Lebanese MP Demands Justice For All Armenians


15:20, 24 April, 2015

YEREVAN, APRIL 24, ARMENPRESS: The deputy of the Lebanese Parliament
Sami Jamil spoke about the Armenian Genocide at the Parliament.

Armenpress reports that the video of his words was spread in the
Internet, where the deputy during his speech in Arabic stated in
Armenian: “Today we commemorate the million and a half victims of
the Armenian Genocide and demand justice”.

“With these words I want to confirm that we do recognize the Armenian
Genocide and demand justice for all the Armenians around the world”,
– concluded Sami Jamil.


Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Statement On The 100th Anniversary


18:44, 24 Apr 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today released the following statement
in remembrance of the centennial of the beginning of the Armenian

“The facts are clear: 100 years ago, from 1915 to 1923, the leaders
of the Ottoman Empire conceived and carried out a genocide against
the Armenian people. More than 1.5 million Armenian men, women
and children were killed in one of the greatest atrocities of the
20th century. Today, 100 years after the first acts of the Armenian
Genocide, we mourn the loss of the victims and once again share the
story of this nightmare with the world.

“This solemn centennial calls on us to renew our insistence on the
truth and our dedication to justice. We all have a moral responsibility
to remember the Armenian Genocide for what it was – for if we ignore
history, we know we are condemned to repeat it.

“We must speak the truth and not dishonor those who died by refusing
to acknowledge the calculated, widespread extermination of millions of
Armenians. On this centennial of the Armenian Genocide we will also
continue to speak out against attempts to silence those who document
the facts about this harrowing time in history.”


For Turkey, Denying An Armenian Genocide Is A Question Of Identity


April 24 2015

Analysis: Turkey’s national identity is built on a carefully crafted
and tightly controlled version of history

April 24, 2015 7:00AM ET by Caleb Lauer

“In one ear, out the other,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
said in anticipation of the European Parliament’s recently adopted
resolution “encouraging” Turkey “to come to terms with its past [and]
to recognize the Armenian genocide.”

When Pope Francis reiterated his predecessor John Paul II’s opinion
that what happened to Ottoman-Armenians during World War I was the
“first genocide of the 20th century,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet
Davutoglu said the pontiff was conspiring against Turkey. This week
Turkey recalled its ambassador to Austria, after its parliament
recognized “the terrible events as genocide” — a step Ankara said
“permanently damaged” the countries’ relations.

Turkey’s refusal to heed others’ insistence that it accept that the
mass killing of Ottoman-Armenians in 1915 constituted genocide is
usually expressed in tones of animus, shaming and national pride. At
the same time, foreign condemnation often misses the mark, encourages
deniers and helps Turkish politicians at home. The heat generated by
such exchanges obscures the reality that Turkey’s denial is as much
about the country’s democratic deficit as it is about the emotive
elements emphasized by both accusers and apologists.

Historical evidence indicates that during World War I, Ottoman leaders
— specifically Mehmet Talat, Ismail Enver and Ahmet Cemal, the Young
Turk triumvirate — decided to eliminate Anatolia’s Armenians. On April
24, 1915, the day before Britain and France attacked at Gallipoli, some
250 Armenian notables in Istanbul were arrested, packed into trains and
sent to join the hundreds of thousands of other Armenians soon to be
massacred or driven out to their deaths in the Syrian desert. Children
were kidnapped. Property was seized. Many people were shot dead. Many
died of thirst. Between 800,000 and 1.5 million Armenians perished,
and Anatolia was effectively emptied of the community.

Turkey has said the Armenian victims were simply one part of the
hundreds of thousands of Ottoman civilians of various ethnicities
killed in war violence, thus avoiding the question of whether a
decision had been taken to annihilate the Armenians.

But to understand Turkey’s position today, it is important to
understand what has happened there since 1915.

The Ottoman Empire lost the war. With Istanbul occupied, Ottoman
territory was being parceled out to Western powers. But a Turkish
nationalist army, led by Mustafa Kemal (later Ataturk), eventually
liberated Anatolia; modern Turkey was founded in 1923. Abolishing
the sultanate and caliphate, Ataturk and his associates established a
Western-oriented, secular republic. But the remarkable, avant-garde
creation of a Turkish nationality and nation-state required drastic
social engineering to repudiate the Ottoman past and give the new
republic a new, Turkish identity.

The Lausanne Treaty of 1923 legalized a forced “population exchange” —
Greeks out of Anatolia, Muslims in. Any remaining Greeks, Armenians or
Jews have largely disappeared over the years, suffering pogroms, tax
persecution and dispossession. The state took control of and remains
the sole administrator of Sunni Islam in the country, marginalizing
other Muslim traditions such as Alevism. Non-Turkish Muslims —
Kurds for example — were expected to assimilate. Ataturk by edict
changed the Turkish alphabet and adopted Latin script, leaving later
generations unable to read Ottoman and Islamic texts. The official
Turkish History Thesis essentially invented a past for the Turks.

This provoked challengers, of course, and the Turkish state has
long responded as if deeper and wider knowledge of the cost of the
Turkish national project — in terms of the oppression and control of
historical knowledge required — could undermine it. The Turkish army
has deposed four Turkish governments since 1960, each time setting
the country’s democratic development back and reinforcing the laws
and mechanisms of this control. The country’s human rights activists
like to say that the Turkish state and its national project has always
been well protected from its citizens.

What happened to the Armenians — and Turkey’s obfuscation — is
inseparable from this national project. It is the mother of Turkey’s
Pandora’s boxes, the opening of which would mean re-evaluating,
reinterpreting, uncovering and unsilencing all the aspects of Turkey’s
history heretofore protected by taboos, laws, state-written textbooks
and state-serving academics. Confronting the the stains of the past
is integral to the project of Turkey’s democratization.

Davutoglu, responding to the European Parliament’s exhortation to
recognize an Armenian genocide, said, “What was done in Africa during
colonialism? What was done in Asia? What was done in Australia? …

Where are the Aborigines?”

But the answers to those questions are no longer secrets — because
in democracies, the state is unable to control knowledge and memory.

That’s why commemorating 1915 has been so important to so many Turkish
activists, and it helps explain the more open attitude toward the
topic in Turkey since the Justice and Development Party, or AKP,
came to power in 2002 and succeeded in pushing the Turkish military
out of politics. When the army ruled, talking about anything other
than the “so-called genocide” or “Armenian lies” meant prosecution
and harassment. Today, exhibitions, conferences, talk shows, films,
books and newspaper columns all broach the subject in explicit
terms. In 2009, Turkey sought to reconcile with Armenia; the deal
called for a historical commission. Tens of thousands of Turks have
signed their names to an “I apologize” campaign. Journalist Hasan
Cemal, Ahmet Cemal’s grandson, is a major voice calling for Turkey
to understand what happened to the Armenians. Since 2010, activists
— mostly Turkish — have commemorated the tragedy on April 24 in
Istanbul’s Taksim Square. And last year, on the 99th anniversary,
Erdogan used remarkable language, extending “condolences” to Armenians.

It looks unlikely Turkish leaders will go further for the centenary,
not least because it is a campaign season in Turkey. The June 7
general election is high-stakes, and in Turkey, campaigns are fought
with nationalism. Seething rivalries aside, the AKP and two opposition
parties jointly condemned the European Parliament’s resolution. Many
Turkish politicians seize chances to deny foreign accusations of
genocide like free money. And most important, whatever democratic
optimism the end of military tutelage brought has long expired.

The government is using the centenary of the Gallipoli landings to
deflect attention from commemorations in Armenia. Geopolitical logic
appears to have again saved Turkey from the eventuality of the White
House uttering the word “genocide.”

Most Turks’ denial was learned in school and reinforced by various
media emphasizing the treachery of those Armenians who backed the
invading Russians, foreign powers’ manipulation of Ottoman minorities,
conspiracy, possible loss of territory to “Greater Armenia,” greed
for reparations and the dozens of murdered Turkish diplomats killed
by the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia.

Many simply cannot accept that their forefathers may have committed
such a crime — a position that becomes more unyielding the more
that shaming Turkey becomes the goal and the more that the Turkish
government plays this up. Less appreciated is the chance here for
empathy. Hrant Dink, a Armenian-Turkish journalist assassinated in
2007, once said, “To the Armenians I say, Try to see some honor in the
Turks’ position. They say, ‘No, there was no genocide, because genocide
is a goddamned thing that my ancestors never could have done.’ And to
the Turks I say, Dwell for a moment on what the Armenians are saying
and ask yourself why they insist so much.”


Lithuania FM: We Share Grief Of Armenians


15:11, 24.04.2015
Region:World News, Armenia, Turkey
Theme: Politics

Lithuania shares the grief of Armenians caused by the 1915 events,
Lithuania’s Ambassador Linas Linkevicius said.

“We share #Armenians grief caused by horrifying events in 1915. World
must do everything poss 2prevent such tragedies from ever happening,”

April 24, 2015 marks the centennial of the Armenian Genocide
perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire.

The Armenian Genocide is recognized by many states. The first to
acknowledge the fact was Uruguay in 1965. France recognized the
Armenian Genocide in 2001. Genocide was recognized by Russia, Italy,
Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Sweden,
Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Canada, Venezuela, Argentina,
and 42 U.S. states. Armenian Genocide was recognized by the Vatican,
the European Parliament, the World Council of Churches.


Cypriot President: We Remember And Demand! (Video)


13:09 | April 24,2015 | Politics

Both Cyprus and Armenia condemn genocides, President of Cyprus Nicos
Anastasiades said at the Armenian Genocide Memorial at Tsitsernakaberd
on April 24.

“Cyprus was one of the first countries to condemn and recognize the
Armenian Genocide. Today we are in Armenia to perpetuate the memory of
the Genocide victims. Impunity cannot be ignored. Armenia and Cyprus
are the victims of impunity. We pin our faith on International Law,
we shall determine our future on the basis of sovereignty and human
rights. Our peoples have fought and survived,” he said.

Nicos Anastasiades said in his speech that 100 year ago, numerous
Armenians escaped massacres and found a safe haven in Cyprus. “The
children and grand children of these refugees constitute today a
creative and important part of our society, preserving and developing
their worthy origins. We cannot ignore this historical reality,”
he stressed.

Mr Anastasiades said it is time to recognize the historical fact that
will pave the way for Armenian-Turkish reconciliation.” We are here
to pay tribute to the Armenian people who fought and survived the
Genocide with their strength and vigor. This legacy constitutes a
firm and most honourable basis for young generation of Armenians. It
constitutes the compass that should guide not only Armenians, but also
the civilized world. We remember and demand!” said Nicos Anastasiades.


Turkey Recalls Ambassador As Austria Recognizes 1915 Armenian Killin


Today’s Zaman
April 22 2015

Turkey said Wednesday it is recalling its ambassador to Austria after
parties represented in parliament signed a declaration recognizing
the massacre of Armenians a century ago as genocide.

The six parties signed a declaration on Tuesday and held a minute of
silence in memory of the victims.

“Due to the historic responsibility – the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy
was allied with the Osman Empire during World War I – it is our
responsibility to recognize the terrible events as genocide and to
condemn them,” the declaration stated.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry recalled Turkey’s Ambassador to Vienna
Mehmet Hasan Goðuþ to Ankara for consultations after the Austrian
Parliament’s decision.

“This declaration….has caused outrage for us,” the Turkish Foreign
Ministry said in a statement. “We reject this biased attitude of the
Austrian parliament, trying to lecture others on history, which has
no room in today’s world.

“It is clear that this declaration…will have permanent negative
effects on Turkey-Austria relations.”

The ministry said it had recalled its ambassador from Vienna for
consultations over the declaration, one of a number by foreign
institutions and parliaments as the 100th anniversary of the killings

The killings of Armenians by modern Turkey’s predecessor, the
Ottoman Empire, have been one of the most debated issues on the
Turkish-Armenian political agenda. Armenians refer to the killings as
genocide, saying 1.5 million Armenians were systematically murdered
by Ottoman forces in the early years of the 20th century while Turkey
vehemently rejects the allegations, saying the death toll is inflated
and that Muslim Turks were also killed during the civil strife that
coincided with the final years of the deteriorating empire.

Around 268,000 people of Turkish origin live in Austria, according
to government figures, of which nearly 115,000 are Turkish citizens.

Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoðan said he
did not expect US President Barack Obama to use the word “genocide”
in reference to the killings.

“I would not want Obama to use the word ‘genocide’, and I would not
expect such a thing,” Erdoðan told a joint press conference with
Iraqi President Fuad Masum.

Erdoðan has expressed condolences for the loss of Armenian life during
World War One, but refuses to call the mass killings a genocide.

Germany’s parliament is set to adopt a motion using the word genocide
on Friday. Earlier this month, Pope Francis also called the massacres
a genocide, prompting Turkey to summon the Vatican’s envoy and recall
its own.


L’Armenie Celere Le 100e Anniversaire Du Genocide De 1915



Etchmiadzine (Armenie), 24 avr 2015 (AFP) – L’Armenie celèbre vendredi
le 100e anniversaire du genocide de 1915 perpetre par les Turcs
ottomans, au lendemain de la canonisation par l’Eglise armenienne
des 1,5 million de morts dans ces massacres et malgre les critiques
de la Turquie qui rejette le terme de genocide.

Les Armeniens estiment qu’un million et demi des leurs ont ete tues
de manière systematique entre 1915 et 1917, pendant les dernières
annees de l’Empire ottoman, et une vingtaine de pays, parmi lesquels
la France et la Russie, ont reconnu qu’il s’agissait la d’un genocide.

La Turquie recuse ce terme et evoque pour sa part une guerre civile
en Anatolie, doublee d’une famine, dans laquelle 300.000 a 500.000
Armeniens et autant de Turcs ont trouve la mort.

Des centaines de milliers de personnes sont attendues vendredi a
Erevan pour une ceremonie commemorative au Memorial des victimes du
genocide armenien. Parmi les invites, les presidents russe Vladimir
Poutine et francais Francois Hollande.

Des ceremonies commemoratives organisees par de nombreuses diasporas
armeniennes auront egalement lieu de Los Angeles a Stockholm, en
passant par Paris et Beyrouth.

“Par millions, notre peuple a ete deracine et massacre de manière
premeditee, par le feu et l’epee, il a goûte aux fruits amers de la
torture et du chagrin”, a declare jeudi le chef de l’Eglise armenienne,
le Catholicos Karekine II, pendant la plus importante canonisation
en nombre jamais decidee par une Eglise chretienne.

“Au milieu de ces horribles tourments et face a la mort, ils sont
restes portes par l’amour du Christ”, a-t-il continue. “La canonisation
des martyrs du genocide donne un nouveau souffle de vie, grâce et
benediction a notre vie nationale et ecclesiastique.”

L’office a ete celebre en plein air par Karekine II a Etchmiadzine,
a une vingtaine de kilomètres d’Erevan, la capitale armenienne,
devant un edifice datant du IVe siècle qui est considere comme la
cathedrale chretienne la plus ancienne du monde.

“Les âmes des victimes du genocide vont enfin trouver le repos
eternel”, s’est felicite Vardoukhi Chanakian, 68 ans, un employe des
services sociaux de Erevan.

Les 1,5 million de morts dans le genocide sont desormais reconnus
comme saints par l’Eglise armenienne. L’office a fini a 19H15 (15H15
GMT), un choix symbolique pour rappeler 1915, l’annee où les massacres
ont commence.

Juste après, les cloches ont sonne dans toutes les eglises d’Armenie,
ainsi que dans plusieurs eglises a l’etranger, notamment a New York,
Madrid, Berlin, Venise et a Notre-Dame de Paris selon la television
armenienne, et une minute de silence a ete observee.

En canonisant ces victimes, “l’Eglise ne fait que reconnaître les
faits, c’est-a-dire le genocide”, a declare Karekine II.

“Pour nous, les Armeniens, c’est une obligation morale et un droit
de nous souvenir d’un million et demi des nôtres qui ont ete tues et
des centaines de milliers de personnes qui ont subi des privations
inhumaines”, a pour sa part souligne le president armenien Serge

“Cette canonisation reunit tous les Armeniens de la planète”, a declare
a l’AFP Khouri Avetikian, une bibliothecaire d’origine armenienne,
venue specialement du Liban pour assister a l’office.

“Il n’y a pas d’Armeniens dont les ancetres n’ont pas souffert”,
a estime de son côte Gaguik, un habitant d’Erevan, descendant d’une
famille victime du genocide.

– ‘Injure au peuple turc’ –

L’Allemagne, par la voix de son president Joachim Gauck, a reconnu
jeudi soir pour la première fois le genocide armenien, soulignant sa
“coresponsabilite” dans ce crime attribue a son allie ottoman pendant
la Première guerre mondiale.

A deux jours de la date anniversaire, le Parlement autrichien a quant
a lui observe mercredi une minute de silence pour marquer ce genocide,
une première dans ce pays, allie a l’epoque a l’Empire ottoman.

Un geste qui a provoque la fureur de la Turquie : celle-ci a
denonce une “injure au peuple turc” et rappele pour consultation son
ambassadeur a Vienne.

Dans un communique aux mots soigneusement choisis, le president
americain Barack Obama a qualifie jeudi le massacre d’Armeniens
pendant la Première Guerre mondiale de “terrible carnage”, evitant
d’employer le mot “genocide”.

Ces derniers jours, le gouvernement turc avait deja ete très irrite
par les declarations du pape Francois, qui a parle pour la première
fois du “genocide” des Armeniens, et par le Parlement europeen qui
a demande a la Turquie de le reconnaître.

Ankara a rappele son ambassadeur auprès du Vatican, et le president
turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan a exhorte le pape a ne pas repeter cette

En avril 2014, M. Erdogan, alors Premier ministre, avait fait un
geste inedit, en presentant ses condoleances pour les victimes
armeniennes de 1915, sans pour autant cesser de contester toute
volonte d’extermination.

“J’espère que le president Erdogan adressera un message plus fort le
24 avril et que les relations (bilaterales) pourront se normaliser”,
a de son côte declare le president Sarkissian dans un entretien
accorde a la chaîne de television turque CNN-Turk diffuse jeudi.

Pour le chanteur Charles Aznavour, d’origine armenienne et membre de
la delegation officielle francaise a Erevan, la Turquie reconnaîtra
“un jour ou l’autre” ces massacres quand elle “en aura marre d’etre
montree du doigt”.

vendredi 24 avril 2015, Stephane (c)armenews.com


Romania’s Parliament Calls To Announce April 24 Day Of Genocides


17:13, 24 April, 2015

BUCHAREST, APRIL 24, ARMENPRESS: The Human Rights Commission of the
Chamber of Deputies of Romania spread on April 24 a statement on the
occasion of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide.

“April 24 marks the 100th anniversary of the massacres, implemented
against the Armenians in 1915 in the east of Turkey. This crime against
the humanity should not be forgotten, as the Pope Francis of Rome
says, as it is the first genocide of the 20th century and preceded
the genocides, committed by the Nazi and Stalin”, – says the statement.

Taoiseach’s Solidarity With Armenians On Massacres’ Centenary


Irish Times
April 24 2015

Government declines to use the word ‘genocide’ to describe events of
100 years ago

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has expressed his sympathy to the Armenian people
on the centenary of massacres which resulted in the deaths of up to
1.5 million of its people between 1915 and 1922.

Armenia and its large disaspora is marking the start of the killings.

Events take place on Friday in the capital Yerevan to commemorate
the centenary. Irish ambassador to Armenia John Biggar will attend.

On Thursday night the Armenian-American band System of a Down played
its first concert in Armenia which was broadcast worldwide.

Turkey disputes that any genocide took place and Ireland’s Department
of Foreign Affairs has declined to use the word in describing what
happened to the Armenians.

Dr Paul Manook, who is involved in the Armenian Church in Ireland,
wrote to the Taoiseach to invite him to the community’s remembrance
service on Sunday in Taney Parish Church, Dundrum. Dr Manook lost
his grandfather during the massacres.

Mr Kenny said he was unable to attend but expressed his condolences
to Dr Manook and stated it was a “an example of the terrible suffering
and loss which Armenians endured a century ago”.

He added: “Here in Ireland, of course, we know well how difficult
it can be to come to terms with the past through a process of
reconciliation. It is fitting that the Armenian community in Ireland
will mark these events with a service of commemoration.”

Dr Manook said he was impressed with the tone of the Taoiseach’s letter
which he described as “very sensitive and understanding”, but he urged
the Irish Government to recognise the Armenian massacres as a genocide.

“I just hope Ireland will help us in this area. It is not just forgive
and forget. It needs to be dealt with. Perhaps Ireland can use its
diplomatic channels to influence the US, UK as well as Turkey,”
he said.

Refusal to call it ‘genocide’

Officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs are likely to be
called before the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade next
week to explain the rationale behind the decision not to call the
Armenian massacres a genocide.

Committee chair Pat Breen said he was not happy with the four line
explanation given by the Department to the effect that it did not
have the necessary information one way or another to make a definitive
stand on the issue. Mr Breen asked for a “comprehensive reply”.

Senator Mark Daly brought a motion before the committee seeking to have
the massacres acknowledged as a genocide. He said the DFA response
amounted to a “four-line reply to the deaths of 1.5 million people”
and called on Ireland to follow the example of countries such as
France and Canada, along with the Vatican and the European Parliament,
in recognising what happened as genocide.

He added that Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish
state, acknowledged the events as genocide, but successive Turkish
governments had chosen a different path.

A Department of Foreign Affairs statement earlier this week did not
use the word genocide to describe the experiences of the Armenians.

It acknowledged the “enormous suffering of the Armenian people during
that period. As we in Ireland know well, the process of reconciliation
and coming to terms with the past is never easy.

“In this year of centenary commemorations, Ireland would urge Armenia
and Turkey to take advantage of any opportunity to progress their
bilateral relations for the good of their people, the region, and
their shared future.”

The statement added that President Michael D Higgins had recently
expressed the sympathy of the Irish people for the enormous suffering
of Armenians in that era to Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan.

The Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has responded to calls from
the Armenians for Turkey to finally acknowledge that had a genocide
had taken place.

Mr Davutoglu expressed a desire that Armenia and Turkey could come
to an understanding over what happened 100 years ago.

“However, laying all blame – through generalisations – on the Turkish
nation by reducing everything to one word and to compound this with
hate speech is both morally and legally problematic.”


Huge Los Angeles March Commemorates Armenian Genocide


22:38, 24 Apr 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Thousands of people are marching in Los Angeles to commemorate the
100th anniversary of the killings of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians
under the Ottoman Empire, AP reports.

Throngs have joined Friday’s six-mile walk from the Little Armenia
neighborhood to the Turkish Consulate, carrying flags and signs.

The event comes after President Barack Obama once again stopped short
of calling the 1915 killings a genocide.

Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide, and earlier
this month recalled its ambassador to the Vatican after Pope Francis
described the killings as genocide.

Huge Los Angeles march commemorates Armenian Genocide