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Turkish Language Site on Armenian Genocide Launched by Armenian National Institute

WASHINGTON D.C. – On February 27, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) launched a Turkish-language version of its popular website documenting the facts and acknowledgments of the Armenian Genocide available at www.turkish.armenian-genocide.org.

The ANI site is visited over four million times a year and the number of people accessing from Turkey is substantial. As Turkey regularly censors foreign and domestic websites and the ANI English site has been hacked by denialists, the new ANI Turkish site was designed to give access to broader Turkish-language audiences, both in the Republic of Turkey and outside. The Turkish-language site will parallel many of the most commonly used features of the ANI site. For its first phase, the Turkish site features translations of official documents from countries around the world that formally recognize the Armenian Genocide.

The resolutions, laws, and declarations from countries that have historically recognized the Armenian Genocide can now be read in Turkish. They range from the May 24, 1915 Joint Allied Declaration that invoked crimes against humanity at the time the genocide was being committed to more recent parliamentary resolutions, including the 2016 German Parliament resolution that recognized the historic events and admitted German responsibility in the matter. Earlier this month the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany upheld the validity of the resolution.

“The Turkish-language ANI site looks forward to contributing toward dialogue by paving one more path to a common understanding of history and by taking one more step toward a reconciliation cognizant of the consequences of the past while building forward toward a future where neighboring nations live in peace,” stated ANI Chairman Van Z. Krikorian.

Audiences in Turkey are also unaware of the voluminous Turkish records that confirm the facts of the Armenian Genocide. In 2004 the proceedings and legal analysis by the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), commissioned by the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission, was published in Turkish and several books have appeared in print since, but there is a massive gap in resources for Turkish speakers.

The ICTJ legal opinion in Turkish is available on the new website, which also includes a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section and a photographic collection. Additionally, a section for entries from the Encyclopedia of Genocide addressing several aspects of the Armenian Genocide is currently under construction.

The site will have new features that will be of particular interest to Turkish readers. The Institute is looking forward to expanding the site in the same systematic manner and by the same objective standards by which the ANI site was created.

“Many courageous individuals have spoken up and some brave scholars have pioneered groundbreaking research documenting the Armenian Genocide on the basis of official Ottoman records. Despite the broad-ranging global dialogue on the historical importance and dark precedent of the Armenian Genocide, more progress in Turkey is necessary for Turks to understand and reconcile with their own real history,” Krikorian added.

This policy continues to have serious domestic consequences. Recently Turkish parliamentarian of Armenian origin Garo Paylan was penalized with suspension from participation in three sessions of the legislature for daring to reference the consequences of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey itself.

His suspension in January arrived almost to the day of the tenth anniversary of the assassination of the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, a crime that remains in many ways unsolved. Dink’s courage in raising awareness of the legacy of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey emboldened many others in the Turkish media to re-examine the issue, while it infuriated ultranationalists who took the law into their own hands.

The new site also features the ANI map keyed in Turkish, and links to other popular features, such as its digital exhibits and online museum.

ANI Director Dr. Rouben Adalian stated: “The Turkish site was created thanks to the support and encouragement of many contributors, including translators, consultants and web designers who helped to make this information on the Armenian Genocide accessible to readers in Turkey and elsewhere. New translations will be added very soon and we look forward to enhancing the site to reflect the vast amount of information on the Armenian Genocide already available on the ANI site.”

Founded in 1997, the Armenian National Institute (ANI) is a 501(c)(3) educational charity based in Washington, D.C., and is dedicated to the study, research, and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/02/turkish-language-site-armenian-genocide-launched-armenian-national-institute/

Holocaust and Genocide Lecture Series Premieres Emmy-Winning ‘Women of 1915’

ROHNERT PARK, CA — The 34th annual Holocaust and Genocide Lecture Series at Sonoma State University presents the Bay Area premiere of the 2016 Regional Emmy Award-winning documentary “Women of 1915,” which chronicles the plight of Armenian women during the Genocide and the non-Armenian women who came to their rescue, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 4 p.m., in Warren Auditorium at Ives Hall, Sonoma State University. The screening includes a presentation by filmmaker Bared Maronian. This lecture is underwritten by the SSU Armenian Genocide Memorial Fund. Admission is free, parking is $5-$8 on campus.

The lecture series continues through May 9, with highlights including talks by Rabbi Michael Berenbaum, professor of Jewish studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, and Dr. James Waller, the Cohen Endowed Chair of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College.

On March 28, Rabbi Michael Berenbaum speaks on the topic “Between History and Memory.” Berenbaum is the Director of the Sigi Ziering Institute: Exploring the Ethical and Religious Implications of the Holocaust, and a professor of Jewish Studies at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He is the author of over 20 books, and executive editor of the second edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica. Berenbaum was also project director for the creation of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the first director of its research institute. His work in film has won Emmy Awards and Academy Awards. Dr. Berenbaum’s lecture is the annual Robert L. Harris Memorial Lecture and is underwritten by the Alliance for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide, an SSU Academic Foundation Organization.

On April 4, professor James Waller, Ph.D., the Cohen Endowed Chair of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College and director of academic programs with the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, speaks on the topic “Becoming Evil.” Waller’s books include “Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing,” and “Confront Evil: Engaging out Responsibility to Prevent Genocide.”

This year marks the first time the archive of the Holocaust and Genocide Lecture Series is available on YouTube. Videos of lectures are currently available from as far back at 1987.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/02/holocaust-genocide-lecture-series-premieres-emmy-winning-women-1915/

German Constitutional Court Rejects Complaint Against Armenian Genocide Resolution

BERLIN (Armradio) — The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany rejected an appeal to annul the bill on recognition of the Armenian Genocide adopted by the Bundestag on June 2, 2016.

The German Constitutional Court did not accept the appeal, stating that there was insufficient evidence that recognition of the Armenian Genocide violated the law, Ermenihaber.am reports, quoting the Turkish Dogan agency.

Ramazan Akbas, a lawyer from Turkey who demanded the cancellation of the decision of the Bundestag, has announced an appeal will be filed to the European Court of Human Rights.

Earlier this week a Cologne court banned the Allianz Deutscher Demokraten (Alliance of German Democrats).

The Alliance of German Democrats was founded by entrepreneur Remzi Aru, lawyer Ramazan Akbas and Halil Ertem to prevent the adoption of the resolution on the Armenian genocide by the German Bundestag.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/02/german-constitutional-court-rejects-complaint-armenian-genocide-resolution/

Dr. Ümit Kurt to Speak on “The Curious Case of Armenian Genocide Perpetrator Ahmed Faik Bey”

FRESNO — Dr. Ümit Kurt, a Research Fellow at Harvard University will present talk on “ The Curious Case of Armenian Genocide Perpetrator Ahmed Faik Bey” 7:30PM on Tuesday, March 7, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191, on the Fresno State campus.

The lecture is part of the Armenian Studies Program Spring 2017 Lecture Series, with the support of the Leon S. Peters Foundation.

Within the publications on the history of Armenian genocide, studies on the perpetrators received and continue to receive special attention. Seen from a wider perspective, it is rather important to make scholarly investigations and public debate regarding the executors of the Armenian Genocide. Even when the agents of Genocide were not explicitly mentioned, the consequences of their deeds remained all too visible to ignore them. Yet historians, that is to say those who defined it as their job to find out ‘what really happened’, over an extended period of time left it to others to deal with the issue of perpetration.

This talk focuses on one major perpetrator, Ahmed Faik Erne (1879-1967), his background, deeds, activities and leading involvement in the 1915 Armenian deportation and genocide as well as his life story in the post-genocide period in modern Turkey.

Dr. Ümit Kurt completed his PhD. in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program in the History Department of Clark University in 2016. His dissertation was entitled “Destruction of Aintab Armenians and Emergence of the New Wealthy Class: Plunder of Armenian Wealth in Aintab (1890s–1920s).” He is currently a research fellow at Harvard University.

Kurt has written extensively on confiscation of Armenian properties, Armenian Genocide, early modern Turkish nationalism, and Aintab Armenians. He is the author of the Great, hopeless Turkish race: fundamentals of Turkish nationalism in the Turkish homeland 1911-1916 (Istanbul: Iletisim Publishing House, 2012) and editor of the Revolt and Destruction: Construction of the state from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic and collective violence (Istanbul: Tarih Vakfi Publishing House, 2015). He teaches history at Sabanci University in Istanbul and is the author, with Taner Akçam, of The spirit of the laws: the plunder of wealth in the Armenian Genocide (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2015).

The lecture is free and open to the public. Free parking is available, with a parking code, in Fresno State Lots P5 and P6, near the University Business Center.

For more information about the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669, or visit our website at www.fresnostate.edu/armenianstudies.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/02/dr-umit-kurt-speak-curious-case-armenian-genocide-perpetrator-ahmed-faik-bey/

Turkish Intellectuals Who Have Recognized the Armenian Genocide: Erol Özkoray

By Hambersom Aghbashian

Erol Özkoray (born in 1953 in Istanbul) is a bilingual (French and Turkish) political writer  and journalist who is known to have accurate predictions. He studied at the Francophone Galatasaray High School in Istanbul, followed by Political Science and sociology education in Paris. He became Hurriyet’s Paris correspondent, and was awarded by the Contemporary Journalism Association in 1983. Erol Özkoray worked as the correspondent of Agence France Presse in Istanbul and Ankara, also as the Turkey correspondent of Span’s El Pais. He published a democracy and political culture magazine Idea Politika between 1998-2002. His magazine has been closed down once, collected twice. Erol Özkoray was a columnist in the Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem, he also wrote articles in Liberation, Politique Internationale and Les Echos. He was awarded with the Medal of Courage by the French Council of Coordination of Armenian Organizations for his work towards the recognition of Armenian Genocide by the Turkish Government. At present, he is one of the writers of Nouvelles d’Arménie Magazine published in France. In Turkey, he received the Award of Freedom of Thought and Expression by the Association of Human Rights in 2014. Erol Özkoray has published many books including “Turkey: A Totalitarian Farm”, “What is the army for?”, “Turquie: Le Putsch Permanent”, “The Phenomenon Gezi” and others. In his pursuit for the democratization and EU membership of Turkey, his opposing views against the Islamist government and the role of the military in politics caused him to be persecuted with total 18 suits since 2000 demanding a total of 50 years of prison, but he was acquitted from all the lawsuits.

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, Jean Eckian of armenews.com wrote “Turkish journalist Erol Özkoray received the prize of freedom of thought and expression for the year 2014. Association of Human Rights in Turkey (IHD) presented the award to Özkoray for all democratic struggles he led against the state and the power in this country (against the military, against the monopoly of the press, against the Islamist power and recognition of the Armenian Genocide)”.

“It is morally and politically very important that this fight is finally recognized in my own country,” said Erol Özkoray noting that much remains to be done to achieve true democracy in Turkey. Özkoray had already received on April 24, 2013 in Paris Medal of Courage CFC for his work for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, awarded by the co-chairs Mourad Papazian and Ara Toranian under the patronage of the Mayor of Paris Bertrand Delanoë. People like Hrant Dink, Orhan Pamuk and Baskin Oran were already awarded the freedom of thought and awarded

In his article ” Commentary:Why Is the Armenian Genocide Still a Taboo?”, Erol Özkoray wrote on May 29, 2010 “I heard about the Armenian genocide for the first time in Paris during the 70s, and the very logical question I asked myself and also expressed in my writing at that time (university papers, a reader’s letter I sent to Le Monde newspaper, etc.) was the following: if the Republic of Turkey is based on a rejection of the Ottoman Empire, then why is the 1915 Armenian genocide not being dumped on the Ottomans? Why is the Turkish Republic assuming responsibility for this scandalous event, which is the 20th century’s first crime against humanity and that century’s first genocide?”. He mentioned three reasons for that as follows. [1] Mustafa Kamal based his Republican regime on the nationalist ideology of a Turkic race whereby Anatolia had to be “cleansed” of all “foreign” elements. Policies of ethnic, cultural, economic and social cleansing eliminated much of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek groups albeit failed to do so with the Kurds – hence the Kurdish problem today. [2] The monies and goods confiscated from the Armenians helped finance the War of Independence and formed a new social class that owed its wealth to Armenian property. [3] some of the perpetrators of the genocide became the political and administrative elites of the new Republican regime, such as Şükrü Kaya (Minister of the Interior, Secretary General of the People’s Republican Party), Mustafa Abdülhalik Renda (President of the Turkish Grand National Assembly), Arif Fevzi (Minister), Ali Cenani Bey (Minister of Industry), Rüştü Aras (Foreign Minister). Mustapha Kamal feigned ignorance of such facts but he benefited from these people by offering them prominent positions within the Republic.(1)

Under the title “The Armenian Genocide, Our Lives Commemorate Their Deaths!”, Harry Hagopian wrote on April 24, 2010 about the continuous denial of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish officials. He added “Indeed, an ever-growing number of Turkish academics, thinkers, writers and activists, like Taner Akçam, Ragip Zarakolu or Erol Özkoray, as well as genocide scholars, historians and sociologists worldwide, have been challenging such denial. In fact, only today, the Istanbul branch of the Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD) are holding a gathering at the entrance of Haydarpaşa Station “to commemorate the victims of the 24th April arrests and to say Never Again.” (2)

According to Erol Özkoray, “the recognition of the Armenian Genocide,  in its historical, political and intellectual dimensions, goes miles and miles beyond the capacity of the current Turkish Islamist government. Nothing can be accomplished with the protocols signed between Turkey and Armenia. The Turkish State, in its current structure, will repulse any solution, as there is no solution that it could accept. The problem can be solved – like the other problems of the country- only by a statesman with the highest intellectual credentials, who has internalized the culture of democracy, come to power through elections and formed public opinion in this direction. It is impossible for ordinary small persons to overcome Turkey’s gigantic problems.  We need a Big Men”.


1- http://hyeforum.com/index.php?showtopic=26462

2- http://www.newropeans-magazine.org/en/2010/04/24/the-armenian-genocide-our-lives-commemorate-their-deaths

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/02/turkish-intellectuals-recognized-armenian-genocide-erol-ozkoray/

Members of Congress Call on President Trump to Affirm the Armenian Genocide Recognition

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chairs have written to their colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives urging them to sign a letter to President Donald Trump to affirm the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly). Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), David Valadao (R-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), David Trott (R-MI) and Vice-Chairs Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) are urging the White House to honor the United States’ historic leadership in defending human rights and to properly characterize the events of 1915 as a genocide in this year’s presidential statement on April 24th.

In the “Dear Colleague” letter, the Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs recalled America’s humanitarian intervention: “Among the proudest chapters in our shared history is America’s remarkable record of protesting the Genocide and in caring for the survivors of this crime.” The letter highlighted the Near East Relief, a Congressionally chartered humanitarian organization which raised $116 million (over $2.5 billion in 2017 dollars) to aid the victims of the Ottoman Empire’s mass murder of millions of Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Pontians, Syriacs, and other persecuted peoples.

Additionally, the letter states: “In leading an honest and accurate American remembrance of this known case of genocide, you will stand with President Reagan, who recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1981, and the Eisenhower Administration, which did the same in a 1951 submission to the International Court of Justice.”

President Ronald Reagan squarely acknowledged the Armenian Genocide stating that “Like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians which followed it – and like too many other such persecutions of too many other peoples – the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten.”

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/02/members-congress-call-president-trump-affirm-armenian-genocide-recognition/

Armenian Genocide Commemoration to Be Held in Times Square Sunday, April 23, 2017

NEW YORK, NY — On Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 2-4 pm, thousands will gather in Times Square (43rd St. Broadway) to commemorate the 102nd anniversary commemoration of the Armenian Genocide (Medz Yeghern), the first genocide of the 20th century. In recognition of Genocide Awareness Month in April, Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) will also be commemorated, along with other genocides committed in contemporary history.

This powerful event, free and open to the public, will honor the 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred by the Young Turk Government of the Ottoman Empire and the millions of victims of genocide worldwide. Speakers will include well-known artists, politicians, academics and humanitarians. Dr. Rachel Goshgarian, Professor of History at Lafayette College and Armen McOmber, Esq. will preside over the program, whose theme is  “Turkey is Guilty of Genocide: Denying the Undeniable is a Crime.”

“These killings, which were labeled crimes against humanity and civilization at the time, exactly fit the definition of the word genocide, which was coined by Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-Jewish lawyer in 1943,” said Dr. Dennis Papazian, Founding Director of the Armenian Research Center at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. “In the long run, Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide is critical, since Turkey is the responsible successive government of the Ottoman Empire.”

The 102nd Armenian Genocide Commemoration is organized by the Mid-Atlantic chapters of the Knights Daughters of Vartan (www.kofv.org), an international Armenian fraternal organization headquartered in the United States, and co-sponsored by the Armenian General Benevolent Union (www.agbu.org), the Armenian Assembly of America (www.aaainc.org), the Armenian National Committee of America (www.anca.org), the Armenian Council of America and the Armenian Democratic League – Ramgavars.

Participating organizations include the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, Prelacy of the Armenian Church of America, Armenian Missionary Association of America, Armenian Catholic Eparchy for U.S. and Canada, the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America (ACYOA), the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF-YOARF), Armenian youth organizations and university Armenian clubs.

For more information please visit, www.kofv.org/main/april232017 www.april24nyc.org,  www.armenianradionj.net, www.theforgotten.org, www.armenian-genocide.org, www.twentyvoices.com.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/02/armenian-genocide-commemoration-held-times-square-sunday-april-23-2017/

Turkish Intellectuals Who Have Recognized the Armenian Genocide: Fatih Akın

By Hambersom Aghbashian

Fatih Akin (born 25 August 1973 in Hamburg to parents of Turkish ethnicity). He is a film director, screenwriter and producer. He attended the ‘Hochschule fur bildende Kunste Hamburg’ to study visual communication and graduated in 2000. He has been married since 2004 to German-Mexican actress Monique Obermüller and lives in Hamburg- Altona, where he also grew up. His brother, Cem Akin is an actor. Akin made his debut as director of a full length film as early as 1998 with ‘Short Sharp Shock’, which brought him the “Bronze Leopard” award at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland and the “Pierrot”, the Bavarian Film Award for Best New Director in Munich the same year. Since then he has directed feature films such as ‘In July‘ in 2000, ‘We forgot to go back’  in 2001 and ‘Salino’ in 2002. His fourth work, Head-On, was a major success in 2004 and received several prizes, among them the Golden Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival and the “Best Film” and the “Audience Award” at the 2004 European Film Awards. In 2005 he directed a documentary about the Istanbul music scene, “Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul”. In 2007, Akin’s ‘The Edge of Heaven’, a German-Turkish cross-cultural tale of loss, mourning and forgiveness, won the prize for best screenplay at the 60th Cannes Film Festival in 2007. On October 24, 2007, the same film was awarded the first edition of the ‘LUX prize for European cinema’ by the European Parliament. His most recent film is the comedy ‘Soul Kitchen’ (2009). He has said he chose this more light-hearted film because he needed a break after making the “tough” films ‘Head-On’ and ‘The Edge of Heaven’ before making his next planned film The Devil. “But”, he says, “now I feel ready to finish the trilogy”. In 2012 his documentary film ‘Polluting Paradise’ was screened in the Special Screenings section at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. His film ‘The Cut” has been selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the ’71st Venice International Film Festival’.

The Cut is a 2014 internationally co-produced drama film directed by Fatih Akın. It was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 71st Venice International Film Festival. The film is bout the lives and experiences of a young Armenian by the name of Nazareth Manoogian, in the light of the Armenian Genocide and its repercussions in different parts of the world. The film is completely dedicated to the Armenian Genocide and , through the life and experiences of the main character Manoogian it goes through many details and shows the behavior of the Ottoman Soldiers and the forced islamization of the Armenian inhabitants and the execution of those who didn’t convert.  Some soldiers and convicts, recruited solely to kill Armenians. The convict responsible for cutting the throat of Nazareth could not go all the way with it and made only a small cut on his throat, which sufficed to cause Nazareth to faint, thereby survive the massacre. However, while saving his life, the cut also made him mute. This “cut” not only symbolizes Nazareth’s becoming mute but also his being cut from his life and family and the Armenian society’s silence about the Genocide at the time. “The Cut” which won at the Venice Film Festival (La Biennale), the world’s oldest film festival, was written by Fatih Akin and Mardik Martin, an American screenwriter of Armenian descent.

In an interview with “Open Democracy” on April 21, 2015, and answering a question: why did he, as a filmmaker of Turkish origin, choose to make a film about the Armenian genocide? Fatih Akin said: I’m a child of Turkish parents. The Armenian genocide is something very deep and immovable in our culture and history. It’s a blind spot where not so many people know about it, and not so many people talk about it. One of my main reasons for doing the film is to produce something where people come out and inform themselves, discuss, and start to create a room where they can reflect on their own history and trauma. And as an answer for How do you think it will be received in Turkey?’He said: ‘I think the society is ready for such a film. I really do’. (1)

On October 29, 2015, the Washington post  wrote “In an epic that stretches from eastern Turkey in 1915 to North Dakota eight years later, “The Cut” presents a haunting portrait of what has come to be known as the Armenian genocide and its aftermath. Written and directed by Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin — best known for his fervid 2004 romantic drama “Head-On” — it’s the first film by a director of Turkish heritage to candidly take on this historical tragedy.” (2)


1- https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/alex-sakalis-fatih-akin/armenia-interview

2- https://www.washingtonpost.com/goingoutguide/movies/the-cut-tackles-the-armenian-gen

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/02/turkish-intellectuals-recognized-armenian-genocide-fatih-akin/

Zoryan Institute Responds to Turkish FM Çavusoglu’s Call for Joint Commission

TORONTO — In response to the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu calling on Armenia to set up a joint commission to study the events of 1915, the Zoryan Institute has the following response:

As they say, “This is déjà vu all over again.”

Calls for Armenia to set up a joint commission to study the events of 1915 have become the modus operandi for the Turkish government for years. Çavusoglu’s recent statement merely echoes that of his predecessors, former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in 2014 when he was the Prime Minister. Every year, a few months before April 24th, when resolutions appear before government bodies around the world, especially the US Congress, the high-ranking officials of Turkey make the same call. They claim to want to study those events to find out what really happened. This is nothing but a public relations stratagem to make it appear that Turkey is open-minded and willing to normalize relations with Armenia.

Such calls ignore the fact that in 2003, the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (“TARC”) at the time requested The International Center for Transitional Justice to examine the events of 1915 as a case of genocide. The ICTJ issued its finding that “the Events, viewed collectively, can thus be said to include all of the elements of the crime of genocide as defined in the Convention, and legal scholars as well as historians, politicians, journalists and other people would be justified in continuing to so describe them.” The Turkish members of the Commission rejected this finding and broke TARC apart.

In 2010, the United States, Switzerland, and other countries tried to broker the signing of protocols between Turkey and Armenia, whose border between them is closed, and who do not have diplomatic relations with one another. Despite the signing with much fanfare in Switzerland, the Turkish government has refused to ratify the agreement to this day.

Renowned Turkish scholar, Prof. Taner Akçam of Clark University, published in the preface to his awardwinning book, The Young Turks’ Crime against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire, after years of studying official documents from the German, Ottoman, and other archives, the following statement:

“Far from conflicting with one another, the sources are in fact complementary: they tell the same story but from different points of view…. Taken in their entirety, Ottoman and Western archives jointly confirm that the ruling party CUP did deliberately implement a policy of ethnoreligious homogenization of Anatolia that aimed to destroy the Armenian population”.

On June 2, 2016, Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, voted to declare the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 a genocide. The resolution was introduced by Cem Özdemir, a German parliamentarian of Turkish origin. There were at least one dozen other German deputies of Turkish origin who co-signed the Resolution with all parliamentarians voting in favor except one. The Turkish president, Erdogan, quickly denounced the resolution and recalled his Ambassador from Berlin. Part of the resolution reads as follows:

“By order of the Young Turk regime, the planned expulsion and extermination of over a million ethnic Armenians began in the Ottoman city of Constantinople on April 24, 1915. Their fate exemplifies the history of mass extermination, ethnic cleansing, expulsions, and yes, of genocides, which marked the 20th century in such a horrific way. We are aware of the uniqueness of the Holocaust, for which Germany bears guilt and responsibility.

The Bundestag regrets the inglorious role of the German Empire, which, as a principal ally of the Ottoman Empire, did not try to stop these crimes against humanity, despite explicit information regarding the organized expulsion and extermination of Armenians, including also from German diplomats and missionaries…. The German Empire bears partial complicity in the events”.

Turkey has already rejected the finding of the ICTJ, an internationally respected organization headed by the renowned Elie Wiesel. It has harassed and persecuted Prof. Taner Akçam. Now, given Germany’s acceptance and admission of its own complicity in the Armenian Genocide in collaboration with its political and military ally, the Ottoman Empire, why propose another joint commission? President Erdogan, himself, has publicly stated that he will never accept that Turkey committed genocide.

Under the circumstances, it is hard to believe Çavusoglu’s claim that “…we will accept any revelation.”

Rather than go through the sham of a joint commission, it would be more practical and constructive for Turkey to open its border with Armenia, establish normal diplomatic relations with its neighbor, stop harassing its scholars and writers and jailing its journalists, and accept the very well established historical record, and admit its guilt in the Armenian Genocide, as its own ally, Germany, has done.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/02/zoryan-institute-responds-turkish-fm-cavusoglus-call-joint-commission/

Documentary About Dersim Armenians to Premiere in Istanbul on February 9

ISTANBUL — A documentary about the Armenians who survived the Genocide and then went through another cycle of violence during the 1937-1938 bloody military campaign initiated by the Turkish state in Dersim region (currently Tunceli) has been produced in Turkey.

Ermenihaber.am reports, that the film “Children of the Monastery” (Vank’in Çocuklari) is directed by Kazim Gündogan who originates from Dersim and attempts to raise the untold stories of the massacre survivors. The premiere is scheduled on February 9 in Istanbul.

The documentary is a story about an Armenian family that survived the Dersim Massacre in 1938. All members of the family were driven away and lived in different cultures and beliefs.

Zeynep is a schoolteacher who lives in Izmir. In 2000s, she accidentally learns that her mother is an Armenian woman born in Dersim (Tunceli). Following the 1938 Massacre, she was given out for adoption and her name was changed to Fatma Kiremitci from Aslihan Kiremitciyan, her ethnic identity and belief changed to Turkish and Sunni.

She organizes a reunion with some of her mother’s relatives in the village that her mother lived. She traces the stories of her mother and tries to feel and appreciate what she lived in her childhood. Zeynep learns more about the village named Vank and its monastery.

The film crew had numerous meetings in Dersim, Konya, Istanbul, and Izmir with people who were forcefully converted to Islam. Dozens of accounts and facts collected during the interviews spread a light on the fate of hundreds of Christian children who survived the Dersim massacre, were subjected to Turkification and grew up in Turkish or Kurdish families without their families knowing anything about it.

The film reflects on the story of the only Armenian St. Karapet monastery that operated in the area and whose clergy was arrested and killed along with Alevi and Armenian population of the village in the course of the massacres. The church was completely destroyed by the state in 1938.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/02/documentary-dersim-armenians-premiere-istanbul-february-9/

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'Genocide Monument'

Using the unrecognized Genocides of the past as a reason to keep vigilance on all current ones around the world. The iPhone app is now available free on the Apple App Store. The Android and Blackberry versions of 'Genocide Monument' are currently being funded for production.