ACTIVISTS COMMEMORATE THRACIAN GENOCIDE AT UNITED NATIONS
Apr 14th, 2010
NEW YORK-Organized by the Pan-Thracian Union of America, "Orpheus,"
activists gathered in Ralph J. Bunch Park outside the United Nations
building to commemorate the Thracian genocide perpetrated by the
Young Turk Party in Thrace, Anatolia and Asia Minor.
Speakers included Sabri Atman, Founder and Director of the Assyrian
Genocide and Research Center; Elias Tsekeride, Deputy President of the
International Confederation of Pontian Hellenes and Parish Council of
Prophet Elias Church of Yonkers; Dimitris Molohides, President of the
Pan-Pontian Federation USA and CANADA; Nikolaos Taneris, President
of the Pan Thracian Union of America; and Garo Manjikian, Director
of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)-Eastern Region.
"The descendants of the Greeks of Thrace, who now live in Greece and
throughout the world, are entering their third and fourth generation
as descendants of Genocide survivors. This commemoration in New York
is a result of a new effort in recent years to tell survivor stories
and speak out about the Genocide, and further, to demand justice from
Turkey – the perpetrator of the Genocide that resulted in the death
of the many millions of Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians who were the
original indigenous people of the entire land mass of Asia Minor and
Thrace," said Taneris.
Speaking on Turkey’s continued genocidal policies, Manjikian commented
that "Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian cultural and historic sites –
such as churches that go back to the 6th, 7th, and 8th century –
continue to be destroyed or neglectd in Turkey today." He also noted
that Turkey’s continued genocidal policies are sometimes enforced
by militarily force, such as the invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and the
killing of innocent Kurds in eastern Turkey.
"Assyrians once in the hundreds of thousands lived in cities, towns,
and villages geographically located in the east and southeast regions
of what is now today’s Turkey. Presently 10,000 Assyrians live in
Turkey today," said Tsekeride. Tsekeride also highlighted the recent
resolution passed in the Swedish parliament that recognized the events
of 1915-1923 as genocide committed against Armenians, Assyrians,
All speakers referred to the cycle of genocide that continues today
and the need to prevent genocide. "It has to be clear that today
we are not only condemning the Thracian Genocide, or the Armenian
genocide, or the Jewish Holocaust, or the Genocide in Rwanda or
Darfur, but also crimes against humanity. It is my responsibility,
as well as your responsibility, to commemorate such acts of violence
and to work actively to prevent these crimes," said Molohides.