A blanket of “denial” about the Armenian Genocide – the Turkish Ottomans’ staggering crime against humanity – hangs over what historians now widely describe as the first modern genocide. The national powers of the day took little action to avert the Ottoman atrocities against Armenians and other Christian minorities before, during and after the First World War.
Even today only 32 countries officially recognise the Armenian Genocide including Chile, France, Germany, Russia and Syria. In 2019, the US Congress voted to recognise the Armenian Genocide, to the anger of their NATO ally Turkey, but the Trump Administration disagreed after President Erdogan threatened to close down an air base in Turkey that is hosting US nuclear weapons.
The UK has yet to recognise the Armenian Genocide, although the parliaments of Wales and Scotland have voted in favour of doing so. The Australian states of New South Wales and South Australia have recognised it, but not Australia
as a whole. New Zealand has
not recognised the genocide; nor
has Israel. Turkey continues to deny
the genocide and has made it illegal to even use the term “Armenian Genocide”.
More than ever, the
genocide’s warning from
history must be heeded
Today, a century later, this issue is again of urgent concern. A short but bloody conflict flared up in September 2020 when Azerbaijan, supported by Turkey, attacked civilian communities in Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh, raising the spectre of renewed anti-Christian atrocities.
Thousands of Armenians were killed in a few brief weeks of battle, and some 90,000 fled their homes, as hostile forces, including jihadi mercenaries, overran the enclave within Azerbaijan. Some were killed by having their throats cut, just like a century ago under the Ottoman Empire.
An uneasy ceasefire halted the fighting, with Azerbaijan retaining the territory it had taken from the Armenian inhabitants of Nagorno-Karabakh. But in November Azerbaijani ceasefire violations saw eleven Armenian POWs killed, 70 soldiers captured and four Armenian villages taken.
Will there be another Armenian Genocide?
Since Azerbaijan’s victory in November 2020, there have been Azerbaijani threats against the country of Armenia itself, the world’s oldest Christian nation. Armenians fear the conquest of their homeland and another genocide while national powers turn a blind eye.
Between 1893 and 1923, some 1.5 million Armenians died in the Ottoman Empire in a policy of extermination of Christian minorities. In addition some 2.25 million Assyrian, Greek and Syriac Christians were also killed within Ottoman territories between 1914 and 1923, making a total of 3.75 million Christians killed.
Historians and scholars agree that Turkey’s murderous policy was state-sanctioned and directed against Christians. Some Christians were spared death, but only if they converted to Islam.
Immediately after World War One, few Turks in Anatolia (now western Turkey) publicly doubted that Armenians had suffered atrocities that were extreme even by the standards of that terrible war.
Sign our petition for recognition of the Armenian Genocide – and a second one may be averted.
Please join with us and sign the petition to the UK government and encourage family, friends and others to follow your example. You are welcome to photocopy it.
This petition can be downloaded from: https://www.barnabasaid.org/za/armenian-genocide