Armenia Solidarity-Nor Serount Cultural Association Press Release
c/o The Temple of Peace, Cathays Park, Cardiff
firstname.lastname@example.org. 00 44 7718982732
The following letter was sent this week to Labour Party Members of the UK parliament
We ask for the help of Armenians and Assyrians worldwide to increase the pressure on the British Prime Minister with similar letters. e-mail address : email@example.com-(with a copy also to Armenia Solidarity)
Armenian & Assyrian Genocide Recognition-it has to be now or never for Labour
Some are of the opinion that time is running out for Labour. That may or may not be so, but we ask you to consider an issue of infinitely more importance. The present Labour administration guided by the Presbyterian conscience of Gordon Brown has the opportunity to leave an everlasting legacy to the world.
As Turkey's closest ally, and her only hope of opening the door of entry into the EU, Britain has a leverage which she still hesitates to use. To collude with Turkey's denial of the 1915-22 Genocide by fully supporting her distortions of history and remaining silent on her present cultural Genocide of her minorities is certainly something which few who possess an ethical framework to their beliefs can tolerate.
This bizarre state of affairs was exemplified this week when the Church of Scotland General Assembly passed a motion calling on the UK Government to recognise the Armenian Genocide. The Prime Minister, a member of the Church, was present at the General Assembly. The government has nothing to lose by taking on board this request because Britain's support for Turkey's EU candidature will far outweigh her position on the truth of the Genocide in her long-term diplomatic relationship with Turkey!
Successive UK governments have let this issue pass in the hope that it will be consigned to oblivion after the centenary. The fact that it happened so long ago should now make it easier for Britain to recognise a self-evident truth which now stares at us in the face and is a sore blot on our so called "ethical" foreign policy.
Successive UK governments have consistently stood side by side with the Turkish State in her persecution of the brave souls who have dared to mention the Genocide and have faced prosecution. The repeal of Article 301 will be no solution at all. The wake-up call that Turkey desperately needs is her closest ally having the courage to go public on this issue which will otherwise continue to fester for years to come
If the Conservative Party are returned to power in two years time we frankly have no hope in hell of seeing the day come when the British government will deal with this issue. It has to be now or never as time is also running out for Armenia.
I appeal to you to persuade the Prime Minister to end his shameful denial of this truth (as exemplified by his reply to an on-line petition in November) The fact that he is the only UK based historian to hold this denialist view must be a matter of extreme embarrassment. I understand Mr Jim Murphy, the Minister for Europe, is looking at the issue afresh. I request that you approach Mr Murphy for a final decision on the issue.
You may also assist this persuasion by signing Andrew Dismore's EDM 797 on the Genocide,
In parliament back in 1915, Robert Cecil of the Foreign Office, representing the government, admitted that these were the worst massacres ever committed by a government.He also said that these massacres were premeditated, and that no Armenian revolt had taken place
The Prime Minister is isolated amongst UK -based historians; he is isolated amongst the Members of his own Church and he is isolated amongst past UK Leaders who recognised that a Holocaust had occurred (David Lloyd George, Winston Churchill).
To hesitate to grapple with this moral problem for fear of harming perceived British financial interests seems symptomatic of indecision, lack of courage, and indeed of moral decay.
Nor Serount Cultural Association
Unprecedented collaboration between Armenians, Assyrians and Kurds on Genocide day in the
(Establishment of a Permanent People's Commission on 'Reconciliation after the Anatolian Genocide' proposed)
The irresistible ethical arguments for the recognition of the Anatolian Genocides as the only ground for Reconciliation between the victim groups and the Turkish state, was articulated by scholars on Genocide Day in the House of Commons, London, organised by Armenia Solidarity & Nor Serount Cultural Association.
Sabri Atman of the Seyfo Centre delivered a passionate interpretation of the Assyrian trauma at the continuing denial of the Genocide of their nation. Sara Aziz, also of the Seyfo Centre, put the case for the criminal penalisation of
Gregory Topalian, concentrating on the Armenian experience, addressed the issue of possibilities of reconciliation, based on recognition alone, and how some historians may adversely affect this process. Desmond Fernandes showed that Genocide still continues in
Some of the speakers emphasised the universal significance of Genocide Day, reflecting the increasing adoption of the 24th April as a day to dwell on all Genocides. Professor Pilikian, in this vein, claimed that the annual deaths from hunger of 14.6 million constituted 'the unmentioned Genocide'.
The organiser proposed the establishment of a Permanent People's Commission (to be based in
Messages of support were sent from The Halabja Centre London; The Kurdish Museum, London; The Foundation For The Kurdish Library and Museum, Stockholm; Ms Rosie Malek Yonan, Los Angeles; Mr Ragip Zarokulu, Istanbul; Dr Tessa Hofmann, Berlin; Canon Andrew White, Baghdad; Barzoo Eliassi, Kurdish Ph.D. Student, The Department of Social Sciences, Mid-Sweden University; Martin Blecher, member of the Israel Group in Sweden; Sukran Kavak, a Kurdish journalist, Sweden; Shoresh Rahem, International Affairs for the Kurdistan Student Association and Kurdistan Youth Freedom Organization; Hediye Guzel, Press secretary for the Left wing party, Sweden; Gurgin Bakircioglu, Stockholm; Haydar Isik, Germany, and Greeks from across the world.
The meeting was chaired by Mr Andrew George MP, Mr Daniel Rogerson MP, both Members of Parliament for parts of
It was also supported by Mr John Marks, on behalf of Baroness Cox, Rev Stuart Windsor, of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Mr Andrew Stonestreet of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East and The Halabja Centre,
Two Ministers at the Foreign Office, the Rt Hon. Jim Murphy MP (minister For Europe) and Lord Maloch-Brown, sent their apologies to the conference for their unavoidable absences. The book by Taner Akcam, 'A Shameful Act' was given to Mr Andrew George to be presented to the Minister for
Attendees were encouraged to buy the book by Kemal Yalcin, 'You Rejoice My Heart' (Taderon Press). The following quote from Mr Yalcin was read to illustrate the possibilities ahead:
'I bow to the memory of the Armenians and Assyrians who lost their lives on the road of deportation through planned killings. That is the greatest pain of our century, the stigma on the face of humanity. Your pain is my pain. As a Turkish writer, I beg forgiveness from you and mankind ...'
(Speeches delivered at the conference will be published shortly)
EXCERPTS OF MESSAGES:
Canon Andrew White - President of the FRRME:
I am so sorry that I have been unable to be with you today for this most important meeting. It is so important as in our life time there has still been genocide. The Genocide of the Armenians and Assyrians has never even been recognised. So many of the families of my people here in
I have dedicated my life to the work of reconciliation. Forgiveness is indeed the only thing that will prevent the pain of the past from determining the future, but to have forgiveness and reconciliation you must have recognition of the evil deeds of the past. We have had clear recognition of the evil past of
My prayer is that this horror will not indeed be committed again, thank you all for taking this most important issue so seriously.
Ragip Zarokulu of the Human Rights Association,
Today, 24th of April, is worldwide recognised as the date signifying the Armenian Genocide. Only in
It was only last month that during a Symposium on the Armenian-Turkish relations the denialist official theses were voiced one after another, offending the Armenians in
Denial is a constituant part of the genocide itself and results in the continuation of the genocide. Denial of genocide is a human rights violation in itself. It deprives individuals the right to mourn for their ancestors, for the ethnic cleansing of a nation, the annihilation of people of all ages, all professions, all social sections, women, men, children, babies, grandparents alike just because they were Armenians regardless of their political background or conviction. Perhaps the most important of all, it is the refusal of making a solemn, formal commitment and say “NEVER AGAIN”.
Similarly the removal of a public prosecutor and banning him from profession just for taking the courage to mention an accusation against the military, a very recent incident, is the manifestation of an old habit of punishing anybody who dares to voice any objection to the army. And today’s ongoing military build up of some 250,000 troops in the southeast of
Today we, as the human rights defenders, would like to address all Armenians in
Rosie Malek-Yonan, Author of The Crimson Field and Board of Advisor at
The absence of the negotiation of world peace is the single greatest threat to humanity and the future of a violent-free world.
In order to achieve freedom from war, we must examine the actions that continually create the cycle of anger and hatred as the catalyst to any conflict between nations.
World peace will always remain a distant thought when reconciliation in the aftermath of genocide is not at the forefront of all discussions of human rights violations relative to those crimes.
When we perpetually allow the practice of genocide and holocaust and consent to the denial of such actions to linger for decades as in the case of the Assyrian, Armenian and Pontic Greek Genocide, we are in essence consenting to denial as a compromise. Denial is not compromise.
To the survivors and the children and grandchildren of the survivors of the Assyrian, Armenian, and Pontic Greek Genocide of 1914-1918 in Ottoman Turkey and northwestern
With the acknowledgement of past and present genocides we can slowly begin to mend the broken bridges that may ultimately lead the human race to eradicate bloodshed and violence among nations of this world. But so long as we turn a blind-eye to these killings, we are sanctioning the ongoing slaughter such as today’s modern-day Assyrian Genocide occurring in
A formal pronouncement by the Turkish government of the Assyrian, Armenian, and Pontic Greek Genocide will bring closure to not only the survivors of the genocide, but also to the Turkish people in that the nearly century-old hatred can begin to give way to human solidarity. Anything short of that will surely continue to threaten all hope of peace.
Dr Tessa Hofmann, Chairperson of the Working Group Recognition – Against Genocide, for International Understanding (AGA):
The Armenian Genocide Day Conference poses a demanding and challenging aim. The
recognition of historic facts – Truth – and of justice is the precondition of any reconciliation
and lasting peace, if the ultimate crime of genocide was committed. The comparative study of genocides of the 20th and 21st centuries reveals that again and again survivors and their
descendents need legal justice in order to re-establish trust and the capability to come to terms with their fate.
The case of the Ottoman genocide against 3.5 million Christian citizens is unique in the
duration and obstinacy, displayed by official
crimes which were committed during the last decade of Ottoman rule. The refusal to come to
terms with this past and to take responsibility for the murder and destruction of Non-Muslim
ethnic groups in the process of building a Turkish nation-state have long ago turned into
severe obstacles for democratization and regional stability in international relations. To help
and palliation. It means the exploration of the roots of nowadays hate towards ethnic and
We hope that the Conference will be able to explain the necessity of such standards to the
political decision-makers in the
Foundation For The Kurdish Library and Museum in
The genocide of Armenians is a historical fact and whole world knows who committed these
crimes. It is time once for all for
The transition from the multicultural Millet system of the Ottoman Empire to the
Martin Blecher, member of the Israel Group in
Today our thoughts go to the one and half million that were killed in
Sukran Kavak, a Kurdish journalist in
The legal definition of genocide was found in the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. But the crimes of genocide were committed much earlier then this legal definition. The world failed to stop the genocide of the Armenians during and after the First World War by the
Shoresh Rahem, International Affairs for the Kurdistan Student Association and
When I came to
Hediye Guzel – Press secretary, Left wing party, Kurdish origin:
Reconciliation must be the leading star, when discussing the Armenian genocide. This awful genocide has also affected the Assyrians/Syrians and Chaldeans in the
The genocide in the
As long as the Turkish state denies the genocide of 1915 it will be caught in the past. We have to look at the future and leave the past. To reach peace and harmony between people, it is necessary to see the truth and condemn the genocide.
I am an Alevi Kurd! Where we lived there were no mosques. In my childhood I admired the ruins of the Armenian churches in the area. Though their walls had crumbled the domes supported by the columns still stood. The marvelous pictures painted on them could still be seen. My birth city was called 'Kizilkilise' or '
My childhood was affected by two important historical events. One was the Dersim massacre of the Kurds in 1937/38 , when 70,000 of them were killed by the Turkish army which still is very fresh and sorrowful in my mind. The other was the Armenian Genocide, of 1915-16 by the Turks which exterminated one and half million Armenians and a half million Assyrians. During the winter months I often heard about the sorrowful fate of our Armenian neighbors and it made me cry.
To achieve racial supremacy in
It was always the strategy of the Turks to kill or drive out the country first the Christian Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks to turn the country into an Islamic nation, then to carry out similar genocide and ethnocide against the Kurds. To accomplish this Turkish rulers promoted hatred and incited one people against the other ... The Kurdish feudal chieftains became instrumental in carrying out these Turkish policies.
The Turkish regime used sunni tribes in Northern Kurdistan who lived side by side with the Armenians and Assyrians in
A minority of Kurds was used to kill Christians to prove their loyalty to
In the shadow of the 1ST world war, during the rule of Pascha Enver Talat and Cemal, Turks organized the Christian pogrom in Anatolia and Mesopotamia with the approval and knowledge of
The regiments were formed exclusively out of the sunni tribes in
The Hamidiyeh regiments was also used against the Kurds to undermine the Kurdish aspirations for independence. Their Attacks against the Armenians, Assyrians or Kurds remain a blemish in the history of the Kurds. Nothing holds back the Kurdish descent bandits who attacked Armenian villages yesterday and killed countless people from killing their own. One has to ask: is it just for anyone to kill other human beings because someone orders them to do so?
Yes, the story of humanity is full of such events. About 50 years ago, German fascism massacred the Jews in industrial fashion. They believed that their victims deserved to die! ...
The same mentality which massacred the Armenians and the Assyrians yesterday, is responsible for the killing of the Kurds today. The Kurds in Dersim provided protection for their Armenian neighbors despite pressure from the Turks, however such kindness cost them dearly when Turks massacred them in 1937/38, partly for that reason.
The Armenians were exterminated by the policy of
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2008 2:08 AM
Subject: a sincere request
FAO the Prime Minister, and Foreign Office Ministers(Mr Miliband, Mr Murphy, Mr Howells, Lord Malloch-Brown)
The impending state visit by HM the Queen to Turkey is seen in many quarters as a seal of approval of Turkey's continuing denial of the Genocide of its minorities in 1915, the continuing cultural Genocide in Turkey today, and its continued economic blockade of Armenia.
.It feels to many like rubbing salt on the wounds of the descendants of Genocide survivors, over 30,000 of whom reside in the UK
There are two very imprtant Armenian Genocide Scholars visiting London on the same week as the State visit.(6th till 8th may) They are Dr Haig Demoyan Director of the Genocide Museum in Yerevan, and Professor Ashot Melkonyan, Director of the National Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences, Yerevan, Armenia.
I write to ask the Prime Minister as well as a Member of the Foreign Office,( Mr Miliband and Mr Murphy and Dr Howells or Lord Malloch-Brown) to agree to meet one or both of them. Would any of you be willing to make time (preferably on the 6th may, or failing that on the 7th or 8th may) to meet these.scholars?
You may contact me and I will pass your reply immediately to the relevant people to arrange the meeting.
Mr Murphy has said that he is willing to look at the Genocide issue afresh. Also the Prime Minister is a renowned historian. I should think that you would like to take advantage of this unique opportunity to try to understand the perspective of Armenian historians.
You understand very well, I believe, that the present position of the UK government is untenable: ie that there was no genocide in 1915 because Turkey today is a lucrative ally. The often repeated mantra by government ministers that "the evidence is not sufficiently unequivocal" cannot be taken seriously as we know from all the UK based Genocide Scholars with whom we are in contact, that they have never been contacted by the government for their views. We can claim with a great deal of validity that Armenian Genocide denialism in the UK extends no further than 10 Downing Street.
If you acceeded to this request and arranged a time on the 6th or 7th may that would go some way to alleviate the disappointment felt by many UK Armenians by the Queen's state visit.