Armenian Genocide Commemorations List
Posted 20 February 2018 - 10:41 AM
Posted 22 February 2018 - 11:21 AM
President Michel Aoun of the Republic of Lebanon visited the Tsitsernakaberd memorial today. He laid a wreath at the memorial to Armenian Genocide victims and paid tribute to their memory with a moment of silence.
Mr. Au0on also visited the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute and left a note in the guestbook.
The President of Lebanon planted a fir tree in the Memory Alley.
Posted 23 February 2018 - 11:40 AM
The Dutch Parliament is expected to adopt two motions on Armenian Genocide, despite the government’s stance on the issue, which continues to talk about ‘the issue of the Armenian genocide’ when it comes to the mass murder of Armenians.
Head of the Armenian Federation of the Netherlands Mato Hakhverdyan told Public Radio of Armenia that the two motions will brought to the agenda of the parliament’s plenary session later today.
The Dutch government does not accept the wish of the House of Representatives to recognize the Armenian genocide, according to Elsevierweekblad.nl.
While the government refuses to recognize the Armenian, Genocide, it will still send a representative to the commemoration of the genocide in the Armenian capital Yerevan on April 24. That will be the first time that the Netherlands will send a government representative.
The House of Representatives debated Thursday on the use of the term ‘genocide’ with Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigrid Kaag.
Kaag said at the debate that “the government that for the recognition of genocides unambiguous statements by scientists and the United Nations, as well as judgments by international criminal or judicial courts are necessary.
Posted 28 February 2018 - 09:37 AM
The family and friends of Arslan Seraydarian of Broomall celebrated his 100th birthday milestone Feb. 17, at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia, The Delaware County Daily Times reported.
The evening was filled with historic and heartwarming recollections of a life of perseverance, resilience and faith and with festive Armenian and American music, dance and cuisine. It was a fitting tribute to an Armenian-American survivor of the Armenian Genocide, a decorated World War II veteran, an accomplished professional, and a treasured family member and friend.
He and some family members escaped the Armenian Genocide, while many of his relatives perished at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Arriving in the U.S. in 1923, he was forced to drop out of school in the 8th grade during the Great Depression to help his family survive. Serving in the Army in the European theater of World War II from 1939-1945, Arslan endured 10 months of fierce combat in which he and his fellow soldiers were forced to use dead animals for shelter. Arslan fought in the Battle of the Bulge, earning three Bronze Stars and recently the French Legion of Honor medal for helping liberate France.
After the war, Arslan was able to complete high school, college, and eventually earned a Master’s degree. Arslan enjoyed a long and productive career as an aerospace engineer and teacher. He has been married to his beloved wife, Gladys, for 72 years.
- MosJan likes this
Posted 02 March 2018 - 10:58 AM
Shame on you New Zealand! Take a stand, don't be a coward.
News Hub, New ZealandMarch 1 2018Opinion: Jacinda Ardern should acknowledge the Armenian Genocide01/03/2018Tony WrightOPINION: New Zealand governments have been constantly running scared from officially recognising the 20th century's first great crime against humanity - the Armenian Genocide.It's believed up to 1.5 million of the 2 million Armenian civilians living in the Ottoman Empire (now modern day Turkey) were slaughtered during the First World War.While the purges and mass-death events were front page news in New Zealand at the time, and even witnessed by Kiwi soldiers who were captured by Ottoman forces at Gallipoli, no New Zealand government has ever officially acknowledged that the Armenian Genocide took place, and that needs to change.We recognise the Jewish Holocaust of World War II, the Rwandan genocide, the Bosnian genocide, and closer to home, the East Timor genocide.So why don't we do the same with the Armenian Genocide?The answer is simple: New Zealand's link to Gallipoli and Turkey.Turkey refuses to admit that the Armenian Genocide took place at all - its official line is that thousands of Armenians died in military uprisings - not as victims of ethnic cleansing.If a New Zealand government moved to officially recognise that the Armenian Genocide took place, then Turkey would likely threaten to ban Kiwi passport holders from visiting the old Gallipoli battlefields - or at least make the process much more difficult than it is now.Here are some of the 29 countries that officially recognise the Armenian Genocide:Germany, Canada, France, Russia, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil, Greece and Syria.In many of these countries, denial of the genocide is punishable by a fine or even imprisonment.The New Zealand link to the Armenian GenocideNew Gallipoli war memorial unveiled in Wellington is a fraudIt's interesting to note that soldiers from France and Canada also fought the Ottoman forces at Gallipoli, and yet those nations still decided to stand up to Turkey and recognise the Armenian Genocide.So, my challenge to the Jacinda Ardern-led Government is this:Take a stand and officially recognise that the Armenian Genocide took place. Make it law. Teach it in Kiwi classrooms alongside other genocides like the Jewish Holocaust. Do it for peace, and as a chilling warning of what can happen during a war.Over 18,500 New Zealand soldiers didn't die in World War I so that foreign powers could still hold us to ransom a century later.view video at http://www.newshub.c...n-genocide.html
Posted 03 March 2018 - 10:08 AM
Posted 07 March 2018 - 11:07 AM
President Serzh Sarkisian with “Architects of Denial” producers Dean Cain (left) and Montel Williams (center)
Their Film, “Architects of Denial” Screened in Yerevan with President, Foreign Minister in Attendance
YEREVAN—The producers of the lauded documentary “Architects of Denial” met with President Serzh Sarkisian on Tuesday after a screening of the film and were awarded Armenia’s “Order of Honor” medal by the president.
Sarkisian shared his impressions of the film, the screening for which he attended Monday at Moscow Theater along with First Lady Rita Sarkisian and Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.
Sarkisian emphasized the critical role the film can play in efforts to garner international recognition and condemnation of genocides, including the Armenian Genocide and also stressed the importance of the film’s narrative to draw parallels between the Genocide and the current Artsakh movement.
“The parallels between today’s realities and the events of 100 years ago are very important,” said Sarkisian.
In a special ceremony, Cain and Williams, who were surrounded by their families, were awarded with Armenia’s Orders of Honor by the president for their their contribution to the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide and prevention of genocides and crimes against humanity.
The producers voiced hope that the film will help change perceptions of the issue not only in the US, but also worldwide.
“Architects of Denial” had its Armenia premiere on Monday evening at a screening that was attended by the president, the first lady and the foreign minister among other luminaries in Armenian arts and culture circles, with Cain and Williams in attendance.
The film is based on historians’ studies and stories about Genocide survivors. The documentary features experts’ testimonies which reveal the connectivity between the denial of historic facts, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity committed in different parts of the world.
Producers of the films Dean Cain and Montel Williams were present at the screening.
“As the Holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel said, denying means killing a second time. He urged not to remain silent, to combat the evil of genocide, since the indifference and denial create new tormentors. Indeed, the authors of the film have made a vital and grateful contribution, through their important work highlighting once again that “no one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten,” said in remarks during the screening.
‘There is no doubt that this film is a new step in the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, in raising awareness about it, in the fight against new genocides and the evil of its denial and it makes an essential input to the universal efforts of keeping the promise of “never again”. I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this valuable movie. Today, many of them are present here, at the Armenian premiere. Please join me welcoming the co-producers of the movie, American cinema and television stars Dean Cain and Montel Williams,” added Nalbandian.
Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:18 AM
Are we using the Armenian Genocide again for vote getting? I guess he thinks Armenians are stupid! Who knows may be he is right.
News.am, ArmeniaMarch 7 2018US congressional candidate calls to recognize Armenian Genocide14:46, 07.03.2018
Congressional candidate Tom Malinowski, a retired U.S. diplomat seeking to unseat a sitting U.S. Representative in central New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, backed U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide and called out his opponent, incumbent Leonard Lance, for taking an all-expense paid junket to Azerbaijan in 2013, Armenian Weekly reported.
“Acknowledging historical truth is essential to preventing genocide and promoting justice and reconciliation after it happens,” reads a part of Malinowski’s statement. “For this reason, I have long believed that the United States should recognize the Armenian Genocide, while continuing to encourage dialogue between Turkey, Armenia and the Armenian community to reach a common understanding of the past and cooperation on the present challenges they face,” the statement continues.
The Garden State’s seventh Congressional District is home to a sizable Armenian-American community, stretching across the width of the state and including parts of Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Union, and Warren counties.
The seat is held by incumbent Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), who has not cosponsored the Armenian Genocide Truth and Justice Resolution and, in 2013, made headlines as part of a controversial Congressional trip to Azerbaijan that sparked a high profile Congressional ethics inquiry into possible illegal foreign funding of official U.S. travel.
Tom Malinowski served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor under the Obama Administration starting in April, 2014.
Posted 09 March 2018 - 10:53 AM
The Serbian parliament has rejected the opposition’s proposal to adopt a “Resolution on the recognition of genocide against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire,” the Balkan Service of Radio Liberty reported.
The resolution was submitted by Serbia’s former Prime Minister Zoran Zivkovic, who currently heads the New Party.
Speaking to Radio Liberty, Zivkovic said “it is important not to forget the historical fact that some countries were ready to kill tens of thousands of people at some time.”
“We have had such cases so often, and nobody guarantees that something like this will happen again. That’s why remembering the past is important,” Zivkovic said.
Posted 10 March 2018 - 09:32 AM
Posted 10 March 2018 - 09:40 AM
In Turkey, they are called Alevi. Don't know why the article calls them Aliyevs!
A1+Aliyevs apologize to Armenians (video)
- 16:49 | March 9,2018 | Politics
Members of the Federation of Aliyev Union in France are in Armenia with representatives of the Armenian community of France.
For many centuries Alievs, Armenians, Kurds and Greeks had the same fate, says President Aliyev Union Federation in France Erdal Kilicskaya. He regreted that they could not prevent the Armenian Genocide. Kilicskaya called on the Turkish government to recognize the Armenian Genocide. He also expressed his condolences for the murder of Hrant Dink and added that they also suffered as Armenians did.
Erdal Kilicskaya underlined that the visit to Armenia would be continuous and the Armenian-Aliyev relations would gain momentum. “During our visit to the Universities, we realized that Armenians and Aliyevs do not know each other, so these visits and various programs of cooperation should be continued to strenthen the Armenian-Aliyev cooperation.”
To the question, whether the upcoming cooperation would only relate to the cultural sphere or would it also have political orientation, Aragats Akhoyan, President of the “Return” foundation, a member of the Armenian Parliamentary Assembly noted that the Aliyevs’ visit was very important. “It is only a matter of struggle with Diaspora’s potential to recognize the Armenian Genocide. And today, with the strongest people, if people living next to us are calling for a genocide, this is a good opportunity to unite everyone. This is a very good basis for the world to unite and to reach our desired goal. ” Erdal Kilicskaya did not want to open the brackets but did not exclude that in the near future there would be cooperation both cultural and political spheres.
To note, 2 million Aliyevs live in Europe, and over 15 million in Asia Minor. The European Council of Aliyevs has federations, with 270 cultural homes, in more than 14 countries with 270 federations.
Edited by Yervant1, 10 March 2018 - 09:41 AM.
Posted 11 March 2018 - 10:28 AM
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Federal Member for North Sydney and Chair of the Armenia-Australia Inter-Parliamentary Union, Trent Zimmerman has called on the Australian government to recognise the Armenian Genocide, while speaking in support of a motion recognising the Yezidi Genocide in Australia's House of Representatives last week, the Armenian National Committee Australia reports.
Zimmerman said: "Can I say that I think it is important that this parliament recognises genocides such as those that the Yezidi have suffered. It's an important message to the world community that the international legal and global order will not ever tolerate these types of actions.
He added: "I look forward to the day when this parliament can consider a similar motion in relation to that long and deeply felt genocide that was perpetrated against the Armenians a hundred years ago."
The motion, which was moved by the Member Dunkley, Chris Crewther, calls on recognising the Yezidi Genocide, and had wide support from all speakers on February 26. Speakers included Crewther, Zimmerman, Anne Aly, Mike Kelly and Gai Brodtmann. It condemns the genocide perpetrated against the Yezidis by the Islamic State group.
The motion is scheduled to resume debate and possible resolution at a future sitting.
The Armenian National Committee of Australia's (ANC-AU) Executive Director, Haig Kayserian welcomed the motion recognising the Yezidi Genocide.
"Armenian-Australians are proud that our Parliament is taking an active role calling out genocides, as they occur," Kayserian said. "It is through such assertive and absolute recognition and condemnation that society has its best chance of stamping out such crimes against humanity."
Kayserian praised Zimmerman's leadership on calling for a "similar motion" regarding the Armenian Genocide.
"Mr. Zimmerman has proven again that he is steadfast in his support for justice for the Armenian Genocide," he said. "We look forward to working with the Member for North Sydney and his colleagues on ensuring Australia joins the growing ranks of righteous nations which have recognised the Armenian Genocide."
Posted 13 March 2018 - 11:14 AM
PanARMENIAN.Net - The first museum of genocides in the Czech Republic feature materials related to the Armenian Genocide of 1915, the Armenian foreign ministry said in a statement.
Opened as part of the Centre for the Studies of Genocides in the premises of the former wartime Jewish ghetto in Terezin, the museum is reportedly planning to expand the Armenian collection by collaborating with the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute.
Materials about the Jewish Holocaust are also displayed at the newly-opened museum in Terezin.
Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as Genocide.
Turkey denies to this day.
Posted 16 March 2018 - 10:03 AM
Renowned American actor, producer, writer, director and television show host Dean Cain, who is also executive co-producer of the documentary film “Architects of Denial” which tells the story of Armenian Genocide, spoke to The Jerusalem Post and voiced the importance of recognizing this tragedy.
Cain is in Israel these days.
In the respective article that was published on Wednesday, Cain noted that although he would not tell a foreign country what to do, he hopes every government would recognize Armenian Genocide, because “it’s a historic fact.”
“I do understand the political ramifications in the US – it’s because we have diplomatic relations with Turkey,” he noted. “For anyone who studies genocide or history, it’s very clear the genocide took place. It’s not the people of Turkey today who did it, or even the government... It was horrible – call it what it was.”
Dean Cain is scheduled to visit the Knesset, too, during his trip to Israel.
Posted 17 March 2018 - 08:13 AM
A year-long series of talks by experts in social justice came to a close at Georgia College last week.
For much of the past several months, the Lounsbury College of Education Diversity Committee’s third annual Social Justice Dialogue series has brought expert speakers from around the world to share their knowledge in matters of racism and discrimination. After many of this year’s speakers covered discrimination in history and the modern day, the University played host to a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author to tutor GC students in the art of poetry and present the series’ final installment.
“I’m a poet who, at a certain point in his journey as a writer, got deeply interested in the repressed story of my grandparents’ generation, and especially that of my maternal grandmother who was an Armenian genocide survivor,” said Dr. Peter Balakian, the decorated author and Armenian genocide scholar. “I got drawn in to exploring her life and experience as a survivor when she was long dead, and it challenged my imagination and compelled me to begin exploring traumatic memory and violence in my poems.”
For much of Balakian’s career, the writer has explored the mass killings of various ethnic groups at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in present-day Turkey in the 1910s and 1920s, commonly referred to as the Armenian genocide. A native of the region that now includes present-day Armenia, Balakian’s grandmother was among more than a million ethnic Armenians that were killed or displaced by the Ottomans.
“Everybody in my grandmother’s family was murdered in the first week of August 1915, by the killing squads,” Balakian said at his keynote speech in the Arts and Sciences auditorium. “They were all arrested, put on a death march, and dead in a couple of days, but she, her first husband, and her two infant daughters survived. Her first husband died shortly after the rest of the family, and my grandmother and her two daughters were toddling enough to somehow make it.”
After learning of her family’s deportation and death under the orders of Ottoman Interior Minister Talaat Pasha, Balakian’s grandmother and two young aunts travelled to Aleppo, Syria, battling famine, disease, sexual violence, and detection by Ottoman authorities. While his grandmother and aunts were among the Armenians fortunate enough to escape death, the trauma of their experiences prevented his grandmother from discussing the events with Balakian while she was alive, and the writer impressed upon his audience the need to record and document history for future generations from those who lived it.
“I discovered in my mid- to late-20s that the secret that haunted my family, the thing that nobody could talk about was the violent, death-saturated experience of my grandparents’ generation,” he said. “It was really taboo, out-of-bounds — it didn’t come up. I came to understand also that no matter how hard people try to repress trauma, it’s finally impossible to do so.”
In his nearly 40-year career as a writer and professor at New York’s Colgate University, Balakian has sought to educate people on an event that to this day has not been recognized by the Turkish government as a genocide. The recipient of a New York Times Book of the Year award for “Black Dog of Fate,” his 1997 memoir of growing up with his grandmother in the genocide’s shadow, in 2016 Balakian was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his collection of poems, “Ozone Journal.” In speaking and publishing works on the killings of Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks during World War I, the poet expressed a sense of responsibility to prevent similar mass killings from taking place in the modern world.
“I see all these histories — the genocide of the Armenians committed by the Turks in the 1910s, the genocide of the Jews committed by the Germans in the 1940s, of Pol Pot against his own people in the 1970s, and of the Bosnian Muslims committed by Serbian Christians in the 1990s — as essential knowledge for posterity,” he said. “The moral importance of this crime of genocide has to be combatted, and memory is one method of redressing the problem and the potential for it to continue happening.”
Posted 19 March 2018 - 09:13 AM
YEREVAN. – A delegation from the Foreign and European Union Affairs Committee of the Polish Senate, and led by Marek Rocki, visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Armenia’s capital city of Yerevan, and placed flowers at the Eternal Flame, informed the Armenian News-NEWS.am reporter.
Also, the Polish delegation toured the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, whereupon Rocki made a note on its guestbook.
“I specifically wrote that what happened cannot leave anyone apathetic,” he told journalists, afterward. “And considering how similar the histories of our two peoples—Armenians and Poles—are, what they had to go through, we need to think about how to build our future.”
In Marek Rocki’s words, the Armenian and Polish sides should do their best so that the growing generation will be able to do everything possible to resolve controversial and complicated matters.
Posted 21 March 2018 - 09:21 AM
PanARMENIAN.Net - The delegation of the Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie (APF) accompanied by the Head of the Armenian National Assembly delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie Margarit Yesayan visited the Armenian Genocide memorial in Yerevan on Tuesday, March 20.
The chairman of the Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of La Francophonie, French senator Christophe-André Frassa and the members of the delegation laid flowers at the eternal fire in memory of the innocent victims of the Genocide and honoured their memory with a moment of silence.
The members of the delegation had also been in the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, got acquainted with the documents proving the Armenian Genocide, observed the exhibits and left a note in the Book of Honorable Guests.
Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as Genocide.
Turkey denies to this day.
Posted 23 March 2018 - 09:47 AM
Argenitan’s National University of the West
BUENOS AIRES (Agencia Prensa Armenia)—The University of Belgrano and the National University of the West, both from Argentina, suspended two denialist conferences entitled “1915, the longest year of the Ottoman Empire” that were to be carried out in conjunction with the University of Ankara.
After the announcement of the conferences, all the youth institutions of the Armenian community of Argentina issued a statement in which they said that it was “inadmissible that an event of these characteristics be allowed in academic fields or any space, especially in a country like Argentina, a pioneer in the field of human rights and one of the first countries that recognized the Armenian Genocide.”
The Director of the Armenian National Committee of Argentina, Nicolas Sabuncuyan, sent a letter to the organizers: “The first issue is the reference to the year of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide, and to the Empire that began its perpetration, without a single mention to this crime of lese humanity, at conferences co-organized with the University of Ankara, an educational institution that is part of the teaching complex of the Turkish State, and as such, one of the parts of the denialism.”
When recalling that the same conference was held at universities in Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic, among others, for the Centenary of the Battle of Gallipoli, Sabuncuyan warned that “all the presented works had denialism components, reaching the paroxysm of the presentation of Temuçin Faik Ertan, a professor at the University of Ankara, entitled ‘The First World War and the Ottoman Armenians.’ It is a compendium of all the arguments aimed at distorting the historical truth and turning the victim into a victimizer.”
After the authorities of both universities decided to suspend the conferences, the representatives of the University of Ankara decided to carry it out on March 20 at the Islamic Center of the Argentine Republic. “However, this does not mean that the advance has ceased. The same conferences took place outside the Argentine university environment and without the endorsement of any country’s study house. It has been demonstrated that the interest of the University of Ankara was not to strengthen ties with Argentina, but to import of the denialist discourse, at any price,” said Sabuncuyan.\
Posted 26 March 2018 - 10:37 AM
As if the history of Turkey is hidden and no one can see it! Turkey's prosecution of minorities are well documented within Turkey and outside, all you had to do is search and you'll find it. Now that the sword is on your neck you think it happened. But I still believe in dialogue, hoping that will not go the way of TARC and Protocols because we all know how that ended. Sorry if I feel a bit distrustful.
The Mirror-SpectatorMarch 24 2018Does the Gülen (Hizmet) Movement Deny the Armenian Genocide?March 24, 2018By Ismail AkbulutSpecial to the Mirror-SpectatorIn the past, certain individuals affiliated with the Gülen Movement, and sometimes the movement as a whole, have often been accused of supporting lobbying efforts to circumvent the passing of resolutions that commemorate the Armenian genocide. Members of the Armenian diaspora have voiced complaints about this, both in several articles and in verbal statements. To tell you the bitter truth, I would be lying if I said that the accusations held no weight at all.Let me state something straight from the outset: this is not an attempt to curry favor with the Armenian community. And no, I am not an “ex-Gülenist” bashing the Gülen Movement (GM), otherwise known as the Hizmet Movement. Furthermore, I speak for myself alone. I am not a spokesperson of the GM making an official statement of some sort.Instead, this article reflects an honest attempt of an individual participant in GM to articulate his personal views and experiences of GM-Armenian relationships during the last decade.Hizmet, or the GM, is a global faith-inspired civil society peace movement, founded by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. It is best known for fostering universal education, interfaith dialogue and humanitarian activities. Inspired by Gülen’s teachings and philosophies, participants in the GM engage in various altruistic activities to sow the seeds of world-peace for future generations. Indeed, the term “Hizmet,” the name participants use for the movement, means “service” in Turkish.Gülen himself emphasizes the importance of human agency in bringing sustainable change and fostering morality and good virtues. For over half a century, he has been an advocate for liberal democratic values such as human rights, social justice, pluralism, the empowerment of women, freedom of speech, thought, and religion. Gülen consistently urges participants in the GM to be law-abiding citizens willing to work to help others, and to promote understanding for others regardless of culture, faith, or ethnicity.Nevertheless, critics from various backgrounds accuse Gülen of pursuing a range of sinister, secretive agendas. Certain Islamist groups, for instance, have pushed the conspiracy theory that Gülen is actually a secret cardinal of the Pope, or that he’s a crypto-Armenian trying to spread Christianity among Muslims. Moreover, some secularists allege that Gülen is pushing efforts to consolidate powers to transform Turkey into an Islamic caliphate.The movement did not develop in a vacuum. The roots of the GM go back to Turkey, hence many of the participants in the movement, including Gülen himself, were educated and socialized in Turkish schools that acted as vessels for the indoctrination of the glory and sanctity of pure “Turkishness.”Historically, the GM has never openly supported any political party. Instead, most participants have supported the party that they believed would pursue a liberal democratic agenda. Consequently, the movement was criticized by Islamist parties for “selling out” to the liberals, particularly before 2003.However, with the rise of the Justice and Development (AKP) party under Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which appeared (according to its own party’s manifesto) to promote liberal democracy, human rights, and inclusion in the European Union; the leadership of the GM, for the first time in its history, decided to form a political alliance based on shared goals. The AKP was not only supported by GM participants, but many liberals, nationalists, leftists and minority groups also voted for that party in the belief it supported democratization.In fact, GM-affiliated media outlets such as Zaman and Samanyolu TV openly praised and endorsed Erdogan’s AKP, further reinforcing the perception that the whole movement backed the party.The history of the GM in the US is still very young. Many GM participants came in the early 2000s as students, academics, engineers, businessmen or educators from Turkey. Excited about the “New World,” GM participants wanted to carry out their civil society projects in the US. Several saw opportunities to contribute to American society through establishing intercultural dialogue centers, charter schools or charity organizations.This involvement allowed them to foster valuable relationships with pastors, rabbis, imams, and other religious leaders. Turkey’s economic boom of the early 2000s allowed for an unprecedented, and deeply longed-for, patriotic self-confidence. Intercultural dialogue trips to Turkey, offered to US-based legislators, religious leaders, academics, media personalities and community leaders created awareness of the spirit of the GM and promoted understanding of Turkey, the greater Anatolian region, and the religion of Islam.The first interaction between GM participants and the Armenian community in the US took place after the assassination of Hrant Dink, the prominent and brave Turkish-Armenian journalist and human rights activists in front of his newspaper, Agos, by an ultra-nationalist youth on January 19, 2007.Subsequently, GM participants paid their respects through visits to Armenian churches and organizations to express their condolences. These visits opened doors for conversations and dialogue, mainly with Armenians from Turkey. Consequently, GM participants were exposed, often for the first time, to the suffering of Armenians during the Ottoman and modern Turkish eras, and during the genocide itself. In many cases, this created new empathy among some participants of the GM, thus acting as an antidote against years of propaganda.Yet, despite this fabulous story of a “Turkified” American Dream, one of the most profound disappointments we felt was the ongoing vilification of Turkish people on the part of many in the Armenian diaspora. On this front, GM participants have been living in a state of inner turmoil.On the one hand, we deeply desire a constructive and positive relationship with Armenians. However, on the other, the very word “genocide” has proved to be an obstacle for engagement. Indeed, the facts of 1915 have become the massive “elephant in the room” when the two groups, Turks and Armenians, come into contact. One of the most ridiculous conspiracy theories promoted by some on the Turkish side, was that ultra-nationalist Armenians across the United States, have been engaged in inciting a “revenge” genocide, to be perpetrated on the “poor, innocent” Turkish people.During this time, high-ranking Turkish officials and diplomats reached out to GM for support to stop the passing of resolutions that recognize the Armenian genocide.Serving the nation of Turkey by visiting US officials in America and repeating to them the Turkish state’s official narrative about 1915 thus became an altruistic patriotic deed.Yet, recently, our own support for the Turkish narrative has waned, and GM participants have begun questioning almost everything they had learned about what happened in 1915.The turning point was the outcome of July 15th coup d’état attempt in Turkey. After the Turkish government held the GM responsible for the coup attempt, tens of thousands of ordinary citizens, who were in one way or another affiliated with the GM, found themselves illegally profiled, persecuted, detained, arrested, abducted, tortured or disappeared.Our experiences thus far cannot be called a genocide; however, we have certainly been scapegoated, and enduring an ongoing collective trauma, with no end in sight. The fact that the Turkish state could label innocent people guilty, and punish them for their association (even tangential) with the GM, opened the majority of our eyes. If they could do this to us, it must be true that they did it to other minority groups (Kurds, Alevis) and certainly to the Armenians. They wiped out Turkey’s Christian-Armenian population and taught us all it never happened.So, what are the lessons we can learn here…Driven by patriotic and sometimes nationalistic sentiments, participants in the GM, including myself, have deceived ourselves by acting in a way that contradicted our very values. We failed. We did not question the Turkish narrative, and we did not listen nor read the stories of Armenians.Today, I personally regret and sincerely apologize for my involvement in efforts that undermined the suffering of Armenians that endured one of the greatest atrocities of the 20th century, the Armenian genocide.I was intending to end this article here, with an apology that was long overdue, instead I would like to make three humble suggestions on how I believe we could repair our relations:Firstly, I ask GM participants to show genuine gestures to Armenians by showing up to genocide commemorations or contributing to Armenian organizations.Secondly, I wish Armenian journalists would reach out to Gülen for an interview with him to ask him about his views on what happened during 1915.Lastly, I ask my Armenian brothers and sisters to welcome and engage with GM participants to listen to their stories about what is happening today in Erdogan’s Turkey.
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Posted 27 March 2018 - 11:10 AM
A monument to the Armenian Genocide victims will be installed in Geneva’s Tremblay park next month.
The works to install the monument called “Les réverbères de la mémoire” (The Lanterns of Memory) are already underway. The author of the monument is French sculptor of Armenian origin Melik Ohanian, bluewin.ch reported.
The installation of the monument has been a disputed issue for a decade.
The idea of the project was born ten years ago, but the Armenian community finally got a permit to implement it only in 2016. The attorney, adviser and MP of Swiss People's Party Yves Nidegger has applied for cancelling the decision of the city’s administration. He said the park was a green zone, and nothing can be build there except for the buildings in the interests of the citizens and exclusively related to the park development.
The project was to be implemented in Geneva’s Ariana park in 2014, but was turned down on the ground of “violation of Geneva’s neutrality on the international platform,” although the decision was actually adopted under the pressure of the Turkish authorities.
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