What is the most horrible crime against humanity in history? To Henry Morgenthau Sr., who served as the US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire between 1913 and 1916, it was the Armenian genocide. Morgenthau wrote in 1919:
“I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this. The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915.”
Up to 1.5 million Armenians were wiped out in their native lands in Ottoman Turkey in a genocidal campaign organized by the Party of Union and Progress, otherwise known as the Young Turks.
102 years after this crime against humanity, the world will finally be able to see an epic Armenian genocide- era movie, The Promise, directed by Terry George and starring Christian Bale. The movie is scheduled to be released in the United States on April 21.
The movie was screened in September at the Toronto International Film Festival to rather small audiences. A special Capitol Hill viewing in Washington was also organized on March 23. Despite the small number of people who have seen the movie, as of April 9 it received 96,897 votes on IMDB and was rated 4.2.
The historian Stefan Ihrig explained why the rating is so low in Forbes magazine:
“Here this movie, for all intents and purposes not yet available to the public, has become something of an online sensation, or rather an online battlefield… We are witnessing yet another anti-Armenian denialist campaign playing out abroad, far away from Turkey, in open, democratic societies. While it is not clear who is orchestrating the campaign, it has to be assumed that, as with other campaigns, connections go back to the Turkish government and/or nationalist groups.”
Obviously, there is a reason for this anti-Armenian and anti-truth campaign.
Turkey seems determined to erase any sign of the Armenian presence in native Armenian lands.
The newspaper Agos reported on March 22 that gravestones believed to be from the Armenian cemetery in the Beybasi neighborhood of Erzincan have been removed from the graveyard. The gravestones, which have Armenian cross-stones (khachkars) and letters on them, together with human bones have been scattered around the area. Some locals told Agos there is also an Armenian church in the city but it has been largely destroyed. Only its foundation remains.
Even today, Turkey does not allow dead Armenians to rest in peace.
Armenian gravestones and crossstones have been found scattered in many places across Turkey, such as in sewers. During excavation work in the city of Tekirdag in 2015, Armenian gravestones were found in a sewer, reported the Turkish Dogan News Agency (DHA).
Armenian churches and schools are also systematically targeted.
Researcher Raffi Bedrosyan writes that Armenian church and school buildings
“disappeared or were converted to other uses. If not burnt and destroyed outright in 1915 or left to deteriorate by neglect, they became converted buildings for banks, radio stations, mosques, state schools, or state monopoly warehouses for tobacco, tea, sugar, etc., or simply private houses and stables for the Turks and Kurds.”
In recent months, an Armenian Protestant church in the city of Elazig has been turned into a parking lot; the historic Surp Asdvadzadzin (Mother Mary) Armenian church in the city of Kayseri is being turned into a library and “book café.” And the historic Armenian Surp (Saint) Minas church in Erzurum is now a stable.
Turkey does not only deny the genocide, but also blames the victims for it. Prof. Taner Akcam wrote in 2015 that Turkish history textbooks used in elementary and middle schools
“characterize Armenians as people ‘who are incited by foreigners, who aim to break apart the state and the country, and who murdered Turks and Muslims.’ Meanwhile, the Armenian Genocide – referred to as the ‘Armenian matter’ in textbooks – is described as a lie perpetrated in order to meet these goals, and is defined as the biggest threat to Turkish national security.”
Historical facts are systematically hidden from Turkish school children.
Instead, they should have been provided with truthful sources such as the 2016 book The Magnitude of Genocide. In it, scholars Colin Tatz and Winton Higgins write that the Young Turks “adopted an authoritarian ethnic nationstate based on Türklük [‘Turkishness’], which included linguistic uniformity and Islamic adherence… Thereupon the non-Turkish-speaking Christian minorities in Anatolia became a ‘problem’ to be solved as part of the ethnic nation-building enterprise.” The Armenian genocide “was certainly racially based in the ethnic, religious, and linguistic senses.
“Turkish paramilitaries dealt with the three Christian minorities (Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians) through pogroms, deportations and other atrocities laced with spectacular and gratuitous sadism. The Turks deployed concentration camps and special killing units; they engaged in massacres, public butchering, drownings and poisonings; they employed elementary gas chambers, medical experiments, starvation and death marches. (A quarter of a century later the German Nazi regime would assiduously replicate all of these genocidal methods.) French-Armenian historian Raymond Kevorkian estimates the death toll included 1.5 million Armenians, between 750,000 and 900,000 Greeks, and between 275,000 and 400,000 Christian Assyrians.”
Sadly, many scholars have failed to investigate this crime against humanity and many governments still have not officially recognized it. “But one person who didn’t forget the Armenian genocide (or the amnesia surrounding it) was Adolf Hitler,” write Tatz and Higgins. “He was reported as citing it, as a worthy precedent for how to treat enemy civilians, to his high command on August 22, 1939, just days before he ordered the attack on Poland that triggered World War II: …‘Who after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?’” To stay alive, many survivors of the genocide had to convert to the religion of the majority in the villages or cities where they lived or to which they were taken. If the majority was Sunni, they converted to Islam. If the majority was Alevis, they became Alevis. Most of them still hide their Armenian roots due to fear of violence.
The exact number of “hidden” or “Islamized” Armenians is not known but estimates vary. Savas Ozbey, a columnist with the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, reported in 2013 that according to Haykazun Alvrtsyan, the director of the Study Center for Western Armenian Issues, there are around 1.5-2 million Islamized Armenians in Turkey today. Hidden Armenians constitute almost half of that number.
According to Yusuf Halacoglu, the former president of the Turkish Institute of History and an MP of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), “By looking at UN records, we can say that there are about 500,000 crypto-Armenians in Turkey today.”
Ozbey conducted interviews with some Islamized, hidden and not-sohidden Armenians. One of them, an Armenian called Zeki, said, “They have made life unbearable for us. The government too knows we are Armenian. That is why, when forced, they tell us ‘to pull down our pants’ to check whether we have been circumcised. It was not only in 1915. We were also victimized in the September 12, 1980 coup d’état, and during the incidents of terrorism. They tortured even my seven-year-old nephew. The severity of the tortures could only be understood from the blood on the ceilings, not just on the walls.”
Ali Gundogdu said that his grandfather, who was a survivor of the genocide, kept saying the same things until his last breath in a hospital room in 1964: “Never ever say that you are Armenian. What Armenian? Do you want to be slaughtered, too?” The Armenian genocide is not “an issue of the past.” With all the Armenian churches used for sacrilegious purposes, cemeteries still destroyed, gravestones found in sewers, and bones scattered across the ground as well as tens of thousands of Islamized Armenians not being able to come out due to fears of backlash, the Armenian genocide is still ongoing in Turkey. That is why everyone must see the magnificent movie The Promise, to tell the denialists and liars that the victims of the genocide shall never be forgotten.
Originally published on 2017-04-17
About the author: Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist based in Washington, DC.
Source: The Jerusalem Post
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.
What is wrong with the American people? After several years of horrific policy toward the waking world, democracy’s standard bearers seem to be drowning in a lake of selfishness. Distracted, apathetic, or simply dumbed and numbed by unrelenting propaganda, the most admired society on Earth has turned to a wriggling mush of diverging ideals. I fear that American have become what we ultimately deplored, just another despicable cultural hegemony. Here’s a short brief on the matter.A recent article by James Carden at The Nation prompted me to discuss this unsavory truth today. The title of the piece, “Trump’s Syria Policy: ...
This April 4th will be 100 years since the U.S. Senate voted to declare war on Germany and 50 since Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against the war on Vietnam (49 since he was killed on that speech’s first anniversary). Events are being planned to help us try to finally learn some lessons, to move beyond, not just Vietnam, but war.
That declaration of war on Germany was not for the war that makes up the single most common theme of U.S. entertainment and history. It was for the war that came before that one. This was the Great War, ...
1. Kosovo is not ancient Albanian land
Its very name comes from the Serbian word "kos," meaning blackbird. Its Albanian name, "Kosova," means nothing whatsoever.
Kosovo was the heartland of medieval Serbian state and the site of the 1389 battle in which both the Serbian prince and the Ottoman sultan died, checking the Turkish expansion into the Balkans for almost 70 years. Ethnic Albanians were settled there by the Ottomans over the intervening centuries, and became a majority due to pogroms and persecution of Serbs - which began under Ottoman rule but continued under Austro-Hungarian occupation in WWI and German/Italian occupation in ...
Video documentary movie on the first ISIS in Europe in the Islamic Caliphate of Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1992-1995.This movie is made by the British SKY NEWS after the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.Similar documentary movies on the ISIS Bosnia-Herzegovina made by the Bosnian Serbs were never shown to the western audience.The duration of the movie is 8 min. and 17 sec.In the movie are presented and future Al-Qaeda Mujahedeen holy fighters.From the movie is clear what was a real nature of the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s.All copyrights reserved by the SKY NEWS.Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, ...
One sharp and interesting analysis of situation in Serbian province of Kosovo Metohija came last week from Andrew Korybko, program host at Radio Sputnik.Mr. Korybko speaks on how the whirlwind of geopolitics, military interests and global giants of business, as well as the change of US administration, could impact the fragile peace in Balkans and what’s behind the latest tensions:”Serbia’s NATO-occupied province of Kosovo has been up to its old tricks lately in trying to provoke Belgrade into another military confrontation conveniently timed to coincide with Trump’s inauguration.The former so-called “Prime Minister” of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, was detained in France ...
In the spirit of the New Cold War and following on its success in snuffing out South Stream, the US has prioritized its efforts in obstructing Russia’s Balkan Stream pipeline, and for the most part, they’ve regretfully succeeded for the time being. The first challenge came from the May 2015 Color Revolution attempt in Macedonia, which thankfully was repulsed by the country’s patriotic citizenry. Next up on the destabilization agenda was the political turmoil that threatened to take hold of Greece in the run-up and aftermath of the austerity referendum, the idea being that if Tsipras were deposed, then Balkan ...
The U.S. government and U.S. media explained the mass murders of Kosovo Serbs, Roma, and other Kosovo minorities as “revenge murders”. They were “revenge attacks”. The expulsion of over 250,000 Kosovo Serbs, Roma, Gorani, and Jews was simply censored and deleted using the infowar technique of Emphasis. These infowar techniques have no basis in criminal law and violate fundamental values and tenets of morality and ethics.
The U.S. rationale was spurious: Because Yugoslav police were defending themselves and Kosovo civilians against what the U.S. State Department itself declared were “terrorists”, the Albanian Muslim population of Kosovo had some sort of right ...
As was expected, President Trump has decertified Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal or, to give it its full name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), despite the fact that he certified it twice before. As recently as 14 September 2017, Trump also waived certain sanctions against Iran as required under the terms of the deal. Yet, in an extremely belligerent and hostile speech, he put out his new policy towards Iran.The certification of the deal is not part of the agreement, but as anti-Iranian hawks in both parties wanted to undermine President Barrack Obama and create obstacles on ...
After the catastrophic attacks of September 11 2001 monumental sorrow and a feeling of desperate and understandable anger began to permeate the American psyche. A few people at that time attempted to promote a balanced perspective by pointing out that the United States had also been responsible for causing those same feelings in people in other nations, but they produced hardly a ripple. Although Americans understand in the abstract the wisdom of people around the world empathizing with the suffering of one another, such a reminder of wrongs committed by our nation got little hearing and was soon overshadowed by ...
The current war conflict in Syria and constant warfare between the Israeli state and the Palestinians which recently erupted once again in Gaza strip brought the region of the Middle East to the world attention once again. However, the Middle East is a natural-geographic continuation of the Mediterranean Sea basin and, therefore, it is a part of the broader Mediterranean geopolitical game. Nevertheless, the geopolitical and geostrategic importance of the Mediterranean Sea basin is probably of the highest level from the global perspective.
An importance of the Mediterranean Sea area in geopolitical and geostrategic standpoint one can understand from the very ...
The European Parliament has asked yesterday (25 October) for an immediate embargo on the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia, hence sanctioning the Kingdom of rogue Saudi Arabia which is joining the United States and Israel as the main purveyor of crime throughout the Middle East and the world. France still said they will apply sanctions only if it is proven that Riyadh was indeed involved in the killing of the controversial Saudi journalist. Madame Merkel at least days ago said that Germany would no longer supply the Saudis with arms – as a result of the heinous crime committed ...
The current Greek population in Turkey is estimated at fewer than 2,000. But this population decline was not due to natural causes; the Greek community has become nearly extinct due to many state-sponsored attacks and pressure.
The largest attacks took place during the last years of the Ottoman Empire with pogroms and discrimination continuing until the present day.
In 2007, the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) announced that “the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted a genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks.”
The destruction of Greek heritage and institutions, including schools, continued ...
The historical and political precedents for the creation of a greater Sqiperia or Greater Albania was set during World War II when the Kosovo and Metohija regions along with territory Southwest of lake Skutari from Montenegro and the western region of Southern Serbia, or Juzna Srbija (now part of Macedonia), were annexed to Albania by the Axis powers led by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, under a plan devised by Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler to dismember and to destroy the Serbian Nation and people, which the Germans and Italians perceived as the main threat to the Axiss powers and ...
On Sunday September 24, 2017, the Pan-Pontian Federation of USA and Canada in collaboration with another 15 organizations celebrated the publication of the new book “Genocide in the Ottoman Empire: Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks, 1913-1923”, at the Hellenic Cultural Center in Astoria. The book consists of academic papers presented at the 2013 Academic Conference that the Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center (AMPHRC) organized at the Holocaust Museum in Skokie, Illinois.The event featured a keynote presentation by the editor of the book and noted historian Mr. George Shirinian. Mr. Shirinian is the Executive Director of the Zoryan Institute, an ...
These are awesome days for headline writers. So many global settings, such an abundance of weapons, such a wealth of choices!
On the morning of April 14, the New York Times led with “A Giant U.S. Bomb Strikes ISIS Caves in Afghanistan,” matched by CNN’s “US Drops ‘Mother of All Bombs.’” The Washington Post chose Syria, where “Errant U.S. Strike Kills 18: Victims in Syria Were Allied Forces.” By mid-afternoon that same day, the Associated Press had shifted to the horn of Africa, where the “U.S. Sends Dozens of Troops to Somalia, 1st Time in Decades.”
And as the Friday rush hour ...
‘Radni logor Jasenovac’ (‘Jasenovac Labour Camp’), the latest work by Croatian author Igor Vukic on the Croatian World War II concentration camp Jasenovac, published by Naklada Pavicic this year, seems like it is inspired by the publications of established Holocaust deniers.
Instead of studying all the available archival records, testimonies and other publications, Vukic avoids confronting the totality of known information on the Jasenovac concentration camp system, and instead cherry-picks and publishes only carefully selected data which supports his ideologically-motivated agenda – the fabrication that Jasenovac was merely a labour camp where no mass murders took place.
The argumentation and evidence cited ...
Sultan Abdul Hamid II, in the face of a rising secular nationalism in the late 1800s, that culminated in the Young Turk movement, tried to restore the influence of the Ottoman Empire among Islamic nations and the Empire’s many peoples by stressing the importance of Islam and the Ottoman Caliphate, of the role of the Ottomans as the protectors of Islam and, in the modern world, a bulwark against western colonialism.Over a hundred years after he left power, after the Empire was broken up by the western powers after the First World War, after the Turkish nationalists under Mustafa Kemal, ...
The ‘mainstream’ Western media is, almost by definition, the last place to consult for honest reporting of Western crimes. Consider the appalling case of Yemen which is consumed by war and an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.Since March 2015, a ‘coalition’ of Sunni Arab states led by Saudi Arabia, and supported by the US, Britain and France, has been dropping bombs on neighbouring Yemen. The scale of the bombing is indicated in a recent article by Felicity Arbuthnot – in one year, 330,000 homes, 648 mosques, 630 schools and institutes, and 250 health facilities were destroyed or damaged. The stated aim of ...
After February 2008 when Kosovo Albanian-dominated Parliament proclaimed Kosovo independence (without organizing referendum) with obvious US diplomatic support (unilateral recognition) with explanation that the Kosovo case is unique in the World (i.e., it will be not repeated again) one can ask the question: is the problem of the southern Serbian province of Kosovo-Metochia really unique and surely unrepeatable in some other parts of the World as the US administration was trying to convince the rest of the international community?
Domino effect in international relations
The consequences of recognition of Kosovo independence by bigger part of the international community are already (and going ...
Last week was marked by the moral acrobatics of two Croatian ministers – War Veterans’ Minister Tomo Medved and Defence Minister Damir Krsticevic – who publicly endorsed two convicted Croatian war criminals, Tomislav Mercep and Mirko Norac.
A WWII Independent State of Croatia in which 700.000 Serbs were brutally killed
Croatian news site Index reported last week that Mercep, who is serving a prison sentence, spent a total of 45 days at a spa instead of in jail this year and last year. As Mercep is a Croatian war veteran, Medved said he vouched for him as worthy recipient of the spa ...
The Problem is America: The Malignant Cultural Hegemony
100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War
Five Facts About Kosovo the Fakenews Media is Lying to You About
Bosnia-Herzegovina ISIS in the 1990s
Why the Albanians Need Tensions in the Province of Kosovo-Metohija Now?
A Hybrid War to Break the Balkans?
U.S. Infowar: Kosovars, Kosovo, Kosovans, Serbian Albanians, Croatian Serbs, Bosnians…
Europe Must Stop Trump from Starting Another War in the Middle East
US has Killed More than 20 Million People in 37 “Victim Nations” since World War II
A Geopolitical Importance of the Mediterranean Sea Area in Global Security During and After the Cold War (1949-1989)
Khashoggi vs. 50,000 Slaughtered Yemeni Children: Europe has no Morals, no Ethics no Nothing
Greeks in Turkey on the Verge of Extinction
Kosovo Albanian “Skanderbeg SS Division”
Book Presentation on the Genocide of the Christians of Asia Minor
There is no Strategy Behind Trump’s War, Just Brute Force
Croatian Book on Jasenovac Distorts Holocaust History
Hagia Sophia: Religion As Politics
Crimes against Humanity: Britain’s Complicity in Saudi Arabia’s Terror Campaign against Yemen
Separatism in Kosovo and the Caucasus: Similarities and Differences
Croatian Ministers Salute Criminals and Dishonour the Dead
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS