Wednesday, April 24, 2019


.... Today, on the 104th anniversary of the beginning of the genocide, we should remember the Armenians — and not forget the disgraceful denial of the genocide by the modern Turkish state.

In 1915, some two million Armenians lived in Ottoman Turkey, three-quarters of them in six provinces of eastern Anatolia, on the borders of Russia and Persia. By 1918, 90 percent were gone. An estimated one-and-a-half million were murdered in their towns and villages, or killed by disease, starvation, and death marches into camps in the Syrian desert, where the last survivors were massacred. Hundreds of thousands of women and children were forced to convert to Islam; tens of thousands more fled to the Russian Caucasus as refugees.

The genocide of 1915 was the worst instance of the massacres that accompanied the weakening of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of nationalism among its subjects. The pattern in the blood-soaked carpet includes the indiscriminate killing of thousands of Greek Christians in 1822, as recorded in Delacroix’s Massacre at Chois; the ingenious and varied sadism of the ‘Bulgarian Horrors’ of 1876; and the killing of some 100,000 Anatolian Armenians in 1894-96, which was described by the New York Times as a ‘holocaust’ — probably the first time the term was used to describe the attempted annihilation of a people. Nor was the Armenian genocide the last mass slaughter in the fall of the Ottomans. In 1922, an estimated 500-750,000 Greek Christians were killed, and the remainder of Turkey’s historic Greek population expelled.

To this day, the Turkish government claims that there was no Armenian genocide, and that what happened was the Armenians’ fault. .... (more)

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