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.

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The April 24, 1915 Ottoman Turkish document ordering the Armenian Genocide

March 16, 2011

The first genocide of the 20th Century was perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks. In March 2011, despite all the evidence, the Turkish Government continues its active campaign denying the genocide of 1.5 million Armenian Christians which climaxed in 1915 (see a photo of the original Instruction of the Ministry of the Interior, April 24, 1915). 

The Ottoman Turks’ heinous atrocities were committed to achieve its objectives of ethnic cleansing and the simultaneous creation of a new Muslim middleclass. The elimination of the minority Armenian peoples that exceeded 10 percent of the country’s population in key interior regions (the historic Armenian homeland) was imperative to the Ottoman Turks. This last point was critical when the US and European powers sought to divide the spoils of their victory following World War I. (For a full explanation, read Turkish scholar Taner Akcam’s brilliant book, A Shameful Act). Also, refer to the March 15, 2011 blog post on this site for links to the award-winning 2010 German documentary, Aghet – A Genocide)

See a photo of the original Instruction of the Ministry of the Interior on April 24 document:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Instruction_of_the_Ministery_of_the_Interior_on_april_24.png

The list of Armenian notables deported from Constantinople in 1915 (this event is comparable to Kristallnacht):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_notables_deported_from_Constantinople_in_1915

(Dear Readers, If you have more information please let us know. Send an email or comment. Thank you.)


Near East Relief nurse Ellen Mary Gerard’s Armenian Genocide refugee photographs

April 20, 2010

View historic Armenian Genocide refugee photographs from the AGBU YPGNY Ellen Mary Gerard Archive

How the AGBU Young Professionals of Greater New York (YPGNY) came to purchase the Gerard archive from a store in Glendale, California, is an intriguing story that demonstrates the resolve of an emerging generation of Armenians to document, commemorate and honor the memory of the Armenian Genocide and its impact on our global culture.
Read more

Armenian Orphans (from the AGBU YPGNY Ellen Mary Gerard Archive)

If you have pictures, letters, films or documents of Armenians related to the Armenian Genocide, take measures to preserve these precious artifacts today. Contact a reputable museum, library, archive, university or research center. Here are a few organizations:

(Comments offering additional suggestions are welcome–email armeniangenocide@ymail.com or add a comment below. Thank you.)


The Armenian Massacres, 1894-1896: U.S. Media Testimony

January 3, 2010

Another important book documenting the mass killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks:

The Armenian Massacres, 1894-1896: U.S. Media Testimony

(I found the reference to this book on the Armenian National Institute’s (ANI) website, listed under Education at:

http://www.armenian-genocide.org/Education.79/current_category.120/resourceguide_detail.html


Do you owe your life to a relative who survived the Armenian Genocide?

November 12, 2009

I do:

My grandfather was Karnig Kalpakian (Dr. John Karnig) and his father was Dr. Janik Kalpakian. In 1920, they escaped the killings in Marash, Turkey, that claimed the lives of my great grandmother Mary Mesrobian, as well as the lives of my great aunts Anais and Armenouhi. During the Ottoman Turks’ mass deportation of the Armenians, Mary Mesrobian’s entire family, with the exception of her brother Kevork, were deported “to the deserts of Arabia” (as my grandfather wrote in his letter to our family).

Janik, a dentist, was the son of Dr. Aboujhon Kuzujian, a prominent medical doctor from Aintab who migrated to Marash. The family name was officially changed from Kuzujian to Kalpakleoglou or Karnoug (in Armenian) when my great-great grandfather received a Kalpak (Persian lamb hat) as an honor from the Sultan of Turkey. Dr. Kuzujian was recognized as a hero for saving the lives of children during an epidemic in Marash that took the lives of many children.

My grandfather and great grandfather were among the ‘lucky’ victims of the Ottoman Turks. Leaving everything behind, they survived. Starting off in a horse-drawn carriage to Aintab, Janik and Karnig set out on their journey to safer shores in America. From Aintab they traveled to Aleppo (Syria); then to Beirut (Lebanon), then on to Jerusalem, and finally to Alexandria, Egypt—where they waited to immigrate to America. In 1923, Karnig, together with his father, new stepmother and a new baby brother, finally arrived at Ellis Island in New York.

I promise to share much more of the details of Karnig’s story, but first I need your help:

Please forward this blog link to all Armenians you know:

https://armeniangenocideblog.wordpress.com

Help us respond to the Armenia-Turkey Protocols call for an investigation into our history. We need your family names, stories, pictures, oral personal histories and video testimonials. We are also seeking translators and research assistants to help us with this worldwide Armenian Genocide documentation effort.

Please enter your comments (through the comment link below) or send an email to: armeniangenocide@ymail.com.

Thank you!


Send your Armenian Genocide testimonies and family stories

November 4, 2009

We need your family names, stories, pictures, oral personal histories and video testimonials. We are also seeking translators and research assistants to help us with this worldwide Armenian Genocide documentation effort. Help us respond to the Armenia-Turkey Protocols call for an investigation into our history.

Please forward this blog link to all Armenians you know:

https://armeniangenocideblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/send-your-armenian-genocide-testimonies-and-family-stories/

To contact us, please enter a comment (following the link below) or send your email to: armeniangenocide@ymail.com.

Thank you!


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