TURKISH CIVIL ACTIVISTS: JUSTICE CAN BE RESTORED AFTER GENOCIDE RECOGNITION
- The Committee Against Racism and Discrimination of the Istanbul Branch of the Human Rights Association sent letters today, April 24 to the Catholicos of all Armenians Karekin II and the Catholicos of Cilicia Aram I, expressing solidarity with their demands for truth and justice, Armenian Weekly reports. Below are presented the texts of both letters.
"Today is the 24th of April, 2012, the 97th anniversary of the arrests of the Armenian intellectuals of Istanbul, which represents the beginning of the Armenian Genocide.
We are writing this letter to you to say that we bow in shame and in respect before the memory of the Ottoman Armenians who were massacred and dispossessed of all their riches, of all their richness of every kind, and effectively, even of the vestiges of their past. We are addressing our letter to you to declare that we remain the defenders of the usurped rights of the children and the grandchildren of the victims who survived massacre and were dispersed to all corners of the earth.
On April 24, 2011, the same day that we were commemorating in Istanbul the 96th anniversary of the arrest of the Armenian intellectuals, Sevag Şahin Balıkçı was shot dead while on mandatory military duty in the Turkish army in the city of Batman.
Officials gave misleading information and manipulated witnesses in order to declare the death an accident. Further inspection and investigations have since pointed to premeditated murder. The murder of Sevag Şahin Balıkçı is evidence that there has been no life security for Armenians since 1915, that the process of genocide is ongoing, and that the denial of 97 years perpetuates genocide.
In the 97th year of the process of genocide, which began with the arrests in Istanbul on April 24, 1915, and which included the annihilation of the Armenians as well as the Assyrians and Greeks of Anatolia, we are writing this letter to directly address you and the children of the victims of the Armenian genocide around the world, whom you represent. We hereby declare our belief that it is only after the recognition of the Genocide and the restitution of and/or compensation for the confiscated property of Armenians that justice can be established," the letter addressed to the Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia His Holiness Aram I reads.
"Your visit to Istanbul in 2006 met with attacks against your person and your See by proponents of hate in Turkey, due especially to a reply you gave in the press conference. You said, "For our people, the Genocide is not a matter of investigation; it is a factual event that took place, and must be recognized as such." Your words were themselves subjected to an investigation under article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, whose legitimacy we contest in the most absolute terms.
We are writing you this letter to state that we share the views you voiced in the press conference in their entirety. As defenders of human rights, we deem the campaign against you by proponents of enmity and hate, as well as the investigation initiated by the Turkish judiciary, to be an attack against human rights," the letter addressed to Catholicos of all Armenians Karekin II reads.
- 775 Battle of Ardzni (Bagrevand).
- 1877 Tsar Alexander the Second starts the Russian-Turkish War in the Balkans and on the territory of ancient Armenia. The war ended with the victory of Russia.
- 1910 Death of Armenian writer Victoria Azanoor (Pompili). She wrote in Italian. Her books were translated into Armenian by Father Arsen Ghazikian.
- 1915 The arrest, exile and murder of the Armenian intellectuals (about 800) of Constantinople. The Turks start the implementation of their state plan for the Armenian Genocide. About one million Armenians are killed.
- 1937 The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia decides to dissolve the Committee of the Transcaucasian Countries.
- 1965 The Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide took place in about 25 countries out of respect for the memory of the innocent victims. A monument was unveiled in the Main Cathedral of Echmiadsin. The monument to the memory of the Armenian Genocide in Montebello, California.
- 1968 The World Congress of Peace Movements, with the participation of organizations from 64 countries and of 16 international organizations, commemorated the Armenian Genocide.
- 1973 A monument to the memory of the Armenian Genocide is unveiled in Marseilles, France.
- 1975 Opening of monuments commemorating the memory of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. They were in Bikfaya (Lebanon), Athens (Greece) and Milan (Italy).
- 1978 A monument to the memory of the Armenian Genocide is unveiled in Lyon, France.
- 1984 A monument to the memory of the Armenian Genocide was placed in Alfortville, near Paris.
- 1987 An Armenian stone-cross dedicated to the memory of the Armenian Genocide is unveiled in Stuttgart, Germany.
- 1989 A monument dedicated to the memory of the Armenian Genocide was unveiled in Sydney, Australia.
- 1990 President Bush issued a news release calling on all Americans to join with Armenians on April 24 in commemorating "the more than a million Armenian people who were victims".
- 1994 President Clinton issued a news release on April 24, to commemorate the "tragedy" that befell the Armenians in 1915.