(armeniangenocide100.org) Peoples’ Democratic Congress of Turkey (HDK) issued Wednesday, December 9, a statement addressed to the Turkish state on the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime, Armenpress reports citing Demokrathaber.net.
Signed by HDK Co-spokespersons Sebahat Tuncel and Ertuğrul Kürkçü, the statement calls on Turkey to face its own history and apologize for perpetrating the Armenian Genocide.
“The genocide of Armenians and Assyrians committed in 1915 under the command of İttihat ve Terakki (Committee of Union and Progress) aimed to eliminate the ethnic and religious identities of Ottoman Armenians,” the HDK statement reads to further stress that the Genocide started with the arrest and deportation of Istanbul’s Armenian intellectuals on April 24, 1915.
“After 100 years, Turkey continues to deny the Genocide,” the statement says.
The authors noted that what happened to Armenians was followed by more acts of genocide.
“Peoples’ Democratic Congress reminds that Turkey is among the states that have signed the international convention on prevention of genocides. We call on Turkey to stop denying the Armenian and Assyrian genocides and apologize for crimes committed against the Ottoman nations,” the statement concludes.
(asbarez.com) PARIS—France’s National Assembly Thursday voted to send a bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide, introduced by Valérie Boyer, back to the Justice Commission, which had discussed the measure on November 25.
The majority of the parliament members who took turns to speak supported the measure with 26 votes cast in favor and 12 against the measure.
“It is time for France to take the responsibility which it has in the protection of democracy. I hope that Parliament members will be united during the vote on draft,” Boyer said in her opening remarks.
The Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF) issued a statement thanking Boyer for her leadership, adding that the majority support from legislators is proof that the view is largely shared within the National Assembly.
The CCAF said that it expected the ruling party, as well as all human rights activists to take the lead and declare unacceptable the denial of the Armenian Genocide set legal punitive guidelines.
The group also said that French President Francois Hollande must be held accountable to his earlier promises of support for such a measure and will move swiftly for its adoption as law.
A bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide was adopted by the French Parliament’s lower house on December 22, 2011 and its upper house—the Senate—on January 23, 2012. However; it was declared unconstitutional by France’s highest judicial body, the Constitutional Council, on February 29, 2012.
(armeniangenocide100.org) Parliament of Aragon, Spain, adopted Wednesday, December 2, a declaration recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide.
Introduced by MP Gregorio Briz Sánchez, the document pays homage to the over 1.5 million Armenian victims killed by the Ottoman Empire and calls on all Turkish institutions, including the government, to acknowledge the historical fact.
In addition, the text pays tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in a spirit of solidarity and European justice. It underlines that the European Union should make genocide prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity a top priority.
The resolution calls also on the government of Turkey to use the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide centenary as an opportunity to recognize it, open its archives and choose the path of reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian people. It also highlights that a growing number of Turkish intellectuals, politicians and members of civil society have acknowledged the Armenian Genocide and encourages Turkish institutions to do the same.
“It is very encouraging to see that this year, not only the European, but also member states and regional parliaments have adopted resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” Eduardo Lorenzo Ochoa, director of European Friends of Armenia said. “I believe that the move sends a strong message to Turkey, suggesting Europe is waiting for them to recognize their history.”
The text further calls on Spain to ensure Turkey keeps its promise to protect and preserve the Armenian cultural heritage on its territory and have a more active role in facilitating reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey.
Aragon is the fifth region in Spain to recognize the Armenian Genocide, following the Basque Country, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Navarre.
As a reminder, the Armenian Genocide has been officially recognized by the city councils of the Spanish towns of Mislata, Burjassot, Betera, San Sebastian, Xirivella, Pinto, Santa Margarita, Manises, Silla, Aldaia and Alzira.
Below is the text of the declaration, in Spanish.
Declaración institucional adoptada por el Pleno de las Cortes de Aragón, en sesión celebrada los días 2 y 3 de diciembre de 2015, con motivo del centenario del genocidio armenio.
Boletín Oficial de las Cortes de Aragón n°:32 (IX Legislatura) PDF
PRESIDENCIA DE LAS CORTES DE ARAGÓN
La Mesa de las Cortes de Aragón y la Junta de Portavoces, en sesión conjunta celebrada los días 2 y 3 de diciembre de 2015, mediante acuerdo unánime, elevan al Pleno de la Cámara una propuesta de declaración institucional con motivo del centenario del genocidio armenio.
Las Cortes de Aragón, en sesión plenaria celebrada los días 2 y 3 de noviembre de 2015, han aprobado la siguiente
Las Cortes de Aragón, vistas la Convención de las Naciones Unidas para la Prevención y la Sanción del Delito de Genocidio, de 1948; las resoluciones del Parlamento Europeo, de 18 de junio de 1987, sobre una solución política del problema armenio, y de 12 de marzo de 2015, sobre el Informe anual sobre los derechos humanos y la democracia en el mundo (2013) y la política de la Unión Europea al respecto; el Protocolo sobre el Establecimiento de Relaciones Diplomáticas entre la República de Armenia y la República de Turquía y el Protocolo sobre el Desarrollo de las Relaciones entre la República de Armenia y la República de Turquía, firmados en Zúrich el 10 de octubre de 2009, y la declaración realizada el 12 de abril de 2015 por Su Santidad el Papa Francisco, y considerando:
— que 2015 marca el centenario del genocidio armenio perpetrado en el Imperio Otomano;
— que un número cada vez mayor de Estados miembros y Parlamentos nacionales reconoce el genocidio armenio perpetrado en el Imperio Otomano;
— que entre las principales motivaciones del movimiento de unificación europea figura la voluntad de evitar que se vuelvan a producir guerras y crímenes contra la humanidad en Europa;
— que Turquía y Armenia han iniciado un proceso de normalización diplomática y que, en 2009, firmaron en Zúrich protocolos sobre el establecimiento y el desarrollo de relaciones, y
— que es sumamente importante mantener viva la memoria del pasado, puesto que no puede haber reconciliación sin verdad y sin memoria:
1. Rinden homenaje, en el año del centenario, a la memoria del millón y medio de víctimas armenias inocentes que perecieron en el Imperio Otomano; se unen a la conmemoración del centenario del genocidio armenio en un espíritu de solidaridad y justicia europeas, y piden a la instituciones españolas y europeas que se sumen a la conmemoración.
2. Recuerdan las Resoluciones del Parlamento Europeo de 18 de junio de 1987 y de 15 de abril de 2015, en las que, entre otras cosas, reconocía que los trágicos acontecimientos que tuvieron lugar entre 1915 y 1917 contra los armenios en el territorio del Imperio Otomano representan un genocidio, según la definición de la Convención para la Prevención y la Sanción del Delito de Genocidio de 1948; condenan todos los casos de crímenes contra la humanidad y genocidio, y lamentan profundamente cualquier intento de negarlos.
3. Rinden homenaje a la memoria de las víctimas inocentes de todos los genocidios y crímenes perpetrados contra la humanidad; acogen con satisfacción la Resolución de la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas de 11 de septiembre de 2015, que establece el 9 de diciembre como el Día Internacional de la Conmemoración y la Dignidad de las Víctimas del Crimen de Genocidio y de la Prevención de este Crimen, a fin de recordar, una vez más, el derecho de todas las personas y de todas las naciones del mundo a la paz y la dignidad.
4. Celebran que en Turquía un creciente número de intelectuales, líderes de la sociedad civil e incluso políticos reconocen el genocidio armenio, e instan a las instituciones turcas a seguir su ejemplo y reconocer dicho hecho histórico.
5. Subrayan que la prevención oportuna y el castigo efectivo de los genocidios y los crímenes contra la humanidad deberían figurar entre las principales prioridades de la comunidad internacional y de la Unión Europea.
6. Toman nota de las declaraciones del presidente de la República de Turquía, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, y del primer ministro de la República de Turquía, Ahmet Davutoglu, en las que expresan sus condolencias y reconocen las atrocidades cometidas contra los armenios otomanos; animan a Turquía a aprovechar la conmemoración del centenario del genocidio armenio como una oportunidad importante para proseguir sus esfuerzos —incluida la desclasificación de los archivos— por asumir su pasado, reconocer el genocidio armenio y, de esta manera, allanar el camino para una verdadera reconciliación entre los pueblos turco y armenio.
7. Elogian el mensaje pronunciado por Su Santidad el Papa Francisco para honrar el centenario del genocidio armenio el 12 de abril de 2015 con un espíritu de paz y reconciliación.
8. Piden al Gobierno de España que se dirija al Gobierno de Turquía para que respete y lleve plenamente a la práctica las obligaciones que ha contraído para proteger el patrimonio cultural, y, en particular, que lleve a cabo de buena fe un inventario completo del patrimonio cultural armenio o de otro origen destrozado o dañado durante el siglo pasado bajo su jurisdicción.
9. Piden al Gobierno de España que se dirija a los Gobiernos de Armenia y de Turquía para que tomen como ejemplo las reconciliaciones que se han producido con éxito entre las naciones europeas y se centren en una agenda que ponga en primer lugar la cooperación entre los pueblos; confían en que esto contribuirá a la reconciliación histórica del pueblo armenio y el pueblo turco en un espíritu de verdad y respeto; respaldan las iniciativas de la sociedad civil emprendidas entre Turquía y Armenia para avanzar en la normalización de las relaciones; instan a Turquía y a Armenia a normalizar sus relaciones, ratificando y aplicando, sin condiciones previas, los protocolos sobre el establecimiento de relaciones diplomáticas, abriendo la frontera y mejorando activamente sus relaciones, con especial hincapié en la cooperación transfronteriza y la integración económica.
10. Acuerdan transmitir la presente Resolución al Consejo de Europa, a la Comisión Europea, a la Vicepresidenta de la Comisión/Alta Representante de la Unión para Asuntos Exteriores y Política de Seguridad, a los Gobiernos y Parlamentos de los Estados miembros, al Gobierno y al Parlamento de la República de Armenia, y al Gobierno y al Parlamento de la República de Turquía.
(panarmenian.net) Italy’s L’Aquila City Council has recognized the Armenian Genocide on November 26.
In a letter to Armenia’s Embassy to Italy and the Union of Armenians of the country, L’Aquila City Mayor Massimo Cialente stated that the Council recognizes the Genocide and expresses solidarity with the Armenian people in support of historical truth and protection of human rights.
(hayernaysor.am) The city of Alzira of the Valencia region joined 11 cities of Spain and officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, reports Valencia’s Ararat Armenian Association to Hayern Aysor.
During a November 25 session of Alzira City Council, all five political parties (“Compromis”, the Socialist, People’s, “Lefts Union” and “Ciudadanos”) unanimously voted in favor of the resolution submitted by Ararat Armenian Association, viewing the first slaughter of the 20th century as genocide and condemning Turkey’s policy of denial.
During a meeting prior to the session, Mayor Diego Gomez had promised the members of the Armenian association to address the resolution to other governments and especially the Parliaments of Valencia and Spain. This meeting, which was attended by President of Ararat Armenian Association Ararat Ghukasyan and members Sergey Ghaghramanyan and Arsen Abasyan, was made possible by the latter.
Among those attending the city council session were representatives of the local Armenian community. Before the resolution was put up for a vote, President Ararat Ghukasyan briefly talked about the causes and effects of the Armenian Genocide, the historic significance of the day, as well as the need and importance for all state structures to recognize the crime that Turkey committed. Afterwards, Ghukasyan donated the Forget-Me-Not badge symbolizing the 100th year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide to Diego Gomez, urging him to never forget and to continue the struggle until its logical termination.
After the vote, first-year student of Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory and violinist Edmond Hovhannisyan performed Komitas’s “Krunk” for the city council members and the attendees and received warm rounds of applause.
And so, Alzira became the 12th city of the Kingdom of Spain to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Who’s next?
Marking the anniversary of 100 years since the Armenian Genocide, the European Green Party expresses its’ solidarity with the Armenian people and calls for action towards an historical rectification, bilateral reconciliation, and firm action against hatred and all forms of violence.
We acknowledge that the bloodshed that was conducted by the Ottoman state against the Armenian people, during 1915-1923, constituted a genocide according to the meaning of the convention on the prevention and the punishment of crimes of genocide, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1948. The structural and well planned violence conducted by the Ottoman state brought death to an estimated 1.5 million ethnic Armenians. We want to express additional mourning to the destruction of whole communities, cultural heritage and interethnic society committed at the time. This is about not forgetting and commemorating the victims, Assyrian and Pontiac Greeks, numbering over a million fallen. We must not neglect that this tragic campaign included severe torture, rape, and destruction of families, communities’ structures and displacement.
We also acknowledge the tacit complacency as well as support that states that are now Member States of the EU have given to the Ottoman Empire. We especially recognize that the German Kaiserreich shared responsibility for the genocide. As a close military ally of the Ottoman Empire, it knew about the massacres but decided not to intervene and even prevented related information from spreading in the public.
Denial of the Genocide by the Turkish state and prorogation of recognition by other states, not only keeps the Armenian community further from historical settlement and having their own history, but also adversely affects true reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia and moreover weakens actions against new waves of violence.
Henceforth we commend the Turkish citizens who are strongly and fearlessly committed to the recognition of the Armenian genocide and who stand up to the State propaganda and censorship.
The EGP urges the EU Member states and the European states that have not yet done so, to open the political process to recognise and condemn the Genocide, followed by the respective Act.
-‐ We deem that it’s of the utmost importance that the Turkish government recognises the Genocide and conducts acts of moral and historical rehabilitation towards the Armenians.
-‐ We call upon the Government of Turkey to offer its official apologies to the Armenian state and diaspora.
-‐ We call upon the Government of Turkey to immediately abolish Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code that among other things
censors political and public debate on the genocide issue and to acquit all those who were imprisoned or fined under this article.
-‐ Seeing it as an investment in a common future and cooperation, we call upon the Turkish government and civil society to re-evaluate historical and cultural narratives and thoroughly eliminate hatred from them.
-‐ Additionally, the Turkish Government should take the necessary steps to open all archives and invest in opportunities for historians, academics and researchers to engage in a transparent debate and come to terms with its past.
-‐ We urge the Government of Turkey to respect and include the Armenian cultural heritage within State borders within Acts of Protection and Development of Cultural Heritage.
-‐ Finally, the current regime in Turkey must admit that failing to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide and invest in reconciliation until today gave cause to rhetoric of violence and fear and gave legitimacy to perpetrators
-‐ We urge governments of both countries to establish diplomatic relations without any precondition with utmost priority of opening shared border.
-‐ We urge the German government to recognize unequivocally the responsibility that the German Kaiserreich carried with regard to the Armenian genocide and to provide substantial financial and other support for efforts to research and commemorate the
Armenian genocide. We urge the governments of Germany and of all EU member states to anchor the history of the Armenian genocide both in their respective national and in the European culture of remembrance.
As Europeans and as Greens, we believe that everyone’s right to their own history, culture and identity needs to be respected. The European Greens acknowledge the Armenian genocide and pay due respect to its victims as a first step towards historical reparation.
(panarmenian.net) – The Italian region of Abruzzo on Tuesday, October 27 passed a bill to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
According to Armenia’s Foreign Ministry, in a resolution adopted unanimously, the regional council expressed its solidarity with the Armenian people on the big tragedy’s centennial, thus supporting the nation-wide efforts towards the recognition of historical truth and the protection of human rights.
Council member Luciano Monticelli hailed the move, describing it as a remarkable historic achievement.
“Today, we wrote a very nice chapter in our region’s political history, unanimously adopting this resolution,” he said.
The Abuzzo regional council is the 99th Italian local government body to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
DATO ATTO della non partecipazione al voto del consigliere Monaco;
Nel testo che di seguito si trascrive
«IL CONSIGLIO REGIONALE
– nel 2015 ricorre il centenario del genocidio del popolo Armeno;
– la comunità Armena di Roma ha richiesto a tutte le istituzioni un atto ufficiale di riconoscimento del genocidio del popolo Armeno in occasione delle commemorazioni del centenario di tale tragedia;
– è meritevole sensibilizzare la cittadinanza sul genocidio del popolo Armeno avvenuto nel 1915 ad opera del governo Turco dell’epoca. Nel corso di questa autentica operazione di pulizia etnica un milione e mezzo di uomini, donne, bambini ed anziani furono deportati e massacrati per il solo fatto di appartenere ad una minoranza di razza, religione e cultura diverse da quella Turca;
– il genocidio armeno fu precursore di quello purtroppo ben più famoso dell’olocausto ebraico ma fu coperto da una immensa coltre di silenzio e di indifferenza da parte delle potenze occidentali. Solo dopo la fine della seconda guerra mondiale il coraggio e la dedizione di alcuni intellettuali di origine armena hanno permesso di iniziare a far luce su una delle più grandi tragedie del XX secolo;
– ancora oggi il genocidio armeno viene negato ufficialmente dal governo Turco e rimane uno degli ostacoli principali all’ingresso della Turchia nella UE;
– attestati di solidarietà e mozioni di riconoscimento del genocidio armeno sono stati approvati in molti Comuni e Regioni italiane;
– tale dramma storico è stato riconosciuto come genocidio dalla Commissione per i crimini di guerra dell’Organizzazione delle Nazioni Unite (ONU) nel 1948, dalla Sottocommissione per la promozione e la protezione dei diritti umani dell’ONU (1985 e 1986), dal Parlamento Europeo nel 1987 e nel 2000, dal Parlamento Italiano (da tutti i gruppi parlamentari) in data 17 novembre 2000 e finanche dalla stessa Corte marziale ottomana nel 1919;
– il Tribunale permanente dei popoli ha riconosciuto, fra l’altro, che “lo sterminio delle popolazioni armene, con la deportazione e il massacro, costituisce un crimine imprescrittibile di genocidio ai sensi della convenzione del 9/12/1948 per la prevenzione e repressione del crimine di genocidio”;
– recentemente, il Primo ministro del governo Turco ha offerto le sue condoglianze “ai nipoti degli Armeni uccisi nel 1915” ed auspicato che “gli Armeni che hanno perso la vita nelle circostanze dell’inizio del XX secolo riposino in pace”;
– il genocidio è il più feroce e disumano fra i crimini, in quanto tende all’eliminazione di tutto un popolo, della sua identità, della sua cultura, della sua storia e della sua religione;
– la necessità che l’opinione pubblica approfondisca il dramma del popolo Armeno, affinché tali tragedie della storia siano di monito, soprattutto alle giovani generazioni;
la propria piena solidarietà al popolo Armeno in occasione del centenario del “Grande Male” e nella sua battaglia per la verità storica e per la difesa dei diritti umani.
– la più ampia diffusione della presente risoluzione affinché, l’intera cittadinanza abruzzese sia partecipe del sentimento di solidarietà verso il popolo Armeno;
– di comunicare il presente atto al Consiglio per la Comunità Armena di Roma, affinché la Direzione del memoriale del genocidio della capitale armena Yerevan inserisca il Consiglio regionale dell’Abruzzo nella lista dei “Giusti” per la Memoria del Metz Yeghern (il Grande Male), insieme a tutte le altre istituzioni che hanno adottato simili risoluzioni».
(asbarez.com) — The Jewish public policy umbrella called on the U.S. government to recognize the World War I-era Turkish massacres of Armenians as a genocide, a reversal of years of the Jewish community treading delicately around the issue.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs at its annual meeting last week called on Jewish community organizations to lobby Congress and the White House to formally recognize the Armenian genocide. A JCPA spokesman on Wednesday confirmed that the resolution was the umbrella group’s first recognition of the Armenian genocide.
The Reform movement has called the massacres a genocide, but many other organizations have resisted such moves.
The JCPA decision, arrived at through consensus, reverses decades of Jewish groups opposing any such recognition, largely to placate Turkey, Israel’s closest ally in the region until the last decade. Key pro-Israel groups, including the Anti-Defamation League and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, had lobbied against such recognition.
The deterioration in Turkey-Israel relations since Israel’s war against Hamas in the 2009 Gaza War — Turkey backed Hamas — has all but ended lobbying by pro-Israel groups on behalf of Turkey. But because calling the massacres a genocide has precipitated crises between Turkey and other nations, until now there has been little appetite for actively supporting such a recognition.
The resolution calls for the Jewish community to work with Armenian-American groups to advance recognition of the genocide.
“We must not let the politics of the moment, or the U.S. government’s relationship with Turkey, sway our moral obligation to recognize the suffering of the Armenian people,” it says.
Historians and scholars tell us that the Armenian people were the victims of the first genocide of the twentieth century at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, the predecessors of modern-day Turkey. Approximately 1.5 million Armenians were killed or expelled from their homes and deported. The year 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide. The government of Turkey has, to this day, refused to acknowledge such genocide took place.
The Armenian Genocide is a distant memory in the minds of the children of survivors. However, there is abundant documentation of the atrocities, particularly by former U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau. Nevertheless, Hitler stated in 1939, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
The Jewish communities, as the targets of one of the worst genocides of the twentieth century, have a bond with the Armenian people here in the United States and abroad. We have a moral obligation to work toward recognition of the genocide perpetrated against the Armenian people.
The word genocide was coined just prior to the end of World War II, and the word Holocaust did not come into common usage to describe what happened to the Jews until after WWII. However, the term “genocide” may be attributed to atrocities that meet the definition of genocide after they have taken place.
The U.S. government has yet to name what happened to the Armenian people for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is the fear that doing so will hurt our relationship with Turkey. Turkey spans the east and west. The United States needs Turkey’s permission to fly over its territory and for support services in the United States’ activities in Iraq, its attempts to keep Iran in check, and to fight ISIS.
After 100 years, it is time for the U.S. to face facts and acknowledge that what happened in 1915 and in subsequent years was genocide.
Since at least 1951 there have been numerous references by U.S. government officials, Congress, and previous presidents to what happened to the Armenians as genocide. These have often been during events held in commemoration of the anniversary of the start of the genocide. But efforts to pass a House resolution officially recognizing it have failed, often as a result of lobbying on behalf of Turkey.
President Barack Obama, as a senator, pledged to support congressional resolutions to recognize the Armenian Genocide. As a presidential candidate, he once again promised to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Yet once he became president, political realities prevented such a move.
At this time, some 23 foreign countries, a number of world organizations, and 44 U.S. states have recognized the genocide that took place against the Armenian people. The Union for Reform Judaism, Anti-Defamation League, and American Jewish Committee have previously taken positions recognizing the genocide, as well as some U.S. church groups.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs believes:
· The Jewish people have asked the world to bear witness to the Holocaust. As we say Never Again, we must likewise bear witness to other people’s genocide and say Never Again.
· We suffer greatly from efforts to minimize our own suffering and experience of genocide and we have a moral responsibility, as Jews, to name it in others’ experience.
· We must not let the politics of the moment, or the U.S. government’s relationship with Turkey, sway our moral obligation to recognize the suffering of the Armenian people.
· We call upon our the Congress and the President to officially recognize what started in 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, and resulted in the killing and deportation of approximately 1.5 million Armenians, as the Armenian Genocide.
The community relations field should:
· Consult and work with the national Armenian organizations to further the goal of U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
· Consult and work with the major Jewish organizations to raise awareness of the issue and gain their support in working to gain U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
· Consult and work with our interfaith coalition partners to further the aim of U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
· Urge our congressional representatives to support resolutions in Congress that call for the United States to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
· Call upon the President to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
(Public radio of Armenia) In a letter addressed to Norbert Lammert, President of the German Bundestag, Norbert Röttgen, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag, and the heads of two factions, the International Association of Genocide Scholars urges Germany to recognize the Genocide of Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in the Ottoman Empire. The letter reads:
“We write to you as the past presidents of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the largest body of scholars who study genocide, concerning the resolution on the Armenian genocide that may be before you now.
The German government’s engagement with the Armenian genocide is vitally important to the international perspective in the aftermath of this history. The German Bundestag’s non-binding resolution of June 2005 concerning the annihilation of the Armenians in Turkey provides an important context for the new proposal that is now being considered in the Foreign Committee of the Bundestag.
In order for progress toward reconciliation to be made between Turkey and the Armenian Republic and the Armenian people, acknowledgement of the historical facts about one of the most devastating human rights atrocities of the modern era must be made. As the Bundestag noted in 2005. “The German Bundestag is painfully aware from its own national experience how hard it is for every people to face the dark sides of its past. But it also believes that facing one’s own history fairly and squarely is necessary and constitutes an important basis for reconciliation.”
Furthermore, the 2005 resolution read: “The German Bundestag honors and commemorates the victims of violence, murder and expulsion among the Armenian people before and during the First World War. The Bundestag deplores the deeds of the Young Turkish government in the Ottoman Empire that resulted in the almost total annihilation of the Armenians in Anatolia. It also deplores the inglorious role played by the German Reich which had made no attempt to intervene and stop these atrocities.”
In the centennial year, the opinions of Pope Francis I, the governments of Austria, Brazil, Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as the European Parliament, were significant and have joined 20 other countries (including France, Russia, Poland, Greece, Sweden) that have called for Turkey to deal with its Armenian past honestly. The front page New York Times headline of April 17, 2015 underscored the importance of this ethical issue: “A Century After A Genocide, Turkey’s Denial Only Deepens.”
The outpouring of world opinion in the spring of 2015 underscored the moral importance of official acknowledgement of the Ottoman government’s genocide because its successor state, the Republic of Turkey, continues to carry on an aggressive campaign of denial and falsification of the historical facts. Not only has there been no restitution, but Turkey’s campaign to pressure foreign governments and institutions (museums, school boards, media) to disallow the representations of the Armenian genocide is a violation of sovereign democratic rights and is ethically deplorable.
German documents on the Armenian genocide are an important part of the historical record. The documentary scholarship of Johannes Lepsius , the collection of eyewitness photographs of Armin T. Wegner, the eyewitness accounts of numerous German diplomats, officers, missionaries, nurses, engineers and railway workers, and the massive collection of German diplomatic correspondence in the archives of the German Foreign Office, and in Wolfgang Gust’s major collection of foreign office records: The Armenian Genocide: Evidence from the German Foreign Office Archives, 1915–1916, all constitute a significant part of the international historical record.
Germany, more than any country in the 20th century, has dealt with the aftermath of genocide with exemplary courage and moral reckoning. Germany has been a world leader in its ability to face its past, create a powerful culture of historical memory and deal with issues of recompense and social justice in the wake of the Holocaust. Thus, a statement from Germany affirming the historical facts and historical record of the Ottoman Turkish genocide against more than 3 million Christians—including more than a million Armenians according to the estimate of the German Embassy in Constantinople in October, 1916—would have great moral significance for this centennial moment.
We call on German legislators in this centennial year of 2015 to officially resolve in written form the forceful legal opinions made by speakers of all parliamentary factions on, April 24, 2015, confirming the genocide against the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek populations of the Ottoman Empire. We believe German leadership will help Turkey to address its own struggles with historical memory and will help support progressive forces inside Turkey, and Turkey’s forward progress as a proud nation.”
(armeniangenocide100.org) The City Council of the Italian town of Ivrea, Piemonte region, unanimously recognized the Armenian Genocide on its October 12 session, according to press and information department of the Armenian Foreign Ministry.
The statement indicates that by recognizing the historical fact the City Council offers it support to the Armenian nation and to the efforts in protecting its rights.
The honorable guests of the session included Armenian writer and director Vazgen Berberyan and representatives of the National Association of the Italian Partisans (ANPI).
The City Council expressed hopes that the European Parliament would take steps to make European Union candidate Turkey officially recognize and condemn the Armenian Genocide.