Skip to comments.Seyfo and Aghet: Commemorating the 1915 Assyrian, Armenian, Greek Genocide
Posted on 04/25/2010 5:11:37 PM PDT by Ravnagora
AINA) -- All over the world, Assyrians, Armenians and Pontic Greeks are remembering the victims of the genocide perpetrated during World War One, where the Christian population of Asia minor was annihilated systematically by the so-called Young Turk government. While Assyrians call the genocide Seyfo (Sword), Armenians refer to the events as Aghet (Catastrophe).
In worldwide initiatives, Assyrians too work for the recognition of the genocide that Turkey still denies. Most recently, the Swedish Parliament recognized the genocide (AINA 3-12-2010), calling on Turkey to acknowledge it. Turkey as the legal and political successor state of the Ottoman Empire vehemently rejects calling the killing genocide according to the U.N. definition adopted in 1948, insisting that those killed were victims of war and uprising.
In a statement issued by White House on the 95th anniversary of the genocide, U.S. president Barack Obama marked the WWI era massacre by Turkish forces, calling it one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century, but avoided any mention of "genocide." He said: "On this solemn day of remembrance, we pause to recall that 95 years ago one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century began. In that dark moment of history, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred or marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire".
Triggered by an adopted resolution H. Res. 252 of the U.S. House of Representatives committee in March 2010 to call the 1915 killings a genocide in accordance to the U.N. definition, most media attention and political debates, like in previous years and decades, are doubtless on the Armenians. This is legitimate in view of the tireless efforts of the Armenian lobby working for the recognition of the Armenian genocide. Sadly, for decades the fact that Assyrian as well as other Christian groups fell victims has been unknown or ignored, even though the historical record on the Assyrian suffering in the same manner as the Armenians did is clear and documented by overwhelming evidence. They are proven by foreign office records of the United States, France, Great Britain, Russia, and of Turkey's World War I allies, Germany.
Such important evidence is for example included in the collection of Arnold Toynbee, "On the Treatment of Armenians and Assyrian Christians by the Turks, 1915-1916, in the Ottoman Empire and in North-West Persia." This became a part of the "British Blue Book" which was presented to the English public by the English State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Viscount James Bryce. However, the book appeared as The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, London 1916, and failed to name the Assyrians in the title.
According the German historian Dr. Gabriele Yonan, of the 684 pages in this book, 104 pages refer to the massacres of Assyrians in Azerbaijan and Hakkari (Chapter IV). Chapter IV was left out in the French translation published in 1917. "It apparently seemed opportune at the time to restrict the documentation to the persecution of the Armenians, just as the title suggested," states Yonan in her book (Ein vergessener Holocaust: Die Vernichtung der christlichen Assyrer in der Türkei., Society for Endangered People, Göttingen, 1989). In a second edition which was published in 1972 in Beirut, Chapter IV was once again included, as in the English original edition. In 1989 these documents were published for the first time in German translation in Ein vergessener Holocaust.
In Early April the German state television broadcast a 90 minutes documentary dedicated to the Armenian Genocide (Aghet) and based on contributions of eyewitness, diplomats, missionaries and played by top actors. The documentary showed what motivated the murderers and why Germany, and other countries, remained silent. Despite the excellent research and quality of the documentary, non-Armenian victims were unfortunately not mentioned at all.
Until today, the Assyrian genocide remains in the shadow of the Armenian genocide, even though the Assyrians existence was similarly threatened and their population was decimated. Estimates are that 750,000 Assyrians of different denominations became victims of the planned killings.
Meanwhile, ample scholarly written material on the Assyrian genocide has appeared and in 2007 the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), which has recognized the 1915 Armenian genocide, extended the recognition to also include the Assyrians and Pontic Greeks (AINA 12-15-2007).
President’s Bush, Obama, and Clinton would prefer no one talk about this. Their masters in Turkey told them the U.S. should pretend this didn’t happen.
There was no genocide. Ask O, it was just a bad day for Christians - one of many in the thousands of years they have been here - ya got to expect a bad day or two.
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
How out of character for muslim Turkey /sarc
INTERNATIONAL GENOCIDE SCHOLARS ASSOCIATION OFFICIALLY RECOGNIZES ASSYRIAN, GREEK GENOCIDES
Issuing Organization: International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS)
Date: December 16, 2007
The International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) has voted overwhelmingly to
recognize the genocides inflicted on Assyrian and Greek populations of the Ottoman Empire
between 1914 and 1923.
The resolution passed with the support of over eighty percent of IAGS members who voted. The resolution (full text below) declares that “it is the conviction of the International Association of Genocide Scholars that the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted a genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks.” It “calls upon the government of Turkey to acknowledge the genocides against these populations, to issue a formal apology, and to take prompt and meaningful steps toward restitution.”
“This resolution,” stated IAGS President Gregory Stanton. “is one more repudiation by the
world’s leading genocide scholars of the Turkish government’s ninety year denial of the Ottoman Empire’s genocides against its Christian populations, including Assyrians, Greeks, and Armenians. The history of these genocides is clear, and there is no more excuse for the current Turkish government, which did not itself commit the crimes, to deny the facts. The current German government has forthrightly ackowledged the facts of the Holocaust. The Turkish government should learn from the German government’s exemplary acknowledgment of Germany’s past, so that Turkey can move forward to reconciliation with its neighbors.”
The resolution noted that while activist and scholarly efforts have resulted in widespread
acceptance of the Armenian genocide, there has been “little recognition of the qualitatively
similar genocides against other Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire.” Assyrians, along with Pontian and Anatolian Greeks, were killed on a scale equivalent in per capita terms to the catastrophe inflicted on the Armenian population of the empire — and by much the same methods, including mass executions, death marches, and starvation. In 1997, the IAGS officially recognized the Armenian genocide.
IAGS member Adam Jones drafted the resolution, and lobbied for it along with fellow member Thea Halo, whose mother Sano survived the Pontian Greek genocide. In an address to the membership at the IAGS conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia, in July 2007, Jones paid tribute to the efforts of “representatives of the Greek and Assyrian communities ... to publicize and call on the present Turkish government to acknowledge the genocides inflicted on their populations.”
“The overwhelming backing given to this resolution by the world’s leading genocide scholars organization will help to raise consciousness about the Assyrian and Greek genocides,” Jones said on December 10. “It will also act as a powerful counter to those, especially in present-day Turkey, who still ignore or deny the genocides of the Ottoman Christian minorities.”
The resolution stated that “the denial of genocide is widely recognized as the final stage of
genocide, enshrining impunity for the perpetrators of genocide, and demonstrably paving the way for future genocides.” The Assyrian population of Iraq, for example, remains highly vulnerable to genocidal attack. Since 2003, Iraqi Assyrians have been exposed to severe persecution and “ethnic cleansing”; it is believed that up to half the Assyrian population has fled the country.
Extensive supporting documentation for the Assyrian and Greek genocides was circulated to
IAGS members ahead of the vote, and is available at
FULL TEXT OF THE IAGS RESOLUTION:
WHEREAS the denial of genocide is widely recognized as the final stage of genocide,
enshrining impunity for the perpetrators of genocide, and demonstrably paving the way for future genocides;
WHEREAS the Ottoman genocide against minority populations during and following the First World War is usually depicted as a genocide against Armenians alone, with little recognition of the qualitatively similar genocides against other Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire;
BE IT RESOLVED that it is the conviction of the International Association of Genocide
Scholars that the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted a genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Association calls upon the government of Turkey to acknowledge the genocides against these populations, to issue a formal apology, and to take prompt and meaningful steps toward restitution.
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