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Mass crimes against humanity and genocides

The genocide against Armenians.
The
"Great Catastrophe" of 1915-1922:

Part 2

List of countries recognizing the Armenian genocide

Image from IsrealMilitary.Net via Google search.

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This topic is continued here from the previous essay

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Recent acknowledgments of the genocide: (Continued):

  • 2008-DEC-07: CNN presented a special program anchored by their Chief International Correspondent  Christiane Amanpour called "Scream Bloody Murder." It described various genocides thorough history with an emphasis on those who witnessed the atrocities, tried to stop them, and were ignored by the world.  Ara Khachatourian of Armenia Now.com was critical of the relative lack of coverage of the Armenian genocide, and commented:
    "Amanpour’s 'Scream Bloody Murder' is an important piece of journalism as it asks the very critical questions that could have prevented so many acts of Genocide. In its reporting, Amanpour is also very adept at pointing to US complicity in all these events, much like Samantha Power was in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book 'A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide'." 1,2
  • 2008-DEC-12: a group of about 200 Turkish academics, journalists, writers, artists, and other public figures sent an open letter to Abdullah Gul, the President of Turkey, urging him to recognize the mass murder as a genocide. The group issued an apology for the genocide themselves via the Internet . This event has been generally acknowledged by historians outside of Turkey. The group described the event as the "Great Catastrophe" and acknowledged that it was a "genocide." The letter said, in part:
    "The new situation formed in the South Caucasus as a result of the latest events, the bold step of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to invite you to Yerevan and the meeting held reaffirm that establishing good-neighborly relations between Armenia and Turkey requires courageous and realistic solutions. First of all we face the knotty issue of the Armenian Genocide. ... The new situation formed in the South Caucasus as a result of the latest events, the bold step of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to invite you to Yerevan and the meeting held reaffirm that establishing good-neighborly relations between Armenia and Turkey requires courageous and realistic solutions. First of all we face the knotty issue of the Armenian Genocide"
    According to Pakrat Estukian, editor of the Istanbul-based Armenian-Turkish newspaper, "Agos," each of the signatories of the petition were not pressured to sign. They did it only after "... listening to the voice of their conscience." 3

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  • 2014: By this time, governments of 22 countries including France and Russia, and the governments of 43 states in the United States have recognized this event as a genocide. The governments of Turkey and Azerbaijan deny that it happened.

  • 2015-JAN-29: The State Commission on the Coordination of Events Dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide issued its "Pan-Armenian Declaration on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide." The Declaration condemns:

    "... the genocidal acts against the Armenian people, planned and continuously perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire and various regimes of Turkey in 1894-1923, dispossession of the homeland, the massacres and ethnic cleansing aimed at the extermination of the Armenian population, the destruction of the Armenian heritage, as well as the denial of the Genocide, all attempts to avoid responsibility, to consign to oblivion the committed crimes and their consequences or to justify them, as a continuation of this crime and encouragement to commit new genocides,"

    The Declaration:

    "... Proudly notes that during the last century the Armenian people, having survived the Genocide,

    • demonstrated an unbending will and national self-consciousness and restored its sovereign statehood, lost centuries ago,

    • preserved and developed national values, achieved the renaissance of their national culture, science and education, bringing its unique contribution to the development of world heritage,

    • established a powerful and effective network of religious and secular institutions in the Armenian Diaspora, thus contributing to the preservation of their Armenian identity in Armenian communities worldwide, the shaping of a respected and esteemed image of the Armenian, and the protection of the legitimate rights of the Armenian people,

    • united and restored the national gene pool that was facing extermination as a result of the Genocide, through a pan-Armenian cooperation and extensive repatriation program,

    • made its valuable contribution to international peace and security during the First and the Second World Wars and won glorious victories in the heroic battle of Sardarapat and the Artsakh war.

    • Considers the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide an important milestone in the ongoing struggle for historical justice under the motto 'I remember and demand.'

    • Calls upon the coming generations of Armenians to protect their sacred native heritage with patriotism, consciousness and intellect and resolutely struggle and serve for:
      • a stronger Homeland, free and democratic Republic of Armenia,

      • the progress and strengthening of independent Artsakh,

      • the efficient unity of Armenians worldwide,

      • the realization of the centuries-old sacrosanct goals of all Armenians."

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  • 2015-APR-12: Near the centenary of the start of the mass killing of Armenians, Pope Francis described the event during Mass as the first genocide of the 20th Century. He said:

    "It seems that humanity is incapable of putting a halt to the shedding of innocent blood, It seems that the human family has refused to learn from its mistakes caused by the law of terror, so that today, too, there are those who attempt to eliminate others with the help of a few, and with the complicit silence of others who simply stand by." 4

  • 2015-APR-24: This is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. This year it will be observed as the 100th anniversary of the date of the start of the genocide.

    The German Bundestag was scheduled to discuss whether to recognize the tragedy as a genocide. Among the political parties in Germany. the Greens and the Left party favor official government recognition by the German government of the massacre. However, the governing coalition of Christian Democrats (CDU) and the Social Democrats (SPD) oppose recognition. The discussion was delayed repeatedly.

  • 2016-JUN-02: A resolution was scheduled to be voted upon in 2015-JUN by the German Bundestag to observe the 100th anniversary of the event. However, it was delayed for a year because of concerns that the Turkish government would be angered.

    The Turkish Government denounced the vote as "null and void." The Turkish ambassador in Germany was called back to Ankara. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, tweeted: "The way to close the dark pages of your own history is not by defaming the histories of other countries with irresponsible and baseless decisions." Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, “There is no shameful incident in our past that would make us bow our heads." 5

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Ara Khachatourian, "Documented omission: CNN special report ignores Armenian history on genocide," Armenia Now.com, 2008-DEC-05, at: http://www.armenianow.com/

  2. book cover Samantha Power "A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide," Harper Perennial, (2007). Read reviews or order this book safely from Amazon.com online book store
    Amazon.com review by Shawn Carkonen:
    "During the three years (1993-1996) Samantha Power spent covering the grisly events in Bosnia and Srebrenica, she became increasingly frustrated with how little the United States was willing to do to counteract the genocide occurring there. After much research, she discovered a pattern: "The United States had never in its history intervened to stop genocide and had in fact rarely even made a point of condemning it as it occurred," she writes in this impressive book. Debunking the notion that U.S. leaders were unaware of the horrors as they were occurring against Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Iraqi Kurds, Rwandan Tutsis, and Bosnians during the past century, Power discusses how much was known and when, and argues that much human suffering could have been alleviated through a greater effort by the U.S. She does not claim that the U.S. alone could have prevented such horrors, but does make a convincing case that even a modest effort would have had significant impact. Based on declassified information, private papers, and interviews with more than 300 American policymakers, Power makes it clear that a lack of political will was the most significant factor for this failure to intervene. Some courageous U.S. leaders did work to combat and call attention to ethnic cleansing as it occurred, but the vast majority of politicians and diplomats ignored the issue, as did the American public, leading Power to note that "no U.S. president has ever suffered politically for his indifference to its occurrence. It is thus no coincidence that genocide rages on." This powerful book is a call to make such indifference a thing of the past."
  3. Gayane Mkrtchyan, "Appeals for Genocide recognition: Intellectuals in Armenia, Turkey address 1915 events," Armenia Now, 2008-DEC-12, at: http://www.armenianow.com/
  4. Jim Yardley & Sebnem Arsu, "Pope Calls Killings of Armenians ‘Genocide,’ Provoking Turkish Anger," New York Times, 2015-APR-12, at: https://www.nytimes.com/
  5. Alison Smale & Melissa Eddy, "German Parliament Recognizes Armenian Genocide, Angering Turkey," New York Times, 2016-JUN-02, at: https://www.nytimes.com

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Copyright © 2001 to 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2001-JAN-1
Latest update: 2017-APR-23
Author: B.A. Robinson

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