Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Armenian News...@. Video on Near East Fund of the USA Starts in Eastern Armenian but soon goes to a presentation in English. Fascinating images of the orphans. and stories of the time.

Video on Near East Fund of the USA 
Armenia President congratulates Genocide survivor's 105th birthday


YEREVAN. - The President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan, on Saturday
extended congratulations to Astghik Tetezian Alemian on her 105th
birth anniversary. She is an Armenian Genocide survivor, who now
resides in the US State of Massachusetts.

"Dear Mrs. Tetezian Alemian:

"It is a great honor and pleasure to extend congratulations to you on
your glorious 105th [birth] anniversary. I wish you a great health,
well-being and happiness, always surrounded by your loving children
and relatives.

"Your path of life, full of hardships, challenges and irreparable
losses as well as with lots of cherished moments, is an eloquent proof
of the resilient collective will of the Armenian people that survived
through Genocide.

"Living far away from your Homeland, bearing grievances of the past
and undying wounds in your soul, you have preserved your national,
religious and cultural identity, created traditional Armenian family,
[and] brought up your children in the spirit of patriotism, humanity
and respect to the past.

"Dear Mrs. Tetezian Alemian:

"Once again, I would like to congratulate you on your birthday,
reiterating that you symbolize all those Armenian expatriates, who,
like you, carry, hold dear and convey to the future generations the
Armenian precept of renaissance and the sacrosanct value of Homeland,"
reads the letter of congratulations by the Armenian President. 
04 Mar 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

On a visit to Geneva, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian
met with Joachim Rucker, President of the Human Rights Council.

The interlocutors referred to the consideration of Armenian human
rights record at the UN Human Rights Council and its assessments.

Minister Nalbandian informed Joachim Rucker that as an important
role-player in the international community's fight against crimes
against humanity, Armenia submits a Resolution on "Prevention of
Genocide" to the consideration of the 28th session of the UN Human
Rights Council.

Edward Nalbandian underlined that it's important for UN member states
to express their unequivocal support to the combined international
efforts aimed at preventing new crimes against humanity. 

Today's Zaman, Turkey
March 4 2015

Citizens are barred from the memorial site as no preparations have
been made for the centennial commemorations of the Battle of Gallipoli
that are scheduled to take place on March 18, April 24 and April 25.

Because the naval battles were the turning point of an Ottoman Turkish
victory, yearly "Remembrance of Soldiers" and "Gallipoli Naval Victory"
ceremonies are held on March 18.

In addition, April 24 and 25 have also been set aside for ceremonies,
sparking controversy as April 24 is also the date of the Armenian
Genocide Remembrance Day. There has been much speculation over the
proceedings because, though the president's office has sent many
invitations to international leaders, few have been accepted. The
ceremonies were announced five years ago.

The dates approach, and despite the establishment of a Canakkale
Governor's Office 2015 Coordination Center three years ago and several
meetings held by the offices of the Canakkale Governor's Office and the
prime minister, no decisions have been made concerning the ceremonies.

Canakkale (Gallipoli) Municipal Mayor Ulgur Gokhan has admitted that
progress has been thwarted, saying; "Work concerning the centennial
is not going well. We have neither a budget nor staff. We are trying
to make it work with own means but they are not enough." 
March 6, 2015 14:53

German Deutsche Welle reports this referring to its sources. The
German Foreign Ministry reported that they didn't yet clarify who
would represent Berlin in the events due in Yerevan.

"It is possible that only the German ambassador will attend the
service, whereas France will be represented by the president himself,
Francois Hollande. Historian Jurgen Gottschlich has called this
"scandalous"", Deutsche Welle reports.

Deutsche Welle has also noted that the German parliament plans to
remember the victims of the Armenian genocide with a debate.

The publication quotes German historians as saying that German
authorities had clear information on extermination and eviction of
Armenians over 1915-1916.

In particular, historian Christin Pschichholz from the University
of Potsam who had studied the German Foreign Ministry's archives
concluded that "the German diplomats painstakingly took note of
everything happening around them at that time".

Specifically, a dispatch sent on July 7, 1915 by the German Ambassador
in Constantinople to the Imperial Chancellor reads "it is the declared
intention of the government [meaning the Turkish government] to
destroy the Armenian race in the Turkish Empire." 

Deutsche Welle, Germany
March 6 2015
Richard Fuchs

Witness or accomplice? At a congress in Berlin, historians have been
debating Germany's role in the genocide of Armenians 100 years ago.

New findings show that Germany's complicity is greater than previously

In the German Reichstag on September 29, 1916, the diplomat Gottlieb
von Jagow had to give parliament an account of the terrible events
in Turkey, then the Ottoman Empire.

It was about mass displacement and executions taking place in the
eastern region of Anatolia. The German Empire was a colonial power
there at the time and also an ally of the Ottoman government, which
had previously initiated a mass persecution of Christian Armenians
before the onset of World War I. "We did everything we could," stated
Jagow in defense of Germany's passivity.

This silent acquiescence toward the mass murders has been the subject
of the International Historians Congress in Berlin.

Historians see the German Empire's involvement in the deportation
of Armenians as a proven fact. However, the part the Germans played
is still not clear. Were they mere witnesses, or were they actually

Depending on estimates, 300,000 to 1.5 million Armenians were murdered
by the Turks. and refer to it as genocide. Yet in modern-day Turkey,
the state that replaced the Ottoman Empire, the human suffering of
that era is still officially seen as "a war-related dislocation and
security measure." The number of victims is still a matter of dispute
in Turkey, making reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia difficult.

Germany knew and turned a blind eye

Armenians view the Germans as accomplices, says historian Ashot Hayruni

The 160 historians in Berlin were focused on Germany's complicity in
the Armenians' suffering. According to the Armenian historian Ashot
Hayruni from the State University of Yerevan, the Germans are seen
as accomplices because of their silence and cold indifference.

The German government just stood by and watched as the young
Turkish government expelled Armenians from Turkey to the deserts of
Mesopotamia, a region now in modern-day Iraq, Kuwait and Syria. And
Germans claimed that they did not want to interfere, even though they
were very well-informed.

Historian Christin Pschichholz from the University of Potsam has
no doubts. After having read files at the German Foreign Ministry,
she concludes that, "the German government had extensive information
about the destructive policies regarding the Armenian population
in the Ottoman Empire. Death marches, executions and forced labor:
German diplomats painstakingly took note of everything happening
around them at that time.

Historical witnesses were quite aware of the atrocities, as illustrated
by a dispatch sent on July 7, 1915 by the German Ambassador in
Constantinople (now Istanbul) to the Imperial Chancellor. It said,
"it is the declared intention of the government [meaning the Turkish
government] to destroy the Armenian race in the Turkish Empire."

A German military mission was posted to the Ottoman Empire at the
time of the genocide

Historian Rolf Holsfeld at Lepsiushaus, a highly regarded research
institute in Potsdam, says, "the statement that genocide took place
on Ottoman territory in 1915 and 1916 has been officially known to
the German government for over 100 years. "

The way Germany handles the subject of the Armenian genocide does
not directly reflect on Germany's complicity at that time. German
government officials have always avoided using the word genocide when
speaking of Armenia. Instead, they speak of massacre and dislocation.

In February 2015, the Linkspartei, German's far-left party, asked
parliament about the use of terms regarding the persecuted Armenians
in Turkey and the government decided to continue using the same
terminology. The reason given was that it did not want to jeopardize
Turkish-Armenian reconciliation. The German government's policy:
categorizations should be left to academia.

Armenia, together with more than 20 other countries, and the majority
of the historians at the Berlin convention have classified the events
as genocide, in accordance with the UN Genocide Convention of 1948.

About a year ago, the former Premier and now President of Turkey, Recep
Tayyip Erdogan, broke the decade-old silence of Turkish officials on
this subject. He apologized to the victims and their descendants and
spoke of the "inhuman consequences" of the Armenians' expulsion. He
did not speak of genocide.

Inglorious role

Former East German civil rights activist and former member of
parliament for the Social Democrats, Markus Meckel, was in the
Bundestag when the Armenian issue was first discussed 10 years ago.

Even then, no resolution regarding Turkey could be adopted if it
contained the word genocide. After a great deal of discussion, an
ensuing paper stated that the Germans apologized for the "inglorious
role" of the German Empire. It was not possible to say more. Even in
communism, said Meckel, history was defined by politics.

Yet Germany could send an important political signal by recognizing
the suffering of the Armenian people as genocide. He says, "Anyone
who does not use this term is basically giving the suffering and the
catastrophe a lesser meaning."

Historian Ashot Hayruni from the State University of Yerevan thinks
it is the German government's obligation and says, "It is important
that the German government adopts a decision in which the genocide
is recognized and condemned as such."

According to DW sources, the German parliament plans to remember the
victims of the Armenian genocide with a debate. But there is little
cause to believe that anything will change in an argument about
remembrance culture.

Quite the contrary: now there is a dispute as to who will represent
Germany at the main memorial service in Armenia on the 100th
anniversary of the genocide on April 24 this year. The expulsion of the
ethnic group began at Istanbul's Haydarpasa station on April 24, 2015.

Until now, the German Foreign Ministry claims that it is still checking
to see who will officially represent Germany in the Armenian capital.

Insiders are expecting that Germany's reticence on this issue will
be underscored by the absence of high-level politicians. It is
possible that only the German ambassador will attend the service,
whereas France will be represented by the president himself, Francois
Hollande. Historian Jurgen Gottschlich has called this 'scandalous.'
Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Iraq addresses letter to 
Prince Charles 
March 10 , 2015

Archbishop Avak Asadourian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian 
Church of Iraq, addressed a letter to Prince Charles after the news was 
revealed that the Prince would visit Turkey on April 24 for the 
commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Battle. 

The letter reads: 

“On April 24th, the centenary of the Armenian Genocide, the republic 
of Armenia is going to organize a commemoration. On that very day, 
the republic of Turkey has decided to commemorate the battle of Gallipoli 
in which the Ottoman Empire fought against Britain and its allies. 
Undoubtedly, this event is not about commemorating the battle of Gallipoli.
This is about exterminating the memory of a race and showing how 
rewarding and gratifying this ultimate crime can be. 

April 24th as a date is unrelated to Gallipoli: Nothing happened on 
April 24th to warrant commemoration of this battle on this day in this
year. Turkey for the past hundred years did not celebrate this event 
on April 24th. However, symbolically, commemorating this battle on 
this day is most illustrative. It signifies triumph: the triumph of the 
oppressor over the oppressed, the triumph of denialisim, savagery, 
and murder over  ecognition, remorse, and civilization. 

I am addressing this letter to you because, I learned that the British 
Prime Minister declined to participate in the commemoration of the 
centenary of the Genocide. According to Her Majesty’s Ambassador 
to Armenia however, the highest level of participation from HMG is 
expected at the “Gallipoli event” organized in Turkey. 

Your Royal Highness, 

Please allow me to highlight the following: 

The practices that took place during the Armenian Genocide from 
cutting people’s throats to burning people alive-en masse-to include 
the most heinous ways of murder are employed today by IS-“Islamic 
State.” Hence, imagine, that in a century the British Prime Minister, 
or any high-ranking British official for that matter, attends the ceremony 
held by the successor (proud successor) of today ’s IS’s of al-Baghdady. 
Imagine that he or she snub the service dedicated to the commemoration 
of those innocent people that were enslaved, beheaded, burned alive, 
and ripped off their belongings, in the most barbarous ways one can 
ever imagine. Multiply that by a factor that represents the differences 
in number and the scope of tragedy that the Armenians suffered, the 
total destruction that befell this ancient people, and what the carnage 
that the actions of IS would inflict if it is unhindered, i.e. if they were 
given a free hand then, you’ll see the issue as we see it. You will also 
see how those officials that governed Great Britain a century’ ago will 
look at this participation in the same way that you will look on those 
who will represent Great Britain in such commemoration in a hundred 

Further, the term “crimes against humanity” was introduced by the 
allies-including Britain-to describe the crimes the Turks committed 
against Armenians. Prime Minister Lloyd George promised that, “Turks 
are finally being called to account for the crimes they committed against 
humanity,” He also said: 

Had it not been for our … intervention, the great majority of Armenians 
would have been placed .. , under the protection .” it was entirely due 
to our minatory pressure . .. that Armenia was sacrificed ‘” The action 
of the British Government led inevitably to the terrible massacres of 
1895-97, 1909, and worst of all to the holocausts of 1915 .. ‘ we were 
morally bound to take the first opportunity that came our way to 
redress the wrong we had perpetrated, and in so far as it was our 
power, to make it impossible to repeat the horrors for which history will 
always hold us culpable. When therefore in the Great War, the Turks 
forced us into this quarrel, and deliberately challenged the British
 Empire to a life and death struggle, we realised that at last an 
opportunity had been given us to rectify the cruel wrong for which
 we were responsible …. 

Sir Winston Churchill also called the Armenian Genocide a 
“holocaust.” He said “There is no reasonable doubt that this crime 
was planned and executed for political reasons. The opportunity 
presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race ….” He 
ironically goes on to say: “It may well be that the British attack on 
the Gallipoli Peninsula stimulated the merciless fury of the Turkish 
Government. Even, thought the Pan-Turks, if Constantinople were
 to fall and Turkey lost the ‘war, the clearance would have been 
effected and a permanent advantage for the future of the Turkish 
race would be granted.” 

I also learned that during a parliamentary debate in 1918 in the 
House of Commons, an MP said “This country owes a debt to 
Armenia, because, after all, we more than forty years ago prevented 
Armenia from being released ‘” from Turkish tyranny ….” 

I am also certain that you can see why we are not jubilant for Britain’s 
decision to take part in the Turkish snub. Britain promised to punish 
the perpetrators of Genocide. Today we are at loss to why the victims
 are being punished. We are shocked to our very core: How could the 
murder of a nation be so handsomely rewarding in the twenty first 
century? I must raise the same question that Lemkin raised: How come 
it is a crime to kill one man “but it is not a crime … to kill more than 
a million men?” I, as Lemkin a century ago, am shocked by the world’s 
failure not only to act but, to render a recognition of the event that took 

One might say that there are practical reasons for such appeasement 
but, I assure you there are none. Turkey believes it is the inheritor of
 the vanguard of righteousness and beacon for justice. Today , it 
regards the Ottoman Empire as the most exalted empire that must be
recreated in one form or another. Turkey is actively working to recreate 
the slaughter house. With that, goes hand in hand, the venomous 
contempt to all the values of human civilization that originated in Europe 
and became universal. These are core British values, principles, and 
ideals. This makes Turkey a paradigmatic threat. A threat that dreams
 about embarking on the same actions should it muster the necessary 
means and, should the opportunity avail itself. Therefore, how I see it,
 this appeasement is not very different from the Munich pact. 

More on the moral side: Turks are proud of what happened. The shame 
according to Turks befalls Armenians, the victims. To this very day the 
then elected Prime Minister of Turkey, now elected president, apologizes 
before using the word Armenian when describing somebody. He apologizes 
as if Armenian is the most profane insult of all. To this day people gather 
in Turkey and chant that we will make mount Ararat your grave. “You are 
all Armenians, You are all bastards,” and “Today Taksim, Tomorrow 
Yerevan: We will descend upon you suddenly in the night.” This happened 
in 2012. This took place in the presence of Turkish Interior Minister at the 
time, among other leaders from the ruling AK Party. The irony as well 
as the tragedy are inescapable. 

Nothing shows the recklessness and impunity to which Turkey is acting 
with more than this invitation on this date. Participation in the events in 
Istanbul gives free hand, and a sense of impunity to commit the worst 
atrocities, blame the victim, and walk away victorious and vindicated. 
Instead of a letter, I can write volumes, and even then I will not be able 
to do justice to this cause,. So, I will leave it at this, knowing what a 
humane person you are when I met Your Royal Highness on 
November 19 , 2014, and hinging my hopes that Great Britain will live 
up to its values. 

At the end, I feel compelled to conclude with Hitler’s infamous and 
ominous saying: “after all, who now remembers the annihilation of 
the Armenians?”  I very much hope that the Prince of Wales will 
remember so, when he recalls history. I also hope that you’ll remind 
Britain. Indeed, it is hurtful that Britain, among all, needs to be reminded.” 

Archbishop Avak Assadourian 
05 Mar 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

"The dress rehearsal for the Nazi extermination of the Jews took
place exactly 100 years ago, in 1915," Archbishop Charles J. Chaput
writes in his weekly column on The Catholic Philly. The full article
is provided below:

"Lent is a time for self-examination and repentance; a time for good
spiritual reading and the sacrament of penance. It's also a time for
renewing our sense of solidarity with fellow Christians around the
world. It's a moment to remember the witness of so many Christians
who've died simply because they were Christian.

The world rightly remembers the mass murder of Jews and other
minorities by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. In its scope,
the Shoah dwarfs anything in human history, and its echoes continue
today in the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, much of it driven by
radicalized Islam. But the Shoah was by no means the only mass murder
carried out in the 20th century.

In fact, the dress rehearsal for the Nazi extermination of the Jews
took place exactly 100 years ago, in 1915. The genocide was carried out
by Turkish authorities, and it murdered more than 1 million Armenians,
a people who were overwhelmingly Christian. Religion wasn't the only
reason for the killings - ethnic and economic resentments of Turkey's
Armenian minority played an important role - but Muslim contempt for
the "unbelievers" legitimized the violence and was a powerful current
throughout the killings.

Men, women and children were turned out of their homes, marched to
exhaustion and starved, beaten, hanged and burned to death by the tens
of thousands. The systematic murder campaign went on in bloody waves
into the 1920s. Witnesses recalled Turks taunting their victims with
shouts of "Where is your Christ now? Where is your Jesus? Why does
he not save you?"

To this day, Turkey has never adequately acknowledged the Armenian
genocide. As President Jimmy Carter once remarked, "there weren't
any Nuremburg trials" for the mass murder inflicted on the Armenians.

During the Cold War, Turkey was a NATO ally. The United States and
Europe found it easier to turn a blind eye to history than to resurrect
a crime from the past.

Today, with the resurgence of militant Islam inside Turkey itself,
a full national truth-telling by Turkish authorities may be even more
remote. Armenians were the first nation in the world to formally adopt
Christianity in A.D. 301. Today, in their historic home regions of
modern Turkey, their culture and memory have been wiped out.

Every year on April 24, Armenians around the world celebrate
Remembrance Day for the victims of the 1915 genocide. This year, on
the centenary of that mass murder, Christians from every tradition
need to remember and pray for the victims of that genocide, which
remains one of the worst unrepented crimes in history.

We also need to remember that the persecution and murder of Christians
still continues at the hands of ISIS and radicalized Islam throughout
the Middle East. And to date, our national leadership has been utterly
ineffective in stopping it - or even fully engaging it.

We Americans take for granted our traditions of religious liberty,
human rights and judicial process. We see the coexistence - and even
the friendship -- of different religious communities and beliefs
as quite normal. But it's not. We too often don't understand the
uniqueness of that gift.

Today, in many places around the world, living as a Christian invites
discrimination, hatred and violence. The beheading of Christians by
ISIS is the latest crime in a long history of Middle Eastern Christian
martyrdom - not the phony and homicidal "martyrdom" that involves
blowing up innocent women and children, but the realmartyrdom of
being murdered for one's belief in Jesus Christ.

Lent is a time of repentance. It's also a time for forgiving even the
wicked. But it's also a time to remember and learn from history --
even when the whole world wants to forget it. This Lent we need to
remember and pray for the Armenian Christians who died 100 years
ago. Like us, they were part of God's people; the people of Jesus
Christ. The memory of their suffering should turn our hearts and our
energies to helping the millions of Christians now suffering in the
Middle East and around the world."

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