Asia Minor. These populations were not simply relocated to another place, contrary to what the Turkish state claims. They were sent to concentration and extermination camps or remote places in the interior to be slaughtered or to die from exposure, exhaustion, hunger or epidemics -- either on the way to, or at the place of, their destinations." — Vasileios Meichanetsidis, an Athens-based genocide scholar and editor of the 2012 book, The Genocide of the Ottoman Greeks, in an interview with Gatestone Institute.



Pictured: Armenian civilians, escorted by Ottoman soldiers, marched through Harput to a prison in nearby Mezireh (present-day Elazig), April 1915. (Image source: American Red Cross/Wikimedia Commons)


At a symposium in Ankara on April 24 -- the 104th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his distortion and denial of the 1915 mass murder of Christians at the hands of Ottoman Turks. "The relocation of the Armenian gangs and their supporters who massacred the Muslim people, including women and children, in eastern Anatolia, was the most reasonable action that could be taken in such a period," Erdogan said. This quote was then posted on the official "Turkish Presidency" Twitter page.

"Erdogan's statement was factually flawed, deceptive and insulting," Vicken Babkenian, an independent researcher for the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, told Gatestone in a recent interview.

Babkenian, a descendant of genocide survivors on both sides of his family, explained:

"The Ottoman Turkish government's wide-scale and systematic destruction of its indigenous Armenian population in 1915-23 is well documented, and was one of the foremost examples of that crime which led the Polish-Jewish jurist Raphael Lemkin to coin the word 'genocide'in 1944. Erdogan's tweet -- on the most solemn day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide -- was clearly meant to appease the ultra-nationalist element in Turkey at the expense of historic truth.

"I don't believe that there is another head of government in the world today who has expressed such unremorseful rhetoric about his nation's well-documented extermination of its indigenous populations. It is genocide denial at its worst. Erdogan's message can be interpreted as follows: Turkey is unremorseful about what happened to the Armenians in 1915. They deserved what they got, and we have no intention of reckoning with our past or pursuing a policy of transitional justice."

Vasileios Meichanetsidis, an Athens-based genocide scholar and editor of the 2012 book, The Genocide of the Ottoman Greeks, also criticized Erdogan's false portrayal of the Turks' mass murder of Christians. He told Gatestone:

"What Erdogan refers to as 'relocation' was actually the genocidal deportation of civilian populations -- mainly women, children and the elderly -- to the very interior of Asia Minor. These populations were not simply relocated to another place, contrary to what the Turkish state claims. They were sent to concentration and extermination camps or remote places in the interior to be slaughtered or to die from exposure, exhaustion, hunger or epidemics -- either on the way to, or at the place of, their destinations.

"These 'relocations' resulted in the partial or total destruction of numerous Greek Orthodox communities that had lived in Anatolia for nearly 3.000 years.

"The continuous Turkish state policy of genocide denial shows how susceptible Turkey still is to committing yet another genocide, but also how important and necessary it is for the international community to recognize the genocide as a means of preventing its recurrence by a denialist and aggressive state perpetrator."

Anahit Khosroeva, an Assyrian genocide scholar and lecturer at the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences based in Armenia, told Gatestone:

"What Erdogan falsely calls the 'relocation' was for us -- the descendants of the survivors of the Armenian and Assyrian genocides – depatriation. Indigenous Armenians and Assyrians got annihilated in their own ancient homeland.

"The assertion [by Erdogan and other genocide deniers] that Turkish archives are open is also far from reality – particularly from the point of view of access to materials on the Armenian and Assyrian Genocides by impartial scholars. The archives are open, but only for the researchers working for Turkish state interests.

"No matter what Turkey says, the Armenian Genocide as a crime against humanity has been recognized and condemned by 27 countries across the world."

This has not prevented Erdogan and his supporters from simultaneously denying the genocide and being proud of it. This is the propaganda mechanism that has turned the victims into perpetrators, and has shaped Turkey's official historiography since the establishment of the Republic in 1923. Turkish school books still teach that the "treacherous" GreeksArmenians and Assyrians forced the Ottoman Turks to act in self-defense.

Meanwhile, on the day that Erdogan made the speech in which he held the genocide victims responsible for their own plight, Turkish police prevented the Human Rights Association (IHD) from holding a scheduled commemoration ceremony in Istanbul.

The IHD therefore held the ceremony at its office. At the ceremony, IHD co-chair Eren Keskin said:

"We are again living under the power of unlawfulness. We are again getting through a period of grave human rights violations. The cursed legacy is continuing in new forms.

"Today is April 24th - the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. But the reaction to commemorating the genocide is strong. Even declaring a day of commemoration is not tolerated."

Genocide scholar Vasileios Meichanetsidis concluded that for Turkey to be a truly democratic country, it must acknowledge its past crimes. He told Gatestone:

"Turkey will not be able to free itself from its murderous past and the stain on its genesis as a state, unless it recognizes the genocide of the native Christian peoples of the Ottoman Empire, thus allowing the descendants of the victims the resilience needed to overcome their generational sufferings, resulting from the indescribable physical and emotional sufferings of their ancestors.

"The recognition could also free the Turkish people from guilt and shame, thus marking the beginning of a new process of reconciliation between Turkey and the descendants of the genocide victims, as well as between Turkey and its neighbors, especially Greece, Armenia and Cyprus."

Uzay Bulut, a Turkish journalist, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.



#1832 Yervant1


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Posted 23 May 2019 - 08:41 AM

News.am, Armenia
May 22 2019
Dutch parliament discusses Erdogan's hate speech on Armenian Genocide
12:50, 22.05.2019

The Federation of Armenian Organisations in the Netherlands (FAON) has rejected Foreign Minister Stef Blok's lax response to the call from the House of Representatives to condemn the unacceptable words about the Armenian Genocide by Turkish president Erdogan on 24 April 2019, the commemoration day of the Armenian Genocide.

During the debate in the Chamber on 15 May 2019 on the situation in Turkey, the minister was urged by various factions to condemn the inadmissible denial practices by Turkish President Erdogan, who stated that “the relocation of the Armenian gangs and their supporters, who massacred the Muslim people, was the most reasonable action that could be taken in such a period”.

In his plea, MP Joël Voordewind (ChristianUnion – CU) recalled also the still valid motion by Rouvoet, in which the Chamber unanimously instructed the government to put constantly and explicitly the recognition of the Armenian Genocide on the agenda in the dialogue with Turkey. This motion from 2004 is the first unanimous recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Dutch Parliament.

The motion has been quoted countless times in the Parliament, when the human rights situation in Turkey in general and the denial of the Armenian Genocide in particular has been discussed.

MPs Martijn van Helvert (Christian Democratic Appeal – CDA) and Kees van der Staaij (Reformed Political Party – SGP) also made an important point, that a Dutch response is necessary to the unheard statements made by the Turkish president.

Minister Blok dismissed these urgent questions about, in his words, “the issue of the Armenian Genocide”, by saying that he will not respond each time to what other people say.

The FAON believes that the trivialising responses of the Minister are an evidence of a far-reaching and dangerous political opportunism. In the discussions, the Minister had to answer several times the question about the method used not only to restore the relations with Turkey but also expand them. The question has also been raised if it wouldn’t be naïve to hope that by increasing trade relations, it will be possible to achieve improvements in the rule of law in Turkey.


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Posted 26 May 2019 - 06:52 AM


Italian MP promises to campaign for international recognition of Armenian Genocide

976117.jpg17:54, 24 May, 2019

YEREVAN, MAY 24, ARMENPRESS. Representative of Italy’s parliamentary majority Fabio Massimo Castaldo, who is also the Vice President of the European Parliament, has announced that he is proud of his contribution to the Armenian Genocide recognition by the Italian parliament. In a meeting with the Lebanese community in Rome he noted that “Five Star Movement”, which has the majority seats in the legislative, is the initiator of Armenian Genocide condemnation by the Chamber of Deputies of Italy and the call addressed to the Government to recognize it, as well as raising the necessity of giving an international importance to the issue. According to him, in the past the authorities of Italy attached more importance to relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan rather than justice, but the majority political force in the legislative now is committed to the policy of condemning the Armenian Genocide and demanding Turkey to recognize it.

“We will be heard also at the European Parliament in raising the just cause of the Armenian people”, ARMENPRESS reports Fabio Massimo as saying.

The Chamber of Deputies (lower house of parliament) of Italy adopted a Resolution on April 10 calling on the Government to “officially recognize the Armenian Genocide” and give an international assessment to the issue. The Resolution was adopted with 382 votes in favor, 0 against and 43 abstentions.

In 2000 the Italian Chamber of Deputies adopted a resolution calling on the government to pursue the weakening of the tensions between the peoples and minorities in the region, with the aim of creating conditions for the peaceful coexistence and human rights protection. In this regard, the assessment was more general and did not contain a message on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

The decision of April 10, 2019 has a targeted address. It calls on the Italian government to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide and give it an international importance.

Reported by Talal Khrais 

Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan




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Posted 05 June 2019 - 09:43 AM

Panorama, Armenia
June 4 2019
Politics 12:28 04/06/2019 Armenia
Public event on Bundestag resolution of the Armenian Genocide and its implementation to be held in Hanover

Hannover Historical Museum, Hannover Municipal Remembrance Culture, the German-Armenian Society and the Ada and Theodor-Lessing Adult Education Center Hannover jointly organize an event on the topic of "Armenian Genocide. From the Bundestag resolution to the Implementation in Lower Saxony. The event will take place on June 6 at Adult Education Center (Volkshochschule) Hannover.

As the organizers reports in a statement, on 2 June 2016, the German Bundestag passed the resolution "Remembrance and Memory of the Genocide of the Armenians and other Christian Minorities in 1915 and 1916". It says: "Today, school, university and political education in Germany has the task of picking up and communicating to future generations the study of the expulsion and annihilation of Armenians as part of the process of revising the history of ethnic conflicts in the 20th century. In particular, the federal states have an important role to play." Some federal states have complied with this request, but others have not. With their joint event "Armenian Genocide. From the Bundestag Resolution to the Implementation in Lower Saxony ", the Hannover Historical Museum, Hannover Municipal Remembrance Culture, the German-Armenian Society and the Ada and Theodor-Lessing Adult Education Center Hannover will on Thursday, June 6, 2019, 6:30pm thematize above all the state of affairs in Lower Saxony.


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Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:15 AM

Panorama, Armenia
June 12 2019
Turkey slams the Netherlands over the Armenian Genocide resolution

The foreign ministry of Turkey has slammed the House of Representatives of the Netherlands over the resolution that strongly rejected Turkish President Erdogan’s April 24 remark and called upon the country’s government to notify the Turkish authorities of their position on the Armenian Genocide.
In a released statement the foreign ministry labeled the resolution as ‘baseless’ and rejected ‘slanderous allegations’ referred to in these resolutions, Ermenihaber reported.

“It would be advisable for the Netherlands' House of Representatives to address more important issues that threaten European values, rather than an anti-Turkey stance that feeds on prejudices,” read the part of the statement.

To remind, following the adoption of the resolution, Armenian foreign ministry  issued a message  on Facebook welcoming international reaction against denialist remarks of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the Armenian Genocide. “By adopting this motion Netherlands and its parliamentarians once again demonstrated their principal stance on Human rights and Genocide Prevention,” said the message.



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Posted 13 June 2019 - 09:17 AM

PanArmenian, Armenia
June 12 2019
Armenia welcomes Dutch response to Erdogan's denialist remarks
June 12, 2019 - 10:27 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - Yerevan welcomes the international reaction against denialist remarks by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the Armenian Genocide, Foreign Ministery spokeswoman Anna Naghdalyan said in a tweet.

The Dutch House of Representatives on Tuesday, June 11 adopted a resolution condemning Erdogan’s April 24 comments concerning the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

Erdogan said back then that the deportation of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century was “appropriate at the time.”

The “deportation of Armenian gangs who were massacring Muslims including women, children and elderly people in the Eastern Anatolia region was the most appropriate act at that time,” Erdogan said. “No group or state has been able to prove their claims on the Armenian issue with archive documents.”

"By adopting this motion, the Netherlands and its parliamentarians once again demonstrated their principal stance on human rights and genocide prevention," Naghdalyan said.

The Dutch parliament in February 2018 passed a motion recognizing as genocide the massacre of as many as 1.5 million Armenians in 1915-1923.

April 24, 1915 is the day when a group of Armenian intellectuals was rounded up and assassinated in Constantinople by the Ottoman government. On April 24, Armenians worldwide commemorated the 104th anniversary of the Genocide which continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, including the Netherlands, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.



#1837 Yervant1


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Posted 22 June 2019 - 06:27 AM

Aravot, Armenia
June 21 2019
United Nations question Turkey on the fate and whereabouts of forcibly deported Armenians in 1915-1923
June 21,2019 
Guided by pan-Armenian interests on behalf of our respective organizations and institutions we welcome the joint action of the United Nations (UN) Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and _expression_, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, which, in the framework of their mandates, addressed a Joint Allegation Letter to the Government of the Republic of Turkey.
This Joint Allegation marks an important step in the process of demanding from the Republic of Turkey to come to terms with the Past and primarily to fulfil its duty of investigation and to ensure the right of victims to the truth, justice and reparations.
It stresses the alleging violations attributable to Turkey in relation to the tragic events that affected the Armenian minority from 1915 to 1923, and their consequences for the population concerned.
It expresses concern at the reported Turkish State denial, at the legislation restraining freedom of opinion and of _expression_ related to some wording, and ensuing lack of progress in establishing the truth and ensuring justice for the forcible deportation of Armenians between 1915 and 1923, which resulted in massive suffering, ill-treatment and deaths.
It also emphasizes that this situation affects the dignity of victims and of their descendants.
The Mandates holders solicited the observations of the Government of Republic of Turkey concerning the submitted allegation, in particular:
1) What measures has Turkey taken to establish the facts, including the fate or whereabouts of Armenians who were subjected to forced internal displacement, detention, extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances during the period of 1915-1923?
2) What measures have been taken to ensure the right of victims and of society as a whole to know the truth about these events, and to ensure the right of victims to justice and reparations for the damage suffered?
3) What measures have been taken to locate, insofar as possible, the bodies of Armenians who died as a result of these events?
4) To provide information about the reasons for the adoption of the 2017 legislation preventing lawmakers from making certain expressions. To explain how this is compatible with international human rights law, in particular with article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
5) To provide detailed information about the cases in which Article 301 of the Criminal Code has been applied to punish individuals for statements made alleging crimes against Armenians.
The Government of Turkey on May 17th 2019 bluntly refuses to answer those questions by UN human rights mechanisms.
We praise the special procedures engaged by the WGEID and the two Special Rapporteurs and we support the pursuit of this unprecedented and important process.
While this effort is not a substitute for genocide recognition or full and adequate reparations for the mass atrocities and confiscations of properties suffered by the Armenians during this period, actions by the relevant United Nations human rights organs would constitute significant steps toward the disclosure of the truth and redress for this open wound on humanity.
Holy See of Etchmiadzin – HH Karekin II (Vagharshapat, Republic of Armenia)
Catholicosate of Antelias – HH Aram I (Beirut, Republic of Lebanon)
Armenian Evangelical World Council (USA)
Armenian General Benevolent Union (USA)
Armenian Missionary Association of America (USA) 


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Posted 24 June 2019 - 08:18 AM

eKathimerini, Greece
June 23 2019
The 30-year genocide of Christians in Turkey SAKIS IOANNIDIS


TAGS: HistoryBooksCulture

“Altogether between 1919 and summer 1923, about 1.5 million Greeks were cleansed from Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace. Almost all were resettled in Greece. But several hundred thousand Ottoman Greeks had died. Either they were murdered outright or were the intentional victims of hunger, disease, and exposure,” Israeli historians Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi write in their extensive study that was recently published in English where they claim that Ottoman administrations between 1894 and 1924 engaged in an escalating elimination of Christian minorities across Ottoman territory.

Their book, “The Thirty-Year Genocide: Turkey’s Destruction of its Christian Minorities, 1894-1924,” was published a few weeks ago by Harvard University Press (the book will be published in Greek by Patakis). The volume brings together their lengthy research into the causes and the process of wiping out the Assyrians, the Armenians and Ottoman Greeks which is based on Turkish archives and, mostly, archives of foreign consular services at that time.

Researchers were originally motivated by their interest in the Armenian genocide. “The story is both deeper and wider that the Armenian genocide.” According to the authors, at the end of the 19th century, Christians made up 20 percent of the population of Asia Minor. “By 1924 their population had fallen to 2 percent.”

The most lethal stage of that 30-year period was 1915-16, Morris says. “In the beginning they deported most of the Armenians living in eastern and central Turkey and killed them, either outside the city or along the deportation routes. And in 1916 they completed the killing by killing those who somehow reached the Syrian desert. So in those two years they killed between 600,000 and 800,000 Armenians,” he says. The total number of victims over the three decades may be more than 1 million.

The two authors say that there may not be enough evidence to determine the number of Greeks who died at the hands of the Ottoman Army during the period in question. However, they stress that between 1919 and 1924 hundreds of thousands of ethnic Greek Ottoman citizens were murdered “when the Turks systematically massacred army-aged men and deported thousands of men, women and children to the interior and then, in a second stage, to the coasts, from which the survivors were shipped off to Greece.”

Asked about the massive killings of Pontic Greeks and whether the research backs up genocide claims, Morris says: “I know Greek historians have spoken about 1 million killed but we certainly reached hundreds of thousands of Greeks murdered so you can certainly call that genocide… If you look at the definition of genocide by the United Nations there’s a definition which includes not only the will to destroy and the actual destruction of people but also culture, infrastructure etc, and that applies to what happened to the Greeks as well as the Armenians in Asia Minor,” he says.

Morris acknowledges that most of the victims were Greeks living in the Black Sea region, but he believes that the persecutions and killings also targeted Greek populations in the wider area.

“During 1923 the Turks systematically expelled and killed Greeks living in the Pontus but also Greeks living in the center of the country and living below the coast of the Aegean. So it wasn’t about Pontus…,” he says, adding that “probably the largest concentrations of Greeks in Turkey were in Pontus, that’s true.”

The book also refers to the atrocities and the crimes carried out by the Greek troops during Greece’s Asia Minor campaign and the withdrawing of the Hellenic Army in 1922. However, they point out, the actions of the Greek soldiers did not justify Turkey’s actions in Smyrna. Unlike the Armenians, though, most Greeks were deported to Greece and escaped death, the authors say.

But what was it that drove Ottoman administrations from Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II to the Young Turks and Ataturk to implement a policy of mass expulsions, also with the participation of ordinary citizens? The answer is complicated, says Morris, who believes that there was no such thing as an organized plan from the very beginning, but rather “a desire and an intention which translates into policy in a staggered fashion.”

He says that Christians were seen as “a danger to the integrity of the state.” Furthermore, Abdulhamid II “is driven by Islamic beliefs when he orders the murder of Armenians,” while subsequently, during the time of the Young Turks, the campaign is driven by nationalism and the fear that the Christians will destabilize the Turkish state.

Nationalism and plunder

Nationalism, Morris says, is the driving force behind the actions of Ataturk while there is also an economic aspect which is very important.

“Among the masses who join the killing, especially civilians, plunder is extremely important when they are attacking Christians. They also want and steal their property: houses, land, jewelry, they also want their women (considered property),” Morris says. “But the state has also an economic interest when destroying the Christians because they want to inherit the Christians businesses, banks, factories, lands. So there’s an economic interest from the top and from each individual family which is involved in the destruction,” he says.

“Every massacre is accompanied by plunder and rape, it has to do with property in a sense, with sex and the state’s desire to reduce the number of Christians. [If] you rape Christian women, you end up with Muslim children.”

The conclusion of the book contains a brief reference to the “exaggerated, even paranoid” concern amid the Ottomans over the threat of Christian populations to the Turkish state. “But many felt them sincerely, much as many Nazis later took seriously the absurd notion of a Jewish ‘threat’ to Germany.”

Are there common elements between the Turkish persecutions and the Holocaust?

“We don’t have evidence that Hitler wrote in his journals that he followed Turks to what he did, but we do know that there was an enormous amount of admiration in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s for Ataturk,” says Morris.

“He was a revered figure because he was a dictator and because he managed to get rid of minorities as the Germans wanted to do with the Jews. And we do know that some of the practices of the Turks are similar to what Nazis did, the whole idea of deceiving the victims before they died, the use of other people to carry out the killings is replicated by Nazis in 1940. There are a number of things replicated by Germans [but] whether they were acting consciously, copying what the Turks did, or whether it simply worked out that way, we don’t know,” he says.

“It’s worth remembering that there were a lot of German officers in Turkey during the massacres of Armenians, [who in] WWI went back to Germany and some of them ended up in the Nazi party. What happened in Turkey left an impression on them.”


#1839 Yervant1


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Posted 28 June 2019 - 09:05 AM

Wall Street Journal
June 26 2019
Turks Should Face the Past, as Germans Have What happened to the Armenian people was not reasonable—it was genocide. There is no “significant debate.” B3-EA298_KEYGEN_GR_20190516102319.jpg    

In his June 14 letter regarding Christian deaths in Turkey, Turkish Ambassador Serdar Kiliç points out that Holocaust survivor and human-rights champion Raphael Lemkin coined the word genocide, but he fails to note that Lemkin cited the horrors endured by the Armenian and Jewish people as prototypes of genocide. This follows what U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire Henry Morgenthau described in 1915 as a “campaign of race extermination,” and not as Ambassador Kiliç would like readers to believe, a relocation of “many Armenians” to the south. Ambassador Kiliç also fails to mention that this past April, on the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan justified what took place as “reasonable” at the time.

Let’s be clear. What happened to the Armenian people was not reasonable—it was genocide. There is no “significant debate.” The International Association of Genocide Scholars, the pre-eminent body on this subject, has repeatedly and unequivocally affirmed the Armenian Genocide. Moreover, the International Court of Transitional Justice, having reviewed all the elements of genocide under the United Nations Convention, issued a report that found the events of 1915 constituted genocide. Turkey, rather than continue its shameful campaign of denial, would be better served by reconciling and coming to terms with its genocidal past as Germany, its ally in World War I, has done with respect to the Holocaust.

Bryan Ardouny

Executive Director

Armenian Assembly of America



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Posted 16 July 2019 - 08:46 AM

  Turkish Anti-Armenian Lobbying
            Extends to City of Armenia in Colombia
            By Harut Sassounian
            Publisher, The California Courier

The Breitbart website published an article by Frances Martel
describing the Turkish lobbying efforts in the Colombian City of
Armenia which was founded in 1889 and originally called Villa Holguín.
According to Wikipedia, the South American city changed its name to
Armenia “in memory of the Armenian people murdered by the Turkish
Ottomans in the Hamidian Massacres of 1894-97 and later the Armenian
Genocide of 1915-23.” Some scholars dispute this assertion, ascribing
the origin of the city’s name to the Biblical reference to Armenia.

Ece Ozturk Cil, the Turkish Ambassador in Bogota, Colombia, sent two
letters—on December 14, 2018 and January 11, 2019—to the Mayor of
Armenia, Colombia, inviting him and 10 City Councilmembers to visit
Turkey as official guests of the Turkish government.

On February 3, 2019, during a special Sunday night session, Armenia’s
City Council by a vote of 12 to 6 approved the visit of Mayor Oscar
Castellanos and nine City Councilmembers to Turkey, between Feb. 6 and
13, 2019. During the trip, the Mayor and City Councilmembers of
Armenia met with the Mayors of Istanbul and Ankara, the Chairman of
the Turkish Parliament, and visited the Center of Latin American
Studies at the University of Ankara. They also met with Turkish
businessmen and visited the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar.

The trip generated a major controversy in Colombia. Many residents of
the city of Armenia objected to the visit, because of the absence of
the Mayor and the nine City Councilmembers at a time when the city was
in economic disarray and mismanaged. Five mayors of Armenia had been
ousted in the past three years due to corruption. The citizens felt
that the new Mayor should have stayed home and taken care of the
business of the city. The Regional Prosecutor General opened an
investigation into the Turkish trip to review the violations committed
by the Mayor and the Councilmembers. They should also be investigated
to establish what bribes or gifts they received from their “generous”
Turkish hosts while visiting Turkey.

The local Colombian publication Semana confirmed the link between
Armenia (Colombia), Turkey and genocide: “…It turns out that the
[city] council of Armenia, [Colombia], decided through Agreement 08 of
2014, to recognize the Armenian Genocide and as such declare April 24
as the official commemorative date, in solidarity with the country
that bears the same name as the Colombian city. Subsequently, the
Council ratified these links in Minutes 075 of 2015, through which
they sought to establish ties of friendship with the Republic of

In response to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Semana
explained that “everything seems to indicate that the background of
this invitation from the Turkish government is to provide the council
members with the other version of a painful historical episode that
points to that country as responsible for genocide.”

Semana reported: “As will be remembered, what is known today as the
Armenian Genocide happened in 1915 during the First World War and
although the figures are still under discussion, there is talk of a
minimum of 300,000 and a maximum of 1.5 million deaths. The victims of
that extermination were the Armenian people and they point as their
executioner to the Ottoman Turkish Empire, today’s Turkey.”

Semana wondered if as a consequence of the city officials’ trip to
Turkey they may decide to repeal the recognition of the Armenian

In the meantime, the only new development since the trip is a mural of
a man wearing Ottoman-era clothing on the side of Armenia’s city
council building. Breitbart reported that the mural has “no historical
correlation to the city” and “is confusing and angering many
residents…. The regional newspaper La Crónica de Quindío reported that
locals appear baffled, and some outraged, by the expensive mural,
which they find irrelevant to their heritage.”

Breitbart quoted a local woman named Maricela Montes telling La
Cronica: “I don’t really understand what Armenia [the Colombian city]
has to do with Turkey. I think that what they need is to pay back
favors for that little trip they took…. It is not logical that
something like this would be painted on such a pretty department.”

The newspaper quoted another resident as saying that he is not angry,
but merely “confused.” Jorge Jaramillo told La Cronica: “We are
confused because we don’t understand what a sultan has to do with
Armenia [the city]. What is happening to us? Please, serious statesmen
have to take the reins of this city. This is truly horrible for our
capital.” City Councilman Luis Guillermo Agudelo told El Tiempo: “the
mural is an absurdity…. This is a public building that has a very
important connotation…. This is where our gallery was, and now they
are totally changing its identity.”

El Tiempo reported that “the council is not only considering cultural
favors to Turkey. They are now openly debating amending the 2014
declaration the city passed recognizing the Armenian genocide,”
according to Breitbart.

So far, the Turkish invitation has backfired on Turkey because it has
generated a lot of discussion about the Armenian Genocide in the
Colombian media and has gotten the Mayor and the City Councilmembers
in legal trouble.

It is incumbent on the Armenian Republic’s Ambassador to Brazil, who
is also accredited to Colombia, to initiate an immediate action to
counter the Turkish lobbying efforts. A similar action has to be
undertaken by the Armenian communities in South America. They should
also ensure that the City Council does not repeal its earlier decision
to recognize the Armenian Genocide and gets rid of the Ottoman mural.

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