Friday, 24 April 2015

Armenian Genocide is relevant today

The truth by Spennberg from Cartoon Movement

The 100th anniversary of the 20th century's first Holocaust against the Armenians in the shadows of World War I. What is currently happening in Syria and across the Levant, with migrants in the Mediterranean and in Libya,  is not lost on anyone who is observing the events especially the Armenian people who live across the region. What Armenians experienced 100 years ago at the hands of a nationalistic Young Turk government in the dying years of the Ottoman Empire is still being felt today. Ethnic cleansing, religious persecution, purposely bombing and burning up civilians are constitute war crimes. Media and societal dehumanization and demonization of a scapegoated group are important tactics preceding wars. All methods have been used in genocide. The survivors and their descendants of 1915-1922 genocide are still denied justice. With the exception of Talat Pasha, every Ottoman official and soldiers involved in carrying out the killings of men, women and children escaped punishment and prosecution for their crimes. Some 1.5 million Armenians out of population of 2 million were lost. Turkey has used a policy of out of sight, out of mind approach when the Armenian Genocide is even mention let alone taught or memorialized. Armenian Genocide predated the United Nations and League of Nations. It also occurred decades before the legal terms and definitions for international policies against genocide existed. But its legacy and horrors have been kept alive by Armenia and Armenian Diaspora who refuse to let anyone including Turkey (nationalists, government) forget or deny the greatest tragedy of the early 20th century.

There were many witnesses to the horrors. American ambassador Henry Morgenthau was one prominent official who reported back to the United State what was happening to the Armenians. Morgenthau served as US Ambassador to Ottoman Empire. However, Iranian author Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh on his travel from his office in Baghdad to Istanbul wrote on his personal encounter with Armenians who barely survived the long marches of Armenian civilians (who were citizens of the Ottoman Empire) from their hometowns in Eastern Turkey then part of a historical Armenian homeland to their deaths in the Syrian Desert through starvation and exhaustion under military patrol.  

Turkey's Out of Sight, Out of mind policy on the 1915 genocide.

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