The Armenian and Greek Genocide
Part of a speech by Τheofanis Malkidis at an event concerning the Armenian Genocide in Athens. April 2011
The decision of parliaments, international organizations and government institutions around the world regarding the Armenians and genocide, is always a historic moment not only for the Armenian people, but for every democratic man and woman who supports history, justice and truth. The efforts to highlight the genocide come despite some non-diplomatic pressures. But many people have worked hard and managed to pass resolutions on the Armenian Genocide.
American diplomat Henry Morgenthaou once wrote, “the Turkish authorities, in giving orders to implement the measure of displacement did nothing more than to recite the death sentence of an entire people."
The genocide of 1,500,000 Armenians and 1.000.000 Greeks in the early part of the 20th century, constitutes a genocide which has not been punished and thus has been a precursor for other mass crimes. Before Hitler began the Jewish Holocaust he said, "who remembers the Armenians?" It has been a remarkable effort by the Armenian diaspora to highlight the issue since it was first discussed, and thus punishing those responsible for the Holocaust. A position that has been consistent regardless of where they reside in the world – a clear fight for recognition of the genocide that claimed so many lives.
A member of the Swedish parliament, Gulan Avci, went against her party and voted in favour of the Armenian Genocide by saying, "every time another country recognizes the genocide, the truth is approaching a little closer for Turkey. It is no longer possible to escape or remain silent about the past. It's time for Turkey to recognize the genocide… The last stage of genocide is denial, and unfortunately Turkey today is at this very stage. It's time for Turkey to come to terms with its Kemalist heritage. The recognition of genocide is not a blow to Turkey. In contrast, non-recognition is a blow for justice… And I'm fairly confident that justice can only be a good thing. Justice must be enforced on Turkey.... While Turkey is trying to cover up the issue there will never be reconciliation. If the memory of the victims is not respected, people will not be able to heal their wounds and continue. It is important that all the forces that believe in human values continue to struggle and exert pressure on Turkey to accept the truth and admit that it committed Genocide ".
Silence, lies and forgetfulness should be a thing of the past and people’s struggle for freedom and the truth should be vindicated. Regimes responsible for crimes against humanity of such magnitude must face their history and justice must be done. Truth always wins against propaganda, falsehood, lobbyists and money.
Theofanis Malkidis is a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars .
The political event in memory of victims of the Armenian Genocide in
Armenian Parliament calls for recognition of Armenian, Greek , Assyrian Genocides
MEDIA RELEASE May 3, 2011
The Peak Public Affairs Committee of the Armenian-Australian Community
YEREVAN: The Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) reports that the parliament of the Republic of Armenia called upon parliaments and legislative bodies throughout the world to recognise and condemn the genocide of the Armenians, Hellenes and Assyrians perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey from 1915 to 1923. In a Parliamentary Declaration on the occasion of the 96th anniversary commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, the Republic of Armenia National Assembly Speaker, Hovik Abrahamyan stated that recognition of the genocides perpetrated against the Armenians, Hellenes and Assyrians would lead to the restoration of justice and the of prevention other genocides in the future.He said: “For the resolution of this injustice, the prevention of further genocides and the establishment of good neighbourly relations between Armenia and Turkey, the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia calls on the parliaments of the world to recognise and condemn the genocides perpetrated against the Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian peoples in Turkey at the beginning of the last century.”Directing his message to Turkey, Abrahamyan then declared: “The National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia calls upon the legislative and executive authorities of Turkey to remove all the legal, political and other obstacles, that prevent Turkish society from freely studying and discussing the past, especially the facts of the genocide for which Ottoman Turkey is responsible.”ANC Australia Executive Director Varant Meguerditchian welcomed the Parliamentary Declaration.“The National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia’s policy regarding Turkish responsibility for and denial of the Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian Genocides is clear and unequivocal,” he said. “ANC Australia takes this opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to work with the Australian Hellenic Council and the Assyrian Universal Alliance Australia to advocate for the recognition of the Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian Genocides by the Federal government of Australia.”
During the last days of the Ottoman Empire the Government implemented a policy of Genocide upon its Christian Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian population. As a result, up to 1.5million Armenian, 1million Hellene and 750,000 Assyrian men, women and children lost their lives between 1915 and 1923.On July 9, 2010 ANC Australia the Australian Hellenic Council (AHC) and the Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) released a joint statement outlining their agreement to focus on genocide recognition:Whereby, Australia is signatory to the UN Genocide Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and has demonstrated leadership on international human rights issues; whereby, the people of Australia provided food, clothing and shelter to victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide, the Hellenic Genocide and the Assyrian Genocide as part of an international humanitarian relief effort known as the Near East Relief; and whereby, throughout World War One, Australian servicemen witnessed the systematic annihilation of the Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian peoples in the Ottoman Empire from 1915 - 1923; ANC Australia, the AHC and the AUA commit to their moral responsibility to seek recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Hellenic Genocide and Assyrian Genocide by the Federal Government of Australia as a measure aimed at preventing similar crimes against humanity from ever occurring again.