The State of Rio de Janeiro recognizes the Armenian Genocide

( The State of Rio de Janeiro recognized the Armenian Genocide on Friday, July 24 through a law that establishes all April 24 as “Day of recognition and memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide”.

The law was enacted by the governor of Rio de Janeiro, Luiz Fernando Pezão.

Rio de Janeiro is the fourth State in Brazil that recognizes the Genocide, along with Parana, Ceara and Sao Paulo. Months ago, the Brazilian Senate passed a vote of solidarity with the Armenian people for the centenary of crime against humanity.

Belgian Chamber of Deputies Recognises the Armenian Genocide

(EAFJD) Brussels, 23 July, 2015: Today, the deputies at the plenary session of the Chamber of Deputies of Belgium with an overwhelming majority voted for the resolution recognising the Armenian Genocide.

After yesterday’s passionate debate in the plenary session, where all party representatives in their speeches condemned the Genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey and stressed the need for Turkey to recognise the Armenian Genocide, and by today’s resolution, Belgium’s both Parliaments (Senate, 1998) and the federal government (June 2015) have now recognised the Armenian Genocide. The Flemish Parliament has also recognised the Armenian Genocide on 22 April, 2015.

Mr. Peter De Roover (N-VA) was the first to speak. He showed his solidarity with the Armenian people, by wearing the ‘forget-me-not’ commemorative pin of the centenary of the Genocide. He called on the Turkish authorities to recognise the Armenian Genocide and to stop the denial policy. Stephane Crusnière of the Socialist Party said that his party has always recognised the Armenian Genocide.

Mr. Denis Ducarme (MR) mentioned the fact that from this very podium on June 18th the Belgian Prime Minister Mr. Charles Michel recognised the Armenian Genocide in the name of the Belgian government. Mrs. Sarah Claerhout (CD&V) noted that this resolution is a call to Turkey to intensify its efforts to recognise the Armenian Genocide; Mr. Benoit Helling (Ecolo-green) in his turn, reminded that there is a historic consensus on the issue and a political recognition is needed, as well.

Mr. Dallemagne (CDH) in his speech made a long historic review of the Genocide against the Armenian and the rest of minorities of the Ottoman Empire. He also reminded the fact that genocides are still going on today, 100 years after Armenians were butchered. Jan Penris (VB) called on the Turkish government to recognise the reality of the‪ Armenian Genocide; Olivier Maingain (FDF) said, that it’s time to be brave & recognise ‪ the crime of Genocide against Armenians, he also mentioned Jean Jaures, Orhan Pamuk, and Hrant Dink.

Marco Van Hees (PTB-GO) said that Turkish leftist, progressive parties recognize the ‪ ‎Armenian Genocide and believe this is the way forward. He also mentioned, that by doing so, Belgium will gain credibility. Dirk Van Der Maelen (sp.a) stressed the need to be precise and use the proper terminology and include all victims of ‪‎Genocides.

During the debate there were calls that this resolution will assist in the dialogue between Turks and Armenians as well as this resolution is in support to the progressive, democratic forces in Turkey. It was repeatedly said that this resolution is not against the current Turkish people, but against the Turkish state denial policy.

‘We welcome this resolution in the Chamber today, by which the Belgian state recognises the Armenian Genocide by its government and both chambers of the parliament’, said Mr. Kaspar Karampetian, president of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD). ‘On the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, we have seen more and more countries recognising the historic fact of the Genocide committed by Ottoman Turkey. This is another clear message to Turkey that Genocide denial has no place in Europe and Turkey needs to reconcile with its past sooner or later. This resolution of the Belgian Chamber will also put an end to the denial rhetoric in Belgium”, noted Karampetian, and concluded saying, that this resolution was also in part the result of well-coordinated efforts of the Republic of Armenia Embassy, the Armenian National Committee of Belgium, as well as the Committee of Armenians of Belgium and AGBU Europe.


An overwhelming majority of historians as well as academics on Holocaust and Genocide Studies recognise the Armenian Genocide. As of today, the governments of 28 countries, including Russia, Brazil, France, Austria and Canada as well as 43 states of the USA have recognised the Genocide. The governments of Turkey and Azerbaijan continue to deny the Armenian Genocide.

Armenian Museum of Fresno Releases Eye-Witness Accounts of Genocide in New Book

( FRESNO—The Armenian Museum of Fresno is proud to release The Cry of the Tormented, a book comprised of more than 300 letters written by Armenians during 1915-1918 who were facing atrocities, starvation, deportation, murder, and annihilation. These letters were written to relatives and friends across the world, including those who settled in Fresno and across the United States. First published in Armenian in 1922, it is now available on-line in English and Russian. The project is ongoing and German, Turkish, and French editions are forthcoming with even more translations to follow.

On Thursday, May 21 at 7 PM, the book was officially presented at a special event held at the University of California Center in Fresno. Armenians and non-Armenians alike—were in attendance for the release and the panel discussion that followed. Bill McEwen Editorial Pages Editor of the Fresno Bee served as the Master of Ceremonies. Opening remarks were made by Varoujan Der Simonian, President of the Board of Directors of the Armenian Museum of Fresno; the panelists were Garo Khachigian, MD, Mary Ellen Hewsen, and Margit Hazarabedian, Ph.D.

( L-R) Top Row: Varoujan Der Simonian, Bill McEwen, Editorial Page Editor of the Fresno Bee, Dr. Garo Khachigian, Dr. Abraham Terian. Bottom Row: Mary Ellen Hewsen, Margit Hazarabedian, Ph.D.
( L-R) Top Row: Varoujan Der Simonian, Bill McEwen, Editorial Page Editor of the Fresno Bee, Dr. Garo Khachigian, Dr. Abraham Terian. Bottom Row: Mary Ellen Hewsen, Margit Hazarabedian, Ph.D.

The Cry of the Tormented is a large volume collected by Bedros Donabedian, a humanitarian worker for Armenian refugees. Although a century has passed since that dark period of Armenian—and, indeed, human—history, many voices of the victims of the Genocide remain unheard. Hundreds of those voices are contained in this book. Thus, the Armenian Museum of Fresno –upon the encouragement of Abraham Terian, Ph.D., who presented the Museum with a copy of the book—undertook a project to translate The Cry of the Tormented into as many languages as possible, to amplify these voices of truth against the suffocating silence of death and denial. In Dr. Terian’s words, “This is yet another centennial memorial by the Fresno Armenians for the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide.”

The letters that make up The Cry of the Tormented are preserved verbatim and edited only for formatting and accessibility to English readers. The rough, peasant vernacular of the original text is present with all of its linguistic and grammatical idiosyncrasies present to the best of the translators’ abilities. As with the original publication, the new translations of The Cry of the Tormented maintain all the experiential and emotional power of its contents by retaining its unedited, extemporaneous form.

The Cry of the Tormented brings the unimaginable horrors of the Armenian Genocide to life in a way that, in the words of the book’s German translator, Margit Hazarabedian, Ph.D., “became personal, became visceral. I was reading, but I saw with my own eyes.” That is the power of these letters. Their contents are so real that they take the discourse on and understanding of the Genocide from the lofty perch of analysis and intellect to an emotionally comprehensible level. Indeed, it is a necessary and important thing to be able to comprehend the incomprehensible in such a way that no one can shut it out, and, moreover, makes it accessible to as many of the world’s people as possible. As English editor, Mary Ellen Hewsen, remarked, “I always understood something of the Armenian Genocide intellectually, analytically, I studied it in school, but it took these letters to teach me emotionally what I missed intellectually.”

The veracity of the letters that make up this book is confirmed and enhanced by the book’s preface. It is “Neither Violets Nor Petals of a Rose”, the last column written for The Fresno Bee by the late Roger Tatarian, Former Vice President and Editor-In-Chief of United Press International and Professor of Journalism at CSU Fresno. Written three days before his passing, the piece reflects upon the letters sent to his father from Bitlis –in what is now Eastern Turkey—by his uncle Simon between 1912 and 1914, and how the contents of the letters described events in the region that foreshadowed the coming massacres and deportation of the Armenian people. Interspersed in those accounts are many messages of hope, wisdom, and faith for the Armenians of Bitlis and Van and for Roger Tatarian’s family struggling to survive in their new home in Fresno. The firsthand presentation of history and hope-against-hope is akin to those in The Cry of the Tormented and further validates them.

What The Cry of the Tormented shows is that the Armenian Genocide is more than just a tragedy; it is a crime against humanity. Through reading this collection of letters, one can see great inhumanity and not divorce oneself from it, and, instead, be engaged in demanding justice for all human beings and making this a world where atrocities against entire nations can no longer take place.

The Armenian Museum of Fresno would like to thank everyone who contributed to this extraordinary project. The first thanks goes to Dr. Abraham Terian who provided the Armenian Museum with original 1922 text and initiated the translation project. “Without him, this book would not have happened,” said Varoujan Der Simonian, Director of the Armenian Museum of Fresno. Next, the Museum acknowledges the time and dedication of the team of scholars who have and continue to put months of emotionally and intellectually taxing work into this project. These incredible volunteers from three generations include Dr. Garo Khachigian, Mary Ellen Hewsen –English edition; Alex McKinsey and Professor Irina Merzakhanian –Russian edition—and Margit Hazarabedian, Ph.D. into German.

In his opening remarks, Der Simonian extended special thanks to Dr. Khachigian and Mary Ellen Hewsen, who are, respectively, the translator and editor of the English edition of The Cry of the Tormented. “Dr. Khachigian is familiar with the complex dialects of Armenian that these letters are written in as it is akin to the language of his grandfather, thus he had the monumental challenge of literally translating the Armenian text that was often mixed with Turkish, Kurdish, and Arabic. Besides being a difficult task, it was also emotionally very demanding,” said Der Simonian. The Cry of the Tormented is more than just a memorial for the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, “our goal is that after 100 years we want their voices to be heard by as many people as possible – it is a call to our collective responsibility to make this world a better place for all human beings to live and let live,” Der Simonian said.

Dr. Terian emphasized the significance of these letters by saying that they are written during the genocide – while the atrocities were actually taking place. He further commented that these letters are not recollections of memories that someone may argue of their validity, but they are the voices of the eyewitnesses, themselves, who are no longer with us.

Dr. Khachigian describes his integral role in this project in his own words, “I am not a translator, but my heart and brain worked as one to the task, with passion. I realized the importance of this task that Varoujan Der Simonian had initiated, and took the challenge to translate into English” Mary Ellen Hewsen, a scholar of political science, especially as it pertains to the study of the Middle East observed in the editing process that “Trying to remain clinical while working was the hardest part,” because of the great trauma depicted in the letters. However, in reflection on her role in the project, she says that “I am humbled, as an odar, to be among so many Armenians.”

The Armenian Museum extends additional thanks to The Fresno Bee. In particular, Executive Editor, Jim Boren and Editorial Pages Editor, Bill McEwen. They were responsible for providing and permitting the use of Roger Tatarian’s “Neither Violets Nor Petals from a Rose” collection of letters that Mr. Tatarian’s father had received from his uncle prior to WWI that were published two weeks before his death in his last column in the Fresno Bee. Mr. McEwen read some of these letters to the audience.

All profits from the sale of The Cry of the Tormented will go to a fund to have hard copies of the translation printed and distributed to schools, libraries, churches, and cultural centers around the United States, with Fresno County as the priority.

Book “Genocide after Genocide” Aims to Fight Cultural Genocide in Turkey

YEREVAN (ARMENPRESS)—The Foundation for Research on Armenian Architecture has published a new book, “Genocide after Genocide”, which it hopes will contribute to the struggle against cultural genocide in Turkey.

Samvel Karapetyan, head of the Foundation for Research on Armenian Architecture (Source: Armenpress)

Samvel Karapetyan, head of the Foundation for Research on Armenian Architecture, described the book as a weapon which can be used to stop the destruction of Armenian cultural monuments and artifacts in Turkey.

In a speech given during the book’s presentation, Karapetyan said that “the work, created by us, aims to inform Armenians and the people of the world about the genocide towards our own monuments in our historical homeland. We thus tear off the Turks’ mask or at least should try to do so by voicing the crimes committed.”

According to Karapetyan, the Minister of Urban Development of Armenia Narek Sargsyan, the Ministry of Culture, Monarch Capital, and the Hayastan Fund all contributed to the creation of the comprehensive volume.

32 of the monuments included in the book can be viewed in a mobile exhibition, which will stop in Yerevan and Brussels.

The Socialist International to take action regarding the Armenian Genocide

On Tuesday, July 6, 2015, the Socialist International Council, meeting in the United Nations headquarters in New York, decided to take action regarding the issue of the Armenian Genocide.

SI Secretary General Luis Ayala informed the Council, that for the last two days the SI leadership has been consulting with the SI member parties from Armenia (ARF-Dashnaktsutyun) and Turkey (CHP, People’s Republican Party) to come to an agreement on the agenda item which was passed on from the last Council meeting in Geneva: “The views of the Socialist International on the issue of the Armenian Genocide, considering its recognition by a number of national parliaments and supranational institutions.”

The ARF delegation comprised of (L-R) SI Vice-President Mario Nalpatian, Armenian Weekly Editor Nanore Barsoumian, ARF Bureau member Giro Manoyan, and ARF Eastern U.S. Central Committee member Aram Hovagimian
The ARF-D delegation comprised of (L-R) SI Vice-President Mario Nalpatian, Armenian Weekly Editor Nanore Barsoumian, ARF Bureau member Giro Manoyan, and ARF Eastern U.S. Central Committee member Aram Hovagimian

Luis Ayala was glad to inform to the Council that an agreement has been reached and he thanked the SI vice-presidents from Armenia (Mario Nalpatian, ARF-D) and Turkey (Umut Oran, CHP) for their contributions to come to an agreement, which is presented to the Council for adoption.

The SI Secretary General said that on the occasion of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, the Socialist International wants to take action and to organize a hearing or a round table discussion with the participation of member parties both from Turkey and Armenia as well as any other willing SI member party, as well as civil societies and intellectuals from both Armenia and Turkey on the following question: “Would Turkish recognition of the Armenian Genocide allow for genuine reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia?”

Luis Ayala went on to say that the conclusions of the discussion will be distributed worldwide and reported to the next Council of the Socialist International.

The SI Council unanimously adopted the decision.

After the adoption of the decision, Giro Manoyan, member of the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun Bureau made the following statement:


Dear Secretary General,
Dear comrades:

We welcome the inclusion of the issue of the Armenian Genocide on the agenda of this SI Council meeting.

We do not consider this issue to be a dispute on a historical event, although that is exactly what the official Turkish policy of denial would want us to believe.

The official Turkish policy of denial is part and parcel of a comprehensive hostile policy against Armenia and the Armenian people being implemented for over a century in Turkey and around the world through different actions, including the illegal land blockade against Armenia for the last 22 years.

I do not wish to go into the historical details of the Armenian Genocide, because there is ample evidence in the archives of not only the countries which were at war with Turkey during World War I, but also in the archives of Turkey’s major wartime ally Germany, and of course in the archives of Turkey itself, even after major clean-ups until the opening of those archives and regardless of the fact that the archives of the armed forces and of the registry of real estate, the cadastre, of that period are still not open.

I want to comment on why should the Socialist International adopt a pro-active position on this issue.

Because that would help in the democratization of Turkey. The international recognition of the Armenian Genocide by different countries and supranational organizations has helped progressive political forces, civil society circles and human rights advocates in Turkey to come to terms with their history by acknowledging the Armenian Genocide and seeking justice for this systematic campaign of destruction of millions of Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and Pontians upon their historical homelands.

The Socialist International should adopt a position on this issue because a number of its member parties, particularly in countries which are NATO allies with Turkey, have adopted a position in favor of recognition of the Armenian Genocide and have done so as an expression of genuine friendship with Turkey to help it come to terms with its own history. Furthermore, the IUSY council and the bureau of the YES recently adopted resolutions on the issue.

Last but not least, the Socialist International should adopt a position on this issue because it has member parties in both Turkey and Armenia and can be helpful in fostering dialogue between them not on the veracity of the Armenian Genocide, but rather on trying to find a just resolution to the Armenian Genocide issue by helping the government of Turkey to stop its policy of denial of this historic fact and to acknowledge its responsibility. By doing so, the Socialist International would be instrumental in efforts for genuine reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia and the Armenian people worldwide in a spirit of truth, respect and justice.

I believe such international positive impact in Turkey on the issue of the Armenian Genocide is the main reason why three of the four main political parties represented in the Turkish parliament, decided to have at least one ethnic Armenian candidate on their lists and now all three of them have ethnic Armenian members of parliament, which is unprecedented during the Republic of Turkey’s history.

In order to be part of these positive developments, the Socialist International should adopt a progressive and pro-active position on the Armenian Genocide.

And the decision made today here is in that direction.


The meeting of the Council of the Socialist International began on Monday, July 5 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The Council addressed matters central to the concerns of our movement and of the international community, including Security, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate change and the forthcoming COP21 summit that is taking place later this year.

The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun delegation was composed of Mario Nalpatian (ARF-D representative to the SI), Giro Manoyan, Aram Hovagimian and Nanore Barsoumian.

The Socialist International is the worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist and labor parties. It currently brings together 170 political parties and organizations from all continents. George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece, is the President of the organization and Luis Ayala, from Chile, is the Secretary General.

In September 1996, the ARF-D rejoined the Socialist International, which it had originally joined in 1907. In 2003, the ARF-D became a full member of the Socialist International, thus becoming the only party in the CIS with such a status. During the XXIII Congress of the Socialist International, ARF-D representative Mario Nalpatian is vice-president of the organization. ARF-D Bureau member is co-chair of the SI Committee for the CIS, the Caucasus and the Black Sea. The ARF-D was recently accepted as observer member of the PES (Party of European Socialists).

The ARF-D Women’s Group is a member of the SIW (Socialist International Women). The youth organization of the ARF-D, the Armenian Youth Federation, is a full member of the IUSY (International Union of Socialist Youth) and the YES (Youth of European Socialists).

See photo album of the SI Council meeting in New York.