Friday, February 15, 2013
Throughout history we have witnessed many genocides. Genocide is perhaps the worst kind of violation of human rights. One of the greatest genocides ever witnessed was the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian Genocide took place between 1915 and 1923, and was a systematic extermination of Armenians by the Turkish Government. And yet once more the perpetrator was Turkey and its expanding policy. During and after the First World War, the new republic of Turkey tried to eliminate all foreign populations within its borders. The Armenian Genocide took place between 1915 and 1923, and was a systematic extermination of Armenians by the Turkish Government. The architect of this was the president Kemal Ataturk who was the one who overthrew the sultan and modernized Turkey.
Victims of this policy were the ethnic minorities of Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds and other Christian Groups. The ones who suffered the most were the Armenians with deaths estimated up to 1.8 million people. All those who didn’t die in the Genocide were deported out of Turkey, causing the Diaspora of the Armenians around the world. The Armenian Day of remembrance is on 24 April, because everything started with the executions of the Armenian intellectuals on April 24 1915. Later on, the Turks eliminated their population using any means possible including death marches, imprisonment and starvation and massive killings. Victims of the Armenian Genocide apart from human lives were also historical monuments, documents and culture.
Today, Turkey still doesn’t recognize the obvious. Where did all those people go then? How did they disappear in a few years? Turkey’s stance is that the atrocities were made by both sides and the death toll is much less. The Turks deny the massacres committed in many cases, like the Cyprus Invasion in 1974, the Asia Minor destruction and elimination of the Greek population in 1922, and the Armenian Genocide. Many scholars around the world and 20 countries recognize the genocide, and ask for Turkey to pay compensations to the victims, and restore the destruction. The US government’s official stance is that crimes were made but it doesn’t classify them as genocide, even though 42 States passed bills recognizing the genocide. Someone may say that modern day Turkey’s people aren’t to blame for the crimes of the Ottomans and the Young Turk government, but surely Turkey over the years has benefited from the genocide. Many cases have been brought to International courts of Justice and won by Armenians but still there is much Denial.
Vindication and Solidarity to our Armenian brothers.