AAA: Jewish Community Rallies in Support of Armenian Genocide Affirm

Date: April 22, 2015

Contact: Taniel Koushakjian
Telephone: (202) 393-3434
Email: [email protected]


April 24th Marks 100 Years Since the Start of Atrocities that Claimed 1.5
Million Lives

WASHINGTON, DC – Around the world, the Jewish community is rallying in
support of official acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide. Jewish
leaders and organizations have joined the call for the U.S. government to
officially characterize the systematic murder of 1.5 million Armenians a
century ago as genocide. In the past 24 hours, Israeli President Reuven
Rivlin, the American Jewish Committee, and the editorial board of Jewish
Week condemned the atrocities of 1915.

`On behalf of the Armenian Assembly of America, I would like to thank the
Jewish community for its courage in standing with us as we approach the
commemoration day of the Armenian Genocide,’ said Bryan Ardouny, Executive
Director of the Armenian Assembly of America. `The Armenian Genocide was
the ghastly precursor to the Holocaust and is a tragedy that unites the
Armenian and Jewish people.’

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) today issued a statement of support for
recognition of the Armenian Genocide. AJC Executive Director David Harris
said that, `We hope that the U.S. will reverse its announced decision, and
publicly acknowledge this atrocity by its rightful name – genocide.’

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin recently reflected on the Armenian
Genocide with journalists. He told The Tower Magazine he agreed with Pope
Francis that the atrocities committed against the Armenian people during
World War I was `The First Genocide.’

A recent editorial, `The First Genocide, A Century Later,’
in Jewish Week
rightly pointed out that the Armenian Genocide `was the precursor to the
Holocaust. Its then-unprecedented cruelty to a defenseless people provided
a template for the leaders of Germany’s Nazi government in World War II…’

Yesterday, President Obama failed to use the term genocide to describe what
happened to 1.5 million Armenians a century ago, despite his statements
made while a U.S. Senator. `The President’s unwillingness to speak
truthfully about the Armenian Genocide is not what we expect from a world
leader on its centenary. His failure to use the term genocide represents a
major blow for human rights advocates and sets the clock back on genocide
prevention,’ said Ardouny.

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest
Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and
awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3)
tax-exempt membership organization.


NR: # 2015-028
Available online at:

Bloomberg: Turkey’s Denials Have Left The Country Increasingly Isola


15:47 23/04/2015 >> SOCIETY

Below we present an article by Bloomberg, titled Genocide Debate
Haunts Turkey 100 Years After Armenia.”

Like Turkey’s government, Abdullah won’t bring himself to say the
actions of his great grandfather a century ago amounted to genocide.

The 21-year-old Ankara student’s ancestor was among those who played
a prominent role in the deportation that led to the killing of as
many as 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 as the Ottoman Empire crumbled
during World War I. The centenary of the slaughter is being marked
amid unprecedented international recognition that what happened was
an act of genocide, to the fury of the authorities in Ankara who
dispute the death toll.

“What happened was ethnic engineering,” said Abdullah, whose family
name was withheld in case of reprisals. “Still, I don’t think my great
grandfather made a mistake, he obeyed orders to relocate Armenians
who rebelled against the state.”

As world leaders gather in the Armenian capital of Yerevan on Friday,
Turkey’s denials have left the country increasingly isolated. Pope
Francis and the European Parliament called on the government in Ankara
last week to recognize the genocide, while Germany, Turkey’s largest
trading partner in the European Union, is due to adopt the term for
the first time on Friday.

Nektar Alatuzyan, 101, is among a dwindling group of survivors in
Armenia. When Turks ordered the expulsion of residents of her village,
her parents joined a band of Armenians who fought back for 53 days
from Musa Dagh mountain in what became a legendary tale of resistance.

Putin, Kardashian

“Our house was full of weapons to defend ourselves,” said Alatuzyan,
now almost blind and hard of hearing. “My father was a hero of seven

They escaped with their lives when a French ship on the Mediterranean
coast rescued survivors of the revolt. Alatuzyan went on to have
five children, 12 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and eight

“The perpetrators of the genocide failed to achieve what they
planned,” Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan told a forum in Yerevan
on Wednesday. Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President
Francois Hollande, whose countries both recognize the slaughter
as genocide, will be among more than 60 delegations at Friday’s

U.S. reality-TV star Kim Kardashian added to Turkey’s troubles when
she stirred up global publicity about the genocide during a visit
to Armenia, her family’s ancestral homeland, with her rapper husband
Kanye West this month.

George Clooney brought Hollywood glitter to Armenian billionaire Ruben
Vardanyan’s New York launch of the “100 Lives” project celebrating
survivors in March.

Obama Pledge

Though he made a 2008 pre-election pledge to recognize the “Armenian
genocide,” U.S. President Barack Obama is unlikely to use the term in
his statement on the centenary, preferring not to alienate Turkey. The
country hosts a U.S. air base at Incirlik and is a key defense ally
in the Middle East.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will lead a presidential delegation in
Yerevan and the U.S. will “urge a full, frank, and just acknowledgment
of the facts,” according to a White House statement on Tuesday.

The genocide dispute is at the core of tensions between Armenia
and Turkey, who have no diplomatic ties and face each other across
a closed border. Turkey argues that, while atrocities took place,
they were the consequence of war after some Armenians joined Russian
troops fighting the Ottomans.

Gallipoli Clash

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan changed the date of a ceremony
to mark the 1915 Gallipoli campaign to clash with the one in Yerevan,
leading to a diplomatic tug-of-war with Armenia over attendance at
the respective events. The British royal family and Australian Prime
Minister Tony Abbott will be present for the Gallipoli memorial.

Turkey “can never accept such a sin, such guilt,” Erdogan said last
week in reference to the genocide.

Some analysts say a tentative reassessment of the Turkish role has
begun, however, pointing out that Erdogan offered Turkey’s first-ever
condolences last year to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915.

“We remember with respect the innocent Ottoman Armenians who lost
their lives and offer our deep condolences to their descendants,”
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a statement on Monday,
while declaring that “reducing everything to one word” is “morally
and legally problematic.”

Growing international recognition of the genocide is increasing
pressure on Turkey “to more sincerely face its past,” Richard
Giragosian, director of the Regional Studies Center in Yerevan,
said by e-mail.

The Bandit

Abdullah said his relative, known as “Ali the bandit,” murdered
an Armenian dignitary on the orders of Halet Bey, a member of the
Ottoman parliament.

Pressure for change must come from the bottom up, according to Diana
Yayloyan, an Armenian activist also studying in Ankara. Like Abdullah,
she has also sought to challenge her upbringing in a conservative
family that was driven from Turkey in 1915.

“In Armenia, we think that all Turks know the truth of genocide and
they reject it,” said Yayloyan. “The problem is that the people in
Turkey don’t know anything about it.”

All sides “need to uncover the past and learn from each other,”
she said. “Then the politicians will follow.”

A L’ancien Musee De Peinture De Grenoble, Une Exposition Retrace Le


Nous sommes l’avenir, c’est le titre de l’exposition realisee par la
Maison de la Culture Armenienne du Dauphine. Elle lève le voile sur
un aspect meconnu de ce drame et retrace le destin de 200.000 femmes
et enfants, rescapes du genocide armenien,

Ce sont des Oublies de l’Histoire, les rescapes du genocide armenien,
dont on commemore le 100ème anniversaire….Ils n’ont pas pour
autant echappe a la souffrance. Ils furent près de 200.000, femmes
et enfants, abandonnes, disperses a travers tout le Proche-Orient,
enleves par des familles turques, kurdes ou bedouines, decidees a les
“assimiler” ou tout simplement a les utiliser comme des esclaves.

Dès 1918, les survivants armeniens, epaules parfois par des
associations occidentales sont partis a leur recherche. Ils en ont
retrouves, parfois meme rachetes…près de 120.000. Bon nombre d’entre
eux ont ete recueillis dans des orphelinats du Dauphine.

Reportage de Jean-Christophe Pain & Aurelie Massait-Salamanca

“Nous sommes l’avenir” Intervenant : Antoine Bedrossian, Commissaire
de l’exposition ” Nous sommes l’Avenir”

L’exposition “Nous sommes l’Avenir” est visible jusqu’au 3 mai.

jeudi 23 avril 2015, Stephane (c)

Thomas De Waal Reads The Testimony Of Poghos Vardanian


April 23, 2015 09:34

Thomas de Waal

Photo: From personal archive

Mediamax presents 100 Seconds project devoted to Armenian Genocide
Centennial. The project is based on testimonies of Genocide survivors
published by the National Archive of Armenia.

Thomas de Waal is a British journalist and writer.

For 100 seconds project he reads an extract from Armenian Genocide
survivor Poghos Vardanian’s testimony.

National Archives of
Armenia Collection of Documents

Testimony of survivor Poghos Vardanian on the deportation and massacre
of Armenians of Karin

October 2, 1916, Karin

Night fell. It was very uncomfortable in the prison. The sweat was
flowing down like water from everybody’s forehead. Some even took off
their coats to wring them. Everybody wanted water. The gendarmes were
bringing water from the Euphrates in tin kerosene pots and giving in
to us through a hole in the lower part of the stable door, getting 1-2
kurush for each cup. But only those close to the door could make use
of it. Those at the far end couldn’t drink. It was impossible to sleep
and we were waiting for the dawn. The day hadn’t broken yet when the
prisoners thundered the air with a church ceremony (reciting the hymn
“Morning of Light”).

The day broke. Two soldiers searched me and took 138 kurush but didn’t
find the 14 gold coins tied on my back. Then a gendarme said to me:
“Hey, take off your shoes”. “I’ll be barefooted,” I said. “Put on
mine,” he said. “Yours are old”, I said. “You won’t wear off even the
old ones”, he said. When I heard this, I took off my shoes without
any resistance and put on his old ones.

Producers: Ara Tadevosyan, Yulia Petrossian Boyle Filming: Ross
Goldberg Post Production: Tumo LLC

The source of Poghos Vardanian’s testimony: National Archives of
Armenia, Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Turkey, 1915, Testimony of
survivors, Collection of documents, Yerevan-2013.

VivaCell-MTS is the general partner of 100 seconds project.

PACE Adoptes Written Declaration "Commemoration Of The Centennial Of


by Tatevik Shahunyan

Thursday, April 23, 15:13

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) adopted a
written declaration “Commemoration of the Centennial of the Armenian
genocide” on April 23.

The declaration authored by Rene Rouquet was signed by 171 delegates.

The text of the Declaration reads: “Genocide is an unconceivable crime
for a society which is founded on tolerance and protection of human
rights and fundamental freedoms. Early prevention of such crimes can
surely stop the escalation of conflicts, tragedies and humanitarian
catastrophes. The absence of unequivocal and timely condemnation of the
Armenian genocide largely contributed to the failure to prevent future
crimes against humanity such as the Holocaust and other genocides.

24 April 2015 marks the Centennial of the Armenian genocide. 1,500,000
Armenians perished as a result of this hideous crime perpetrated in
the Ottoman Empire.

The undersigned parliamentarians pay tribute to the memory of innocent
victims and condemn all forms of crimes against humanity and genocide
and deeply deplore attempts at their denial.

Prevention of genocides and crimes against humanity should be amongst
our priorities. Further development of the international capacities in
this regard is instrumental. The Council of Europe has an important
role to play within the international efforts in contributing to the
prevention of crimes against humanity. It should encourage its member
States to come to terms with their own past and prepare grounds for
future reconciliation between peoples.”

Germany’s Anti-Genocide Move To Assert Historical Truth – Envoy


15:11 * 23.04.15

Germany’s ambassador to Armenia said Thursday that he expects his
country’s legislative authorities’ move to back an anti-genocide
motion to succeed.

But Reiner Morell expressed strong doubts that their president would
use the word “genocide” to refer to the mass killings of Armenians
committed 100 years ago.

“We all understand that the expectations are great, but I do not know
what the president of Germany will say,” he said at the Yerevan-hosted
International “Social and Political Global Forum against the Crime
of Genocide”.

Asked about possible steps by Turkey, the diplomat said he doesn’t
think that the country can be influence by any leverage. “I am
confident that all that will be said or pronounced will not be against
Turkey; it will address the historical fact. We definitely want to
live in peace,” he said, noting that Armenian officials also often
reiterate their willingness for an open dialogue.

The ambassador said his country is trying to offer unbiased and
balanced support to Armenia and Turkey to promote a mutual dialogue.

Turkish Recognition Of Genocide ‘Shortest Path’ To Reconciliation, S


Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian during an interview with Euronews

YEREVAN–In an interview with Euronews, Armenia’s President Serzh
Sarkisian reiterated his country’s view that the mass killings and
deportations of Armenians under Ottoman Turkish rule should be termed
a genocide.

“Without a doubt, the recognition of the genocide by the Turks is the
shortest path to the reconciliation of our nations. And it is my
strong conviction that, if it is done sincerely, I believe, in a short
period of time, relations between Armenia and Turkey could reach a new
and quite a high level.”

“The events that will commemorate the victims of the genocide contain
in themselves a few messages,” President Sarkisian said.

“The first one is the message of remembrance. We think the crimes
against humanity cannot be forgotten with time. The second message
during the events is gratitude, which is directly linked to the
message of remembrance. It is gratitude to those individuals,
organizations and nations and states that at the most difficult moment
for us spoke up and extended a helpful hand to us and helped some of
our people to survive. The third message is a mix of both remembrance
and gratitude that leads towards prevention against the recurrence of
such crimes and it is our duty to find out and point out the patterns
and the causal relations that can later turn into this type of crime.

With this we say that it is necessary to fight against these
particular phenomena in order to be able to prevent future genocides
and other crimes against humanity from recurring. And a final general
message, the fourth one, is the message of a nation rising from the
ashes. We say that those who wished us harm did not succeed in erasing
us from the Earth.”

Speaking about the prospects of reconciliation, Serzh Sarkisian said:
“I myself in my capacity as the president of the Republic of Armenia
have tried two times to embark upon this path. And the two presidents
who preceded me tried to embark upon that same path. We have declared
our intention to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey without
any preconditions. After that, parties could have discussed and
addressed all issues that exist between them. The second such attempt
was made on the eve of the Armenian Genocide centennial. Several
months in advance I sent a letter to the president of Turkey. That
letter was delivered in person by our foreign minister to the
appropriate Turkish officials, so it was not just a publicized action.

And by that letter I invited him to partake in the April 24th events
and to express jointly condolences and commemorate all victims. But
the Turkish authorities decided otherwise: they decided to hold on
April 24th – our genocide remembrance day -celebrations for the
Gallipoli battle.”

In the past days the Turkish side has unleashed all their anger, there
were harsh statements, unusually harsh reactions to the statement of
the Pope, to a resolution voted by the European Parliament. “For us
those statements and reactions of the Turkish side were not in any way
or shape unexpected,” the Armenian President said.

“We have always heard and witnessed their denialist posturing. We have
also seen that every time they renewed their toolbox of denial. With
regard to the statement by His Holiness, I consider that to be an
appropriate one. You know, I believe that a world free of crimes
against humanity can be achieved only with the leadership of strong
people. His holiness is a great leader, just and truth speaking.”

As for Turkey’s proposal to set up a commission of historians,
President Sarkisian said: “First, from the very beginning it is
incorrect since I am not aware of a case that historians sat down,
made a decision and the question was settled once and for all. This
was the first point. Secondly, I cannot imagine how such a commission
shall operate, since the Turkish historians would be under pressure of
the Turkish society and Turkish authorities’ pressure, and the
Armenian historians would be under the pressure of the Armenian
society and Armenian authorities’. But even these are not the most
important arguments. The most important is the following: the
specialized structures, countries that posess the largest archives on
this issue have no doubts about it. There are no doubts about it and I
again return to what happened at the Vatican: what do you think, isn’t
the Vatican one of the most well informed of the events that unfolded
during the First World War? What do you think, does the Vatican feel a
shortage of well-educated historians? For us such a proposal in itself
is an insulting one since it questions the very fact and veracity of
the Armenian Genocide. Ultimately, what will the historians find out?

How many people died? And is there a significant difference whether
one and a half million people or one million four hundred forty nine
thousand people died?”

Aram I Arrives In Armenia Bringing Relics Of Armenian Genocide Victi


10:50, 23 April, 2015

YEREVAN, 23 APRIL, ARMENPRESS. In the early morning of April 23,
His Holiness Catholicos Aram I of the Holy See of Cilicia has arrived
in Armenia by a special flight to preside with His Holiness Karekin
II Catholicos of All Armenians over the canonization ceremony of the
Armenian Genocide victims. “Armenpress” was informed about this from
the Catholicosate of Cilicia’s official cite. His Holiness Aram I
was accompanied by the bishops and priests of the Congregation of
Catholicosate of Cilicia.

His Holiness has brought with him the relics of Genocide victims,
which were kept in the Chapel of the Holy Martyrs’ Altar of the Great
House of Cilicia.

After the canonization ceremony, at the same night Aram I Catholicos
will return to Antelias to preside over the ecclesiastical ceremony of
April 24, as well as to consecrate the renovated Armenian Genocide
first Memorial and deliver his pontifical speech of the 100th
anniversary to the people.

Speaker Of Hellenic Parliament: Together We Can Protect Future Gener


12:26 23/04/2015 >> SOCIETY

Together we can win in the fight against the genocide, and we can
protect the future generations, Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament
Zoi Konstantopoulou said at the International Social and Political
Global Forum against the Crime of Genocide.

She expressed her solidarity in the fight for the recognition of the
Armenian Genocide.

“The Hellenic Parliament has expressed its gratitude to the Parliament
of Armenia for recognizing the genocide of Pontic Greeks,” Zoi
Konstantopoulou said.

Interparliamentary Assembly On Orthodoxy: Our Brothers’ Massacre Con


14:31, 23.04.2015
Region:World News, Armenia, Turkey
Theme: Politics

YEREVAN. – The study of the topic of genocide is necessary to prevent
its recurrence in the future.

The secretary general of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy
(IAO), Ioannis Amanatidis, stated the above-said Thursday at the
two-day International Social and Political Global Forum against the
Crime of Genocide. This forum is devoted to the Armenian Genocide
Centennial, it is held in Armenia’s capital city of Yerevan, and about
600 participants from fifty countries are taking part in this event

Amanatidis recalled that the National Assembly of Armenia is a
co-founder of the IAO.

“We are marking two events: the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian
Genocide, and the end of the First World War.

“The attempts to conceal the Armenian Genocide led to the [Jewish]
Holocaust. One hundred years later, Armenians demand justice and await.

“Unfortunately, the massacre of our brothers continues. Let’s make sure
that the genocide does not continue,” Amanatidis specifically stated.