Get Adobe Flash player

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

USHMM Special On-Line Issue on the Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON, DC — The Armenian National Institute is pleased is to bring to your attention that for a limited time – until July 15 – the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) is providing free access to a special online issue on the Armenian Genocide of its academic journal, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, printed by Oxford University Press.

The special issue may be accessed here: http://bit.ly/2qwQbyO. The volume is introduced by Professor Robert F. Melson and includes six articles published over the span of the past ten years on several aspects of the Armenian Genocide. The authors include Peter Balakian, Shaun O’Dwyer, Taner Akçam, Donald Bloxham, Jonathan Markovitz, and Katharine Derderian.

Per USHMM, “Between the onset of World War I and the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923 approximately 1.5 million Armenians, or more than half of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian population, died as a result of deportations, starvation, serial massacres, and mass executions. With the intent of informing, Holocaust and Genocide Studies offer this special edition reflecting on the Armenian Genocide, featuring selected articles from past issues. The six articles included in this virtual issue examine various aspects of the genocide, including its denial, and are available to read online for a limited time.”

Available online: http://bit.ly/2q486xa

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/05/ushmm-special-line-issue-armenian-genocide/

Truth, Justice & Remembrance Prevail in Times Square

By Taleen Babayan

The vow to Keep the Promise was in full effect on Sunday, April 23 as an impressive number gathered in Times Square to remember the 1.5 million martyrs and pay homage to their legacy, proving that the Armenian Genocide commemorations have only gained momentum since the centennial.

The relevant and inspiring program, organized by the Knights and Daughters of Vartan since 1985, once again attracted thousands of supporters who waved the vibrant tricolor flags of Armenia and Artzakh in the heart of New York City as the past was remembered and a renewed effort was made to strengthen the Armenian Diaspora and the homeland.

Steadfast supporters of the Armenian Genocide were once again in attendance to speak, particularly committed elected officials, including Congressman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), who acknowledged the accomplishments of the Armenian Diaspora in championing genocide recognition around the world.

“Recognition will happen if all of you continue to march, write letters and take action,” said Pallone, founder of the Congressional Caucus of Armenian Issues, who recently introduced a new resolution for the U.S. Congress to recognize the genocide.

Pallone remarked that conflict in Armenia and Artzakh is ongoing, recognizing the war there last year and warned that although the genocide was over 100 years ago, violence is still being used against the Armenian people.

“Continue your efforts,” urged Pallone. “You being here today helps with genocide recognition and we as a people must speak out against genocide wherever it occurs.”

A fellow member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian issues, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) promised to “confront a stubborn resistance.”

She said all nations have a responsibility to recognize the systemic extermination of the Armenians and that until the resolution is passed to recognize the Armenian Genocide in the U.S., “we will not stop.”

Appearing every year without fail, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who is the current Senate Minority Leader, pledged to “stand with all of you in acknowledging the Armenian Genocide and nothing less.”

He praised the energy and collective spirit of Armenians a century after the massacres and hailed the production of the major motion picture, The Promise that “finally shines a light on this story and puts it in the mainstream for all to see.”

Honoring the memory of his late friend Sam Azadian, founder of the Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Times Square, Schumer said he attends the commemoration every year “because I believe it is our duty to speak out for the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide.”

“The Armenian Genocide was the first Holocaust of the 20th century but not the last,” said Schumer. “These events are a stain on humanity and I stand with all of you today to remember the pain of the past.”

Scholar David Phillips, who worked towards reconciliation with Armenia and Turkey as former chair of the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission, said he always believed that “hard problems can be solved through hard dialogue.”

“But dialogue is impossible if one side wants to humiliate the other,” said Phillips, noting the efforts of Armenia’s President Serge Sarkisian towards reconciliation, while Turkey’s then Prime Minister Recep Erdogan reneged on their discussions.

“It takes two to talk,” said Phillips, who is currently the Director of the Peace-building and Rights Program at Columbia University’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights. “But Erdogan is not reconciliatory,”

He called for Washington to investigate Erdogan for war crimes “to lay the groundwork for accountability.”

“Your work and presence here today is so important,” said Phillips. “For the Armenians today in Nagorno Karabakh, for the Yazidis in Iraq and for all who suffer from crimes against humanity.”

Urging the next generation to take genocide recognition into their own hands, celebrity attorney Mark Geragos told the thousands of young people at the commemoration to “go outside the political process to create a movement to never forget.”

“If you as the next generation don’t keep the promise, we are doomed to repeat it.”

Geragos remarked that Turkey spends millions of dollars to “cover up and perpetuate a lie” and the following generations need to do their part to continue the fight for justice and remembrance.

Knights of Vartan Grand Commander Steven Kradjian and Daughters of Vartan Grand Matron Sona Manuelian recognized and honored Olympic wrestler Migran Arutyunyan and MMA champion Albert Ghazaryan, along with their coach Hayk Ghukasyan with special Knights of Vartan medals for their accomplishments in sports.

Dr. Rachel Goshgarian, Professor of History at Lafayette College and Armen McOmber Esq., New Jersey attorney, ably served as MCs for the program.

Remarks by sponsoring organizations were made by Steven Mesrobian, Armenian National Committee of America, Talin Yacoubian, Armenian Assembly of America, Natalie Gabrielian, Armenian General Benevolent Union, Shahe Sanentz, ADL-Ramgavars, Souren Israelyan, Esq., Armenian Bar Association, Natalie Sarafian, Armenian Council of America, Shant Mardirossian, Near East Foundation and Rev. Haig Kherlopian, Armenian Missionary Association of America and Armenian Evangelical Union of North America.

Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan, Prelate of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America, gave the invocation and Very Rev. Fr. Vazken Karayan, pastor of Holy Cross Armenian Church, representing Archbishop Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), offered the benediction. Other clergy in attendance included Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian, Vicar General of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church of America.

The winners of this year’s Knights of Vartan Essay Contest were announced at the program: Raffi Salbashian, 1st place, Stephan Havatian, 2nd place, and Samantha Khorozian, 3rd place.

The Hovnanian Armenian Day School students sang the national anthems of the United States and Armenia, as well as “God Bless America.”

The Armenian Radio Hour of New Jersey, led by director Vartan Abdo streamed the event live in video format worldwide, reaching more than 50,000 people, with the assistance of his dedicated volunteer staff.

The 102nd Armenian Genocide Commemoration in Times Square was organized by the Mid-Atlantic chapters of the Knights and Daughters of Vartan. Co-sponsors included the Armenian General Benevolent Union, the Armenian Assembly of America, the Armenian National Committee of America, the ADL-Ramgavars, and the Armenian Council of America. Participating organizations included the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), Prelacy of the Armenian Church, Armenian Missionary Association of America, Armenian Presbyterian Church, the Armenian Evangelical Church, the Armenian Catholic Eparchy for U.S. and Canada and numerous Armenian youth organizations, including the Armenian Church Youth Organization of America, the Armenian Network of America, the Armenian Youth Federation, Homenetmen Scouts, Hamazkayin Cultural Association, Tekeyan Cultural Association, Noyan Tapan of Brooklyn,  Armenian Students Association, Akh’tamar Dance Ensemble NJ, NY Armenian Old Age Home, AGBU Young Professionals, Armenian Youth Talent Association, tri-state Armenian college and university clubs, including the Cornell Armenian Student Organization, Princeton Armenian Society and Yale Armenian Network.

Photo Credits: Albin Lohr-Jones  Anoush Gulian

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/truth-justice-remembrance-prevail-times-square/

Architects of Denial: First Person Account of the Armenian Genocide

Montell Williams and Dean Cain have produced a new documentary film ‘Architects of Denial – A Genocide Denied, Is a Genocide Continued” which delves into the Armenian genocide and the denial by the Turkish government and other authoritative bodies that atrocities ever took place.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, former US Ambassador to Armenia John Evans, Genocide Watch founder Dr. Gregory Stanton, FBI Whistleblower and journalist Sibel Edmonds, famous British attorney Geoffrey Ronald Robertson and genocide survivors are featured in the film.

“Armenians have been persecuted for centuries. It’s unreal,” Cain told “Fox Friends” recently when discussing his upcoming project. “They were the first bastion of Christianity. They were the first country to, I think, recognize Christianity, and they are the only bastion of Christianity in the Middle East.”

“Turkey has gone around the world aggressively lobbying to make sure there are no references to the Armenian genocide,” said Wikileaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange in the recently released trailer for “Architects of Denial.”

“Architects of Denial” not only digs into the persecution of Armenians and Christians in the Middle East, both past and present, but also sheds light on those politicians who refuse to acknowledge an event many historians and scholars accept as a sad reality.

The trailer shows camera crews confronting two Democratic members of Congress, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas and Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee.

“Do you deny that the Armenian genocide happened?” asks one of the filmmakers of Rep. Johnson.

She replies, “I do deny that.”

Architects of Denial is a first person account of genocide through the eyes of its survivors. Also included are several experts who graphically illustrate the real connection between its historical ‘denial’ with present day mass exterminations in conflict zones around the world.

This film warns that those responsible for genocides who are not brought to justice and confronted with the truth of their crimes, will only set the stage for more worldwide massacres in the future.

Dean Cain and Montel Williams are executive producers of the decumentary directed by David Lee George.

The film is scheduled to be released October 2017 in limited theaters.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/05/architects-denial-first-person-account-armenian-genocide/

What Happened to the Armenians of Arjesh (Ercis) in 1915?

Write-up by Leon Aslanov

The Van region of eastern Turkey, the site of the eponymous uprising, massacres and deportations, was a focal point of the tumultuous events that took place in Ottoman Turkey in 1915. The Van Uprising has been often used by denialist historians to establish a pretext for the general deportation of Armenians from that region and elsewhere. However, a closer study of the Ottoman state’s policies vis-à-vis Van and the experiences of its Armenian inhabitants conjures up a different reality; the sheer magnitude of the violence that visited this region, and the difficulties associated with attempts at the analysis and description of that violence, has left much for historians to debate .

Presenting his research on this subject was Ara Sarafian, an archival historical specialising in late Ottoman and modern Armenian history and director of the Gomidas Institute. This lecture was organised by Dr Krikor Moskofian (Director of the Programme of Armenian Studies) and supported by the Armenian Society of UCL (University of London). The chair was Raphael Gregorian.

The events that befell the Armenians of Arjesh (Ercis), a town to the north-east of Lake Van, are at odds with denialist discourse; Mr Sarafian’s talk focused on this history, using it to contextualise the Van Uprising. In 1914 the region – which at the time contained more than fifty Armenian villages, home to over 10,000 Armenians – would see armed conflict between the Ottoman and Russian Empires. Sarafian’s investigations are part of a wider move to study the events of the Van region at the beginning of the twentieth century.

Sarafian places great importance on the demography of eastern Turkey as a tool for understanding late Ottoman history and the early days of modern Armenia. It remains a highly-contested sphere of debate due to the limitations imposed on access to archives, and the few existing studies of the demography and geography of these eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire suffer from inaccuracies. In the case of Arjesh, Sarafian relies on a study of a Russian military intelligence officer called Mayevsky, who was based in Van. Mayevsky conducted a systematic study of the population and political geography of Van and Bitlis for military purposes. His meticulous studies show the names of villages which he personally visited, as well as those which he encountered on other maps, while populations are broken down according to ethnicity, and even tribal associations. This is significant, since many equivalent Ottoman demographic maps do not distinguish the ethnic composition of Muslim communities, who supposedly constituted a unified Islamic community, or ümmet. According to Mayevky’s survey, the Armenians of Arjesh district, comprising roughly 17% of the population, were a minority among the Muslim population (61% Kurds, 22% Turks). According to Sarafian, looking at such demographic surveys allows us to gauge positions of various social groups vis-à-vis the state and each other.

Amirdol Monastery Arjesh

More descriptive accounts of the Van region describe Kurds as predominantly pastoral, Armenians as mostly peasants; indeed, the Arabic word fella? (‘peasant’) has been used by Kurds of the region to describe Armenians even to this day. The merchant class was also Armenian, while the administrative class was Turkish. Furthermore, the Kurds were organised into tribes, each tribe enjoying different relations with the state and with each other. Tensions existed between nomadic groups (generally Kurds) and the sedentary population. If looked at from a Marxist perspective, these tensions can be seen to have arisen mostly out of ecological-economic disputes, rather than ethnic or religious ones. For example, during periods of drought and famine, pastoral Kurds would lose a significant proportion of their livestock, while sedentary Armenians would lose their crops. The Armenians, however, would be able to make up for the losses much quicker than pastoral Kurds, and so the Kurds would be more susceptible to long-term damage resulting from times of hardship, thereby sowing the seeds for conflict with Armenians. Relations were not always so strained, though, and there were periods of positive co-existence and trade between these social-ethnic-economic groups.

An Armenian intellectual named A. Do (Hovhannes Der-Mardirosian) was sent to Van to compile a report on the events there between 1914-1916. His work is the single most valuable source in the study of the violence of this period. A. Do had access to a range of records, including access to eyewitness, for his comprehensive analysis of the background to the Van Uprising.

Sarafian went on to explain that recently a new trove of affidavits have been unearthed and published in Armenia concerning the Armenian Genocide. These eyewitness accounts were collected from survivor-refugees in different parts of the Caucasus in 1916. The first volume is entirely on the province of Van, including Arjesh. Sarafian explained that his case study of Arjesh 1915 was originally undertaken for an independent evaluation of A. Do’s work, which, he added, withstood such scrutiny to a remarkable degree.

Given the data at hand, Sarafian stated that it is possible to present a critical account of what happened in Arjesh in 1915. The massacres started on 19 April 1915. According to affidavits, there is no evidence of Armenian armed activity preceding this date; the Armenians of Arjesh compliant, trusted their kaymakam Riza Bey, and did not harbour any expectations of an imminent massacre. Yet they were identified, trapped and killed in a methodical manner over two days. On 19 April, Riza Bey summoned Armenian men to the government office supposedly for conscription, where they were imprisoned, tied up and killed. Systematic killings were carried out by policeman, clearly at the direction of a central authority. The number of those murdered in the city of Arjesh hovers around the 2,500 mark.

A couple of intriguing aspects of these massacres again hint at the organised nature of the crime, as opposed to the work of an aimless horde of murderers. Women and children were, by and large, not killed. They were even kept safe and fed – an indication of directives fulfilled from above. Secondly, the main killers were not the looters; the state later brought in Kurdish elements to rob and burn villages. Although there are cases of local Kurds saving Armenians, the typical narrative is that of Armenian villages succumbing to a rabble. There are other accounts of young men in other locations in the province of Van being ordered by the authorities to assemble and surrender their weapons, so the murders in Arjesh were most probably part of a broader plan to destroy Armenians. Whereas a large-scale self-defence operation was organised in the city of Van, the Armenians of Arjesh made no such plans and were more inclined to escape to the Caucasus if they could. It becomes evident that the Ottoman state was intent on destroying Armenian communities throughout the Van region.

Sarafian placed his case study of Arjesh in the general context of Armenian studies today. In the lecture, he described the field as “patchy”, with an abundance of primary material but a lack of engagement with it, and says that such detailed analyses of particular episodes of the Armenian Genocide and late Ottoman history enable a more complete picture of modern Armenian history to come to the fore. Sarafian criticised the field for allowing too much “speculation” rather than answering questions with research and empirical data as an essential component of good history. He argued that much of modern Armenian history has still not been written because people did not expect more of “establishment historians.” In Sarafian’s view, detailed case studies are part of the bedrock of reliable historiography.

In the question and answer session following the lecture, Sarafian regretted the situation regarding access to archives, which are not all equally open to all scholars. Archives maintained by institutions with political interests either keep a substantial amount of material classified, or provide access only to those scholars who will use the material in their favour. This hierarchy of accessibility means that some scholars are unable to verify and criticise the claims and work of other scholars who hold differing views, and so creates a major obstacle for well-intentioned historians whose aim is a fair analysis and description of history, rather than the instrumentalisation of history for political purposes which can be seen on both the populist Armenian and denialist camps.

Mr Sarafian delved deeper into the perspective of denialist Turkish historiography and its portrayal of Armenians as rebels in 1915. This characterisation is often used as justification of the mass murder and deportation of Armenians as a measure to eliminate further instability and counter the threat of Russian encroachment. Nevertheless, the fact is that this argument is illogical and bereft of tangible historical evidence. Turkish nationalist historians – deniers of the Armenian Genocide – avoid any discussion of the context that led to Armenians resorting to self-defence in 1915, or for that matter, the very defensive nature of the actual fighting that took place with Armenians barricading themselves in city quarters. Sarafian referred to a book called The Armenian Rebellion in Van, co-authored by Justin McCarthy and three Turkish denialist historians, in which the Armenians are presented as causing unrest in the Van region since 1912, but which contains no discussion of the events of 1915, the village massacres and the background to them. The analysis of these authors is beguiling but unfounded, neatly omitting vital events and contextual points. For denialists, it is not about engaging with the historiography, but rather excluding key information. Edward Erickson is mentioned as a newcomer to the denialist game who looks at the Armenian issue through the lens of the Turkish military. While Erickson cites the Ottoman military archives in Ankara, a historian like Sarafian is not granted access to those archives to scrutinise Erickson’s work. Similarly, in the 1990s, while examining the work of Justin McCarthy, Sarafian was denied access to McCarthy’s sources at the Prime Ministry Archives in Istanbul. For his part, Mr Sarafian states that while he has seen some of the ARF archives in Boston, he does not cite them in his work because access to them remains restricted. He said he believed that all scholars must be given equal access to all records – even Turkish state intellectuals denying the Armenian Genocide.

Mr Sarafian finds another example of denialist historiography in Yusuf Sarinay. In a work on the events of 24 April 1915, Sarinay claims that the intellectuals arrested in Istanbul were kept safe in state custody until they were released in 1918, using the political prisoners sent to Ayash as his focus. Sarinay’s work was entirely based on Ottoman records. However, Sarafian investigated Sarinay’s assertions work and found them to be fabricated. Mr Sarafian wrote a reply to Sarinay in the Istanbul-based Armenian paper Agos, but Sarinay chose not to respond. The job of the denialist historian is not to engage with arguments based on evidence, and so, predictably, Sarinay did not respond.

The question of whether non-Armenian sources existed for the purposes of studying a case such as Arjesh was raised by the audience. Mr Sarafian mentioned that American missionaries wrote accounts of what happened in the Van region, and that he suspects that there are a host of Russian accounts in military archives which could be used to elucidate the situation in the Van region at the time. Sarafian expressed his frustration towards the lack of useful Ottoman Turkish records on this topic; the only record available to his knowledge is that of an account released by the military archives of a massacre of a Turkish/Kurdish village. On a related case, he gave the example of a reported massacre near Diyarbekir in 1915. When he went to the village in question, the local villagers stated categorically that no Muslims were massacred there in 1915, only Armenians. In the case of Arjesh after the arrival of the Russian army, there are accounts of Russians and Cossacks, not Armenians, looting Muslim shops in the city of Arjesh. The Turkish nationalist discourse does not tend to make this distinction. What took place in eastern Turkey during Russian occupation is still unclear and necessitates further research.

Mr Sarafian ended the lecture by noting that some of the best academic research on Armenians in late Ottoman history is by scholars from Turkey. One such example is Yektan Türkyilmaz, a Turkish scholar of Kurdish origin who also knows Armenian. He is not alone. Umit Kurt, Ugur Ungor, among others, are producing sound academic work on this topic. This shared past that was experienced by all ethnicities of the region, and collaborative efforts that transcend ethnic boundaries are to be encouraged in order to write a more objective history.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/05/happened-armenians-arjesh-ercis-1915/

Armenians in Iraqi Kurdistan Commemorate Genocide 102nd Anniversary

ZAKHO, Kurdistan Region (rudaw.net) –The Armenians who have sought refuge in the Kurdish city of Zakho on the Turkish border commemorated the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

They fled their places of origin, and were scattered around the then Turkish empire, with some heading south of the border with what is now the Kurdistan Region. There are now 200 Armenian families in the city, some 200 km northwest of the Kurdish capital of Erbil.

“There are just a few of us in Kurdistan. But thanks to God, we have been given most of our rights,” Ishkhan Milko, an Armenian member of the Duhok Provincial Council, told Rudaw, “We have a seat in the Kurdistan parliament as well as a seat in the Duhok Provincial Council.” They arrived in Zakho following the genocide that started on April 24, 1915.

“The Armenians immigrated from [their areas], in Bitlis, Erzurum, Van, Mush, and many other locations in Northern [Turkish] Kurdistan,” Dr. Hogir Mohammed, a Kurdish researcher in Armenian genocide said as he made reference to Turkish cities located east and southeast of Turkey, “They took many different routes, some went towards the Syrian desert, of whom some stayed in Syria, and others went as far as Jordan and Egypt. Some of them came to Iraqi Kurdistan as well where their main entrance route was Zakho. “

There is a school that teaches the Armenians in their own language. A board on the entrance reads that it was founded in 1969. “Many Muslims received schooling in the Church. We were studying with the Armenians and then afterwards, they came here,” Fahmi Ahmad, the head of the Armenian school said while pointing to the school behind him, “and this time around the Armenians were studying alongside the Muslims. We were being taught about Islam and them about Christianity.”

Historians estimate that 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks and today Armenians are one of the world’s most dispersed people. It is estimated that more than half of Armenians live outside of Armenia.

Many nations have recognized the mass killings as genocide. Others, including the United States, resist such acknowledgement. Turkey denies that the killings constituted genocide and says that the figures are exaggerated and estimates the total killed to be 300,000.

Every year on April 24th, the day when the attacks against Armenians in the Ottoman Empire began, Armenians remember the Medz Yeghern, or the ‘great catastrophe’. A stone cenotaph on a hill in the Armenian capital Yerevan, featuring an eternal flame, is a center point of the commemorations.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/05/armenians-iraqi-kurdistan-commemorate-genocide-102nd-anniversary/

Spanish City of Villena Officially Recognizes and Condemns Armenian Genocide

VILLENA — The city of Villena of Spain adopted an institutional statement according to which it officially recognizes and condemns the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian Embassy in Spain has reported.

The statement, adopted by the Villena City Council, describes the 1915 events as Genocide and crime against humanity.

The condemnation of such crimes is important in terms of excluding new similar events. It is worth mentioning that before the voting the Turkish side tried to exert pressures as a result of which the representatives of the People’s and Socialist parties changed their stances at the last moment, however, this didn’t have any impact on the voting results which included Villena in the list of over three dozen Spanish cities that recognized the Armenian Genocide.

The results of voting of parties represented in the City Council are the followings: European Greens (Los Verdes Europa) – 11 votes in favor, People’s Party (PP) – 7 votes against, and the Socialist Party (PSOE) – 3 votes abstained.

Villena is a city in Spain, in the Valencian Community. It is located at the northwest part of Alicante, and borders to the west with Castilla-La Mancha and Murcia, to the north with the province of Valencia and to the east and south with the province of Alicante. It is the capital of the comarca of the Alto Vinalopó. The municipality has an area of 345.6 km² and a population of 34,928 inhabitants as of INE 2008.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/spainish-city-villena-officially-recognizes-condemns-armenian-genocide/

Armenian Council of America Message Delivered by Natalie Sarafian During Times Square Commemoration

Reverend Clergy, Honorable members of Congress, dear friends and fellow Armenians,

1915 – 1.5 million. These numbers are etched in the hearts and minds of every Armenian invoking memories and stories of the unimaginable horror and suffering of a whole nation. In the words of Pope Francis, the Armenian Genocide was the “first of the deplorable series of catastrophes of the past century, made possible by twisted racial, ideological or religious aims that darkened the minds of the tormentors even to the point of planning the annihilation of entire peoples.”

Unfortunately, these events and the mindset are not just confined to the 20th century. Today, the same twisted forces are wreaking havoc in the Middle East, causing unspeakable misery to millions of people. As we have witnessed time and time again, when such actions are not exposed and thwarted by the international community and the perpetrators are not brought to justice, history will repeat itself. That is why this demand for justice, the demand for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, is not just relevant to us Armenians, but rather to the whole world.

As we stand here commemorating the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Turkish government continues to steadfastly deny it ever happened. Despite overwhelming evidence and acceptance by the international community, the closest that the Turkish leaders have ever come to acknowledging the Armenian Genocide is by making token statements about the so called “common pain and suffering” of all Ottoman subjects during those years. These meek attempts are nothing more than failed tactics of deflection and diversion from the glaring truth.

If the ultimate goal of such policies is the hope that we will eventually get tired or give up, then our presence here today, at the Times Square and all across the globe, commemorating the 102nd anniversary, should be a clear message to the Turkish government that no passage of time or generational change will ever shake our resolve or deter us from pursuing our demand for justice.

Fortunately not every Turkish citizen is being blinded by its government’s false propaganda. Today, the term Armenian genocide is no longer a taboo in Turkey, and we are encouraged by the growing number of intellectuals, who are finding the courage within them to come out and publicly acknowledge the genocide.

We salute these brave men and women and hope that the day will come, when these intellectuals are joined by thousands of other Turkish citizens, who are ready to unburden themselves of the moral responsibility of crimes perpetrated by their Ottoman ancestors and create the necessary push from the “bottom up”, as the late Hrant Dink believed, to force their government to change its official policy of denial.

On behalf of the Armenian Council of America, I would like to thank the members of Congress and other officials for not only standing with us side by side in our quest for recognition and justice, but also for their efforts in ensuring that Armenia and Artzakh continue to receive the necessary support from the US government as they face relentless blockade by Azerbaijan and Turkey.

I would like to conclude with a quote from 19th century clergyman Theodore Parker that was made famous by Martin Luther King Jr. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward Justice.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/armenian-council-america-message-delivered-natalie-sarafian-times-square-commemoration/

Armenian Genocide Resolution Adopted in Colorado Legislature

DENVER — The Colorado State Legislature adopted a resolution recognizing the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Members of both the House of Representatives and Senate voted unanimously to adopt the resolution at the capitol on Wednesday.

The resolution states: “We express support for efforts toward constructive and durable relations between the country of Armenia, the homeland for the 22 Armenian people, and its neighbors, based upon acknowledgment of the facts and ongoing consequences of the Armenian genocide, and a fair, just, and comprehensive international resolution of this crime against humanity.”

“We, the members of the Colorado General Assembly acknowledge April 26, 2017, and April 26 of each year thereafter, as “Colorado Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide”; and that we express support for efforts toward constructive and durable relations between the country of Armenia, the homeland for the Armenian people, and its neighbors, based upon acknowledgment of the facts and ongoing consequences of the Armenian genocide, and a fair, just, and comprehensive international resolution of this crime against humanity,” the resolution states.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/armenian-genocide-resolution-adopted-colorado-legislature/

Spainish City of Villena Officially Recognizes and Condemns Armenian Genocide

VILLENA — The city of Villena of Spain adopted an institutional statement according to which it officially recognizes and condemns the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian Embassy in Spain has reported.

The statement, adopted by the Villena City Council, describes the 1915 events as Genocide and crime against humanity.

The condemnation of such crimes is important in terms of excluding new similar events. It is worth mentioning that before the voting the Turkish side tried to exert pressures as a result of which the representatives of the People’s and Socialist parties changed their stances at the last moment, however, this didn’t have any impact on the voting results which included Villena in the list of over three dozen Spanish cities that recognized the Armenian Genocide.

The results of voting of parties represented in the City Council are the followings: European Greens (Los Verdes Europa) – 11 votes in favor, People’s Party (PP) – 7 votes against, and the Socialist Party (PSOE) – 3 votes abstained.

Villena is a city in Spain, in the Valencian Community. It is located at the northwest part of Alicante, and borders to the west with Castilla-La Mancha and Murcia, to the north with the province of Valencia and to the east and south with the province of Alicante. It is the capital of the comarca of the Alto Vinalopó. The municipality has an area of 345.6 km² and a population of 34,928 inhabitants as of INE 2008.

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/spainish-city-villena-officially-recognizes-condemns-armenian-genocide/

Former U.S. Ambassador John Marshall Evans Calls Armenian Genocide Denial ‘Worst Alternative Fact’ of the Century

NEW YORK (Den of Geek) — At the premiere of the Intent to Destroy documentary movie, former U.S. ambassador John Marshall Evans has called Armenian Genocide denial the worst alternative fact.

Joe Berlinger’s Intent to Destroy is a revelatory experience for moviegoers as it winds its way through the festival circuit in the coming months. An eye-opening documentation about the history of the Armenian Genocide, it makes for an efficient and precise record on a grim topic many Westerners have been deprived of learning about for the better part of the last century.

Yet the most fascinating aspect of the film is not a recollection of where the bodies were buried, but rather how a multi-generational campaign by the Turkish government, and with an increasing complicity by the U.S. one, has attempted to erase this devastating crime against humanity from the history books.

One man with direct knowledge of such details was on hand when Intent to Destroy premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival Tuesday night. John Marshall Evans was a career diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service when he was appointed by President George W. Bush to be United States Ambassador to Armenia in 2004. And as the film shows, the beginning of the end for his short tenure in that position started after he broke with at least 25 years of American foreign policy and called the Armenian slaughters for what they were: a genocide. Now, 11 years and several administrations after his departure from the State Department in 2006, Evans was ready to make an ironic correlation between this twist of language and a new term created by the current counselor to a U.S. president.

“The denial of the Armenian Genocide, I think, is the worst case of alternative facts of the last hundred years,” Evans told a theater full of filmmakers, journalists, and descendants of Armenian survivors. “Governments do tell falsehoods from time to time for reasons they think outweigh the ethical considerations.” And that includes 102 years of denials first by the Ottoman Empire during World War I and then by its Turkish successor.

As the Oscar nominated documentarian Berlinger shows in his film, the Republic of Turkey has denied that the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923 either occurred, or would technically qualify as a genocide after that term was created in 1948. This is likely further muddied since the Treaty of Sèvres, signed between the Allied Powers and the Ottoman Empire in 1920, required part of what is modern day northeastern Turkey be annexed into an independent Armenian state.

Nevertheless, a century later, the Turkish government not only fails to acknowledge that its predecessor committed genocide, but it actively fuels propaganda to discredit research on the travesty—not to mention pressures the U.S. government (which frequently uses the Turkish Incirlik Air Base as a vital strategic point for all military incursions in the Middle East) to ignore this history.

“It has everything to do with the alliance with Turkey, with all the things we saw in the film about Turkey’s position in the Middle East,” Evans said during the premiere. “We’ve invested great hopes in Turkey over the years, and after the recent referendum, we’re very worried about the direction in which Turkey is going. But it’s significant in 1951, in a written submission to the World Court at The Hague, the United States characterized the Turkish massacres of Armenians as one of the outstanding examples of genocide in human history, along with the first Roman persecutions of the Christians and the Nazi massacres of Jews and Poles in World War II. In 1952, a year later, Turkey joined NATO. Since that time, the United States has not used the word genocide.”

And as Evans alluded to, this geopolitical argument over the facts has taken on new wrinkles in the purported “post-truth” world that was ushered in by major elections in Western states in 2016. For instance, even in the advent of The Promise—a film that is intended as much to educate as entertain—a primarily Turkish financed alternative called The Ottoman Lieutenant was released in February. That film depicted its own grandiose love story during the First World War, albeit in a Turkish landscape where the Armenians were belligerent dissidents, and not rounded up victims of mass murder.
For producer Eric Esrailian, who through Survival Pictures spearheaded both the simultaneous productions of The Promise and Intent to Destroy, the release of these films is the beginning of what appears to be a lifelong political and media campaign against such “alternative facts.”

“The truth is already out there now,” Esrailian said at the Intent to Destroy premiere. “And what we have to do is call attention to the kind of insidious influence of the denialists [in] the Turkish government, the people who are complicit in the denial and, I think, accomplices with respect to people who have blood on their hands, not only in the Armenian Genocide but allowing the influence of foreign governments in what happens. Particularly with art, culture. Joe and I have dealt with this, Terry and I dealt with this with The Promise. People want to control what you see, people want to control what you watch, you don’t even know about it; it’s so disgusting, the depths of it all, but it will come out.”

 

Article source: http://massispost.com/2017/04/former-u-s-ambassador-john-marshall-evans-calls-armenian-genocide-denial-worst-alternative-fact-century/

Return top

'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.