The term Genocide was coined by Polish-Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin in 1944, whose family was one of the victims of the Jewish Holocaust. By defining this term, Prof. Lemkin sought to describe Nazi politics of systematic murder, violence and cruelty and atrocities committed against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 as well.
On December 9, 1948, the United Nations approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. See whole text The Convention defines Genocide as an international crime, which signatory nations undertake to prevent and punis.
What is the Armenian Genocide?
The atrocities committed against the Armenian people of the Ottoman Empire during WWI is defined as the Armenian Genocide.
Those massacres were perpetrated throughout different regions of the Ottoman Empire by the Young Turks Government which was in power at the time.
The first international reaction to the violence resulted in a joint statement by France, Russia and Great Britain, in May 1915, where the Turkish atrocities directed against the Armenian people was defined as “new crime against humanity and civilization” agreeing that the Turkish government must be punished for committing such crimes.
Why was the Armenian Genocide perpetrated?
When WWI erupted, the Young Turks government, hoping to save the remains of the weakened Ottoman Empire, adopted a policy of Pan Turkism – the establishment of a mega Turkish empire comprising of all Turkic-speaking peoples of the Caucasus and Central Asia extending to China, intending also to Turkify all ethnic minorities of the empire. The Armenian population became the main obstacle standing in the way of the realization of this policy.
Although the decision for the deportation of all Armenians from the Western Armenia (Eastern Anatolya) was adopted in late 1911, the Young Turks used WWI as a suitable opportunity for its implementation.
How many people died in the Armenian Genocide?
There were an estimated two million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire on the eve of WWI. Approximately one and a half million Armenians perished between 1915 and 1923. Another million found shelter abroad or Islamized.
The mechanism of implementation
Genocide is the organized killing of a people for the express purpose of putting an end to their collective existence. Because of its scope, genocide requires central planning and an internal machinery to implement. This makes genocide the quintessential state crime, as only a government has the resources to carry out such a scheme of destruction.
On 24th of April in 1915, the first phase of the Armenian massacres began with the arrest and murder of nearly hundreds intellectuals, mainly from Constantinople, the capital of Ottoman Empire (now Istanbul in present Turkey's capital). Subsequently, Armenians worldwide commemorate the April 24th as a day that memorializes all the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
The second phase of the ‘final solution’ appeared with the conscription of some 60.000 Armenian men into the general Turkish army, who were later disarmed and killed by their Turkish fellowmen.
The third phase of the genocide comprised of massacres, deportations and death marches made up of women, children and the elderly into the Syrian deserts. During those marches hundreds of thousand were killed by Turkish soldiers, gendarmes and Kurdish or Circassian mobs. Others died because of famine, epidemic diseases and exposure to the elements. Thousands of women and children were raped. Tens of thousands were forcibly converted to Islam.
Finally, the last phase of the Armenian genocide appeared with the total and utter denial by Turkish government of the mass killings and elimination of the Armenian nation on its homeland. Despite the ongoing international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey has consistently fought the acceptance of the Armenian Genocide by any means, including falsification of historical facts, propaganda campaigns, lobbying, etc.
International Affirmation of the Armenian Genocide
The fact of the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman government has been documented, recognized, and affirmed in the form of media and eyewitness reports, laws, resolutions, and statements by many states and international organizations. The complete catalogue of all documents categorizing the 1915-23 wholesale massacre of the Armenian population in Ottoman Empire as a premeditated and thoroughly executed act of Genocide, is extensive.
Below is a brief list of those states and organizations, provincial governments and town councils which have acknowledged the Armenian Genocide
Parliamentary Resolutions, Laws and Declarations
U.S. House Committee Resolution - March 11, 2010
U.S. House Committee Resolution - October 10, 2007
Chile, Senate, Resolution - Jule 07, 2007
Argentina, Law, January 11, 2007
Argentina, Senate, Special Statement - April 19, 2006
Lithuania, Assembly, Resolution - December 15, 2005
European Parliament, Resolution - September 28, 2005
Venezuela, National Assembly, Resolution - July 14, 2005
Germany, Parliament, Resolution - June 15, 2005
Argentina, Senate, Resolution - April 20, 2005
Poland, Parliament, Resolution - April 19, 2005
Netherlands, Parliament, Resolution - December 21, 2004
Slovakia, National Assembly, Resolution - November 30, 2004
Canada, House of Commons, Resolution - April 21, 2004
Argentina, Senate, Declaration - March 31, 2004
Uruguay, Law - March 26, 2004
Argentina, Draft Law - March 18, 2004
Switzerland (Helvetic Confederation), National Council, Resolution - December 16, 2003
Argentina, Senate, Resolution - August 20, 2003
Canada, Senate, Resolution - June 13, 2002
European, Parliament, Resolution - February 28, 2002
Common Declaration of His Holiness John Paul II and His Holiness Karekin II at Holy Etchmiadzin, Republic of Armenia - September 27, 2001
Prayer of John Paul II, Memorial of Tzitzernagaberd - September 26, 2001
France, Law - January 29, 2001
Italy, Chamber of Deputies, Resolution - November 16, 2000
European Parliament, Resolution - November 15, 2000
France, Senate, Draft Law - November 7, 2000
Lebanon, Parliament, Resolution - May 11, 2000
Sweden, Parliament, Report - March 29, 2000
France, National Assembly, Draft Law - May 28, 1998
Belgium, Senate, Resolution - March 26, 1998
Lebanon, Chamber of Deputies, Resolution - April 3, 1997
U.S., House of Representatives, Resolution 3540 - June 11, 1996
Greece (Hellenic Republic), Parliament, Resolution - April 25, 1996
Canada, House of Commons, Resolution - April 23, 1996
Russia, Duma, Resolution - April 14, 1995
Argentina, Senate, Resolution - May 5, 1993
European Parliament, Resolution - June 18, 1987
U.S., House of Representatives, Joint Resolution 247 - September 12, 1984
Cyprus, House of Representatives, Resolution - April 29, 1982
U.S., House of Representatives, Joint Resolution 148 - April 9, 1975
Uruguay, Senate and House of Representatives,Resolution - April 20, 1965
U.S., Senate, Resolution 359 - May 11, 1920
U.S., Congress, An Act to Incorporate Near East Relief - August 6, 1919
U.S., Senate, Concurrent Resolution 12 - February 9, 1916
France, Great Britain, and Russia, Joint Declaration - May 24, 1915
The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity - April 9, 2007
Human Rights Association of Turkey, Istanbul Branch - April 24, 2006
International Center for Transitional Justice Report Prepared for TARC - February 10, 2003
European Alliance of YMCAs - July 20, 2002
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Declaration - April 24, 2001
Le Ligue des Droits de l'Homme - May 16, 1998
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Declaration - April 24, 1998
The Association of Genocide Scholars - June 13, 1997
Parlamenta Kurdistane Li Derveyi Welat - April 24, 1996
Union of American Hebrew Congregations - November 7, 1989
Permanent Peoples' Tribunal, Verdict of the Tribunal - April 16, 1984
World Council of Churches - August 10, 1983
UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities - July 2, 1985
UN War Crimes Commission Report - May 28, 1948
UN General Assembly Resolution - December 9, 1948
Provincial governments, town councils
North Carolina North Dakota
Province of New South Wales
Province of Cordoba
Province of Buenos Aires
Ontario (including the City of Toronto)
Quebec (including the City of Montreal)
Comune Di Bertiolol
Comune Di Udine
Commune di Sesto San Giovanni
Il Consigilo Comunale di Salgareda
Comune di Belluno
Comunale di Roma
Comune di Massa Lombarda
Comunita' Montana Feltrina
Comune di Genova
Comune di Thiene
Comune di Castelsilano
Comune di Firenze
Comune di Ravenna
Comune di Feltre
Comunale di Venezia
Comune di Imola
Comune di Faenza
Comune di Parma
Comune di Solarolo
Comune di Villafranca Padovana
Comune di Milano
Comune di Ponte di Piave
Comune di Conselice
Comune di Lugo
Comune di S. Stino Livenza
Comune di Cotignola
Citta di Asiago
Comune di S. Agata Sul Santerno
Comune di Monterforte D'Alpone
Comune Di Padova
Comune di Montorso Vicentino
Comune di Fusignano
Comune di Bagnacavallo
Comune di Russi
Comune di Sanguinetto
Comune di Camponogara
Acts and measures undertaken to destroy any nations’ or ethnic groups’ culture is called, ‘cultural genocide’. The word ‘Genocide’ coined by Raphael Lemkin, does not only refer to the physical extermination of a national or religious group, but also its national, spiritual and cultural destruction. The concept of a cultural genocide has not yet been accepted into the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
Many proven facts concomitant with the massacres and deportation are witness to the fact that the Young Turk government premeditated and planed a systematic method aiming to destroy the material testimonies of the Armenian civilization. Realizing the role of the church and Christian faith within the Armenian nation, they knowingly massacred Armenian clergymen, destroyed churches, monasteries and other properties of church, alongwith thousands of medieval handwritten illuminated manuscripts.
An Arab eye witnesses to the Armenian Genocide, Fayez el Husseyn, writes in his memoirs "... After the massacres of the Armenians, the government establishedcommissions who were engaged in selling the leftover property. Armenian cultural values were sold at the cheapest prices... I once went to the church to see how the sale of these things is organized. The doors of the Armenian schools were closed. The Turks used sciene books in the bazaar for wrapping cheese, dates, sunflowers... "
In 1912-1913 the Armenian Patriarchy of Istanbul presented an account of the churches and monasteries in Western Armenia (Eastern Anatolia) and in the Ottoman Empire. More than 2300 were accounted for including the early unique Christian monuments of IV-V cc. Most part of them were looted, burned and destroyed by the Turks during the genocide.
The policy of destruction adopted by the Young Turks with regard to Armenian historical and cultural heritage was continued in Republican Turkey where these relics were viewed as undesirable witnesses of the Armenian presence.
At the end of 1920s, Turkey began the process of changing the names and titles (Toponymy) of certain locations in Western Armenia. Presently 90% of the Armenian cities, towns and buildings in Eastern Turkey Western Armenia (Eastern Anatolia) have been Turkified. Armenian geographical sites' names have also been replaced with Turkish names. Devising a systemanic method of destruction, hundreds of architectural monuments have been destroyed and all Armenian inscriptions erased.
In 1974 UNESCO stated that after 1923, out of 913 Armenian historical monuments left in Eastern Turkey, 464 have vanished completely, 252 are in ruins, and 197 are in need of complete repair.
Armenian architectural buildings are consistently being demolished using dynaminte and are used as a targets during Turkish military training exercises; the undamaged stones are used as construction materials. In some rural places, Armenian monasteries and churches serve as a stables, stores, clubs and in once case, even a jail. On many occasions the Turkish government converted Armenian churches into mosques.
On June 18, 1987 the Council of Europe adopted a decree wherein the 6th point mentions that: the Turkish government must pay attention to and take care of the language, culture and educational system of the Armenian Diaspora living in Turkey, simultaneously demanding an appropriate regard to the Armenian monuments that are in modern Turkey’s territory.
Cultural genocide against the Armenian heritage on the territory of Turkey continues...
Information was recived from Ministry Of
Foreign Affairs Of Armenia
30 04 2017