Armenian Genocide Centennial Media Coverage Worldwide

April 22, 2015

After Pope Francis spoke about the Armenian Genocide during his mass at the Vatican, and Kim Kardashian paid homage to her Armenian ancestors and laid a wreath at the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, the world started remembering the Armenians and what happened in 1915 in Ottoman Turkey.

Here are some of the news stories from around the world:

The Souls and Stories That Vanished in the Armenian Genocide of 1915
newsweek.com | April 21, 2015

Remembering the Armenian Genocide
newyorker.com | April 21, 2015

Photographing Armenian Lives Around the World
Radio Broadcast: Here & Now, wbur.org | April 21, 2015

After the Armenian Genocide, a Group of Survivors Transform into Assassins
Radio Broadcast: The Leonard Lopate Show, wnyc.org | April 21, 2015

Jews and the Armenian Genocide
The 100th anniversary is the time for Israel to rethink the moral concession it has made by abetting Turkish denial
Tabletmag.com | April 20, 2015

The Kardashian factor and the G-word
A PR battle rages between Turkey and Armenians 100 years after the mass killings
alijazeera.com | April 19, 2015

Turkey’s Willful Amnesia
Opinion: The Editorial Board
nytimes.com | April 17, 2015

How Novel About Armenian Genocide Became Bestseller in Warsaw Ghetto
Jewish Daily Forward (Forward.com) | April 17, 2015

A Century After Armenian Genocide, Turkey’s Denial Only Deepens
nytimes.com | April 16, 2015

When the Pope Calls It Genocide
Radio Broadcast: The Brian Lehrer Show, wnyc.org | April 15, 2015

European Parliament Urges Turkey to Recognize Armenian Genocide
nytimes.com | April 15, 2015

Op-Ed On Armenian genocide, go ahead and offend Turkey
LATimes.com | April 15, 2015

Armenians and Ottoman Turks
nytimes.com | April 15, 2015

Be as brave as Kim Kardashian and the pope, Mr. President: Call the Armenian Genocide a ‘genocide.’ A century after more than 1 million Armenians were killed by the Ottomans, Obama should call this atrocity what it was.
WashingtonPost.com | April 14, 2015

Simon Heffer: Kim Kardashian and Pope Francis left Turkey in PR disaster over Armenian genocide
International Business Times (ibtimes.co.uk) | April 13, 2015

The Kardashians Show Support for Armenia
nytimes.com | April 13, 2015

Pope Angers Turkey by Calling Armenian Genocide a Genocide
Slate.com | April 12, 2015

A New Chapter In The Century-Old Debate Over The Massacre Of Armenians
Radio Broadcast: The Diane Rehm Show, npr.org | April 14, 2015

Interview: ‘Turks and Armenians should escape vicious circle of assertion and denial’
HurriyetDailyNews.com | April 13, 2015

Armenians and Turks in the shadow of 1915
HurriyetDailyNews.com | April 9, 2015

April Marks The Centennial Of Armenian Genocide
Radio Broadcast: National Public Radio (npr.com) | April 8, 2015

Lessons not learned: The Armenian Genocide
Jerusalem Post (jpost.com) | April 8, 2015

Vatican Archives Shed Light on Tragedy of Armenian Genocide
thebostonpilot.com | March 21, 2015

A Century of Silence
A family survives the Armenian genocide and its long aftermath
newyorker.com | January 5, 2015


Armenian Genocide NYC Times Square 2015

April 21, 2015

April 24, 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the day Armenians commemorate as the beginning of the genocide committed by the Ottoman Turks, which claimed the lives of 1.5 million Armenians.

This month there are commemorations being held in cities and towns all over the world.

Date and time for New York City Armenian Genocide Centennial Observation:

Where: Times Square
When: 1:45 PM — Sunday, April 26, 2015

(There will be a Divine Liturgy celebrated by Archbishop Khajag Barsamian at St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral at 10:00 A.M. The cathedral is located at 630 Second Avenue between East 34th Street and East 35th Street. A procession to Times Square will depart at 12 Noon.)

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Astrid Aghajanian survived the Armenian Genocide

June 14, 2012

When we focus on the number, 1,500,000 massacred in the Armenian Genocide, it is easy to lose sight of the individual lives touched by this man-made tragedy. Learning the stories of individuals is a meaningful way to come to know history.

The UK’s Independent published this powerful obituary which honors the life of Helen Astrid ‘Astghig’ Aghajanian, nee Gaidzakian:

Astrid Aghajanian: Survivor of the Armenian genocide who narrowly escaped death
June 14, 2012 | Independent.co.uk

Helen (Astghig/Astrid) Gaidzakian was born in Albistan, Turkey, March 28, 1913. She survived the deportation and massacre of the Armenians during the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. In 1942, she married Gaspar Aghajanian. The Aghajanians had two daughters. Widowed in 2007, Mrs. Aghajanian died in Gloucester May 11, 2012. Read about her life.


97 years after 1915

April 24, 2012

Every April 24th Armenians around the world answer Hitler’s question, “Who remembers the Armenians?” This day is the anniversary of the rounding up, imprisonment, and eventual deportation and murder of Armenian intellectuals in Turkey in 1915.

Ninety-seven years after 1915, Armenians and non-Armenians, world leaders, governments around the world, and more and more Turkish intellectuals condemn the Turkish Government for its choice to actively deny the Armenian Genocide. The Turkish Government’s immoral genocide denial campaign extends beyond its borders. The Turkish Government’s propaganda has insidiously infiltrated the highest levels of many democratic governments, including the United States.

At least one and one half million Armenians (two-thirds of Armenians) died in the Armenian Genocide. Over six million Jews died in the Holocaust. Many believe Hitler was emboldened to carry out his plan to exterminate the Jews because he was inspired by Turkey’s near success with its systematic destruction of the country’s indigenous Armenian population.

Ninety-seven years after 1915 the world community continues to stand by and monitor genocides (e.g. Rwanda, Darfur). An evil dictator such as Syria’s Assad takes license to kill within his country’s borders because he believes he can get away with his crimes.

In a world in which the Iranian President can deny the Holocaust and incite fanatics to wipe Israel off the map, we must look inward and ask ourselves how we allow this behavior. We must vote out government leaders who enable genocide denial and genocidal regimes. We must mean what we say, when we declare “Never Again”.

This blog is dedicated to the memory of every Armenian victim of the massacres, pogroms, mass deportation and genocide committed by the Turkish government.


France’s Senate Passes Armenian Genocide Denial Law!

January 23, 2012

Despite aggressive threats and protests from the Turkish Government, France’s Senate passed a bill outlawing Armenian Genocide denial. In Turkey it is against the law to speak about the Armenian Genocide. Ironically, Turkey’s leaders accused the French of trying to stifle free speech.

France and several other European countries already have laws against Holocaust denial. Webster’s dictionary defines Genocide as “the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group.”

Extensive records documenting the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey, which began on April 24, 1915 and claimed the lives of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians, exist in the archives of governments including the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and Turkey. Many of the world’s countries officially recognize the mass atrocities committed upon Turkey’s minority Armenian Christian population by its then ruling Ottoman Turkish government as genocide.


Yes Turkey, it was Genocide — Vive la France!

December 23, 2011

Yesterday, we received the news from around the world that France’s lower house of Parliament voted to criminalize denial of the Armenian Genocide. Of course, Turkey’s Prime Minister went ballistic. In his tirade against France, Erdogan accused the French of stifling free speech. Ironically (of course), as the New York Times correctly noted, “Turkey’s own penal code makes affirming the genocide a crime on the grounds that it is an insult to Turkish identity. In March, Orhan Pamuk, a Nobel Prize winner, was fined 7,000 lira, about $3,700, for his statement in a Swiss newspaper that ‘we have killed 30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians’.”

As new information concerning the Armenian Genocide occurs, I do my best to report it in this blog in a timely manner. However, yesterday, I was increasingly frustrated as I read articles published in the world’s leading newspapers, most using language which obfuscate the truth about the history of the first genocide occuring in the 20th century. There are official volumes (archives full) of the facts of Turkey’s systematic killing of between 1 and 1.5 million Armenians under the cover of World War I.

Turkish historian Taner Akcam has documented the motivation for this genocide in his master work, “A Shameful Act“. Basically, in addition to racial hatred of the non-Turkish, non-Muslim Armenian Christian minority, Turkey coveted the land the Armenians occupied for thousands of years. The Turkish government also saw an opportunity to create an instant Muslim, middleclass by taking all of the Armenians’ properties and belongings and redistributing the ‘bootie’ (including houses) to its Muslim population.

During the genocide, the United States Ambassador to Turkey was Henry Morgenthau. In his first-person account of the Armenian Genocide, he recalls a conversation with one of the masterminds of the genocide, Talaat Pasha:

One day Talaat made what was perhaps the most astonishing request I had ever heard.  The New York Life Insurance Company and the Equitable Life of New York had for years done considerable business among the Armenians.  The extent to which this people insured their lives was merely another indication of their thrifty habits.  “I wish,” Talaat now said, “that you would get the American Life insurance companies to send us a complete list of their Armenian policy holders.  They are practically dead now and have left no heirs to collect the money.  If … all escheats to the State, the Government is the beneficiary now. Will you do so?”

This was almost too much, and I lost my temper.  “You will get no such list from me,” I said, and I got up and left him.

Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story, p. 339. [Source]

In addition to the records in government archives in the U.S., France, Germany, and Great Britain, there was an unprecedented humanitarian relief effort spearheaded by Evangelical and Catholic missionaries, who went to heroic lengths to save the Armenians. Many relief workers documented what they witnessed in Turkey, in brutal detail. There are thousands of eyewitness accounts and so much scholarly work on this subject, that the veracity of the facts cannot be disputed.

However, the Turkish government spends millions of dollars each year to lobby lawmakers in the United States and countries all over the world to vote against recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Turkey has also infiltrated some of the world’s leading universities, ensuring books about the Armenian Genocide are not available in their libraries and endowing chairs. The effort and amount of disinformation Turkey continues to manufacture about the Armenian Genocide is astonishing.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to the French government for standing up and saying no to Turkey. It is unlikely the United States and Israel will suddenly become enlightened with moral clarity, but one can always hope.


Armenian Genocide denial doesn’t make it go away

April 19, 2011

As Turkey is finding out, denying genocide does not succeed in making the issue disappear. Ironically, the government of Turkey continues to indirectly finance awareness of the Armenian Genocide by spending millions of dollars annually to fight Armenian Genocide recognition.

In contrast, Germany, Turkey’s former war ally, is an example of a country that meets its responsibility to educate the world about its role perpetrating the Holocaust, with the hope that education will prevent future genocides.

I recently attended a lecture and exhibit at a Sephardic Jewish center in New York City, and was privileged to see an exhibit of Sephardic Jews in the diaspora commissioned by the government of Spain (which expelled the Jewish people in 1492).

And, in March, on a visit to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall in Philadelphia—where the founders of the United States of America gathered to write the Declaration of Independence—I was happily surprised to see the U.S. government’s displays acknowledging slavery in America at this prominent national historic site.

Many of the people of Turkey know what happened in April 1915 in their country. Most of the world also knows that 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish Government. The game of not officially ‘recognizing’ the systematic killings as genocide by certain governments is not a reflection of historical truth, but rather ugly and amoral present-day politics.

German, Spain, and the United States are just three examples of countries who tell the truth about their past crimes and injustices. Although they cannot undo the past, these countries make a serious effort to remember history, so history (of that kind) does not repeat itself.

As long as Turkey denies its genocide of the Armenian people, it will sadly remain stained by its fathers’ sins.  When the day finally arrives that Turkey accepts and apologizes for its past crimes, I believe the world community will welcome the opportunity to view Turkey with greater respect and friendship.


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