By April 24, 2013 0 Comments

April 24, 2013

Armenian Genocide24th April marks a day of bereavement for Armenians worldwide. Today, we honour 1.5 million Armenians, victims of the massacres at the hands of the Turkish regime and its collaborators.

The regime, used non conspicuous tactics and devious methods to rid themselves of incriminating evidence, safeguarding themselves against future investigations or reprisal. The massacres were orchestrated in such a manner where the killings were attributed to the war rather than a conscious effort to annihilate Armenians on a mass scale. The Turks maintain that people died on both sides, which is understandable in all wars, however, the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians is well beyond the expected number of fallen from the sporadic battles and is in fact the result of a planned mass exodus and eradication.  Armenians, were rounded up and made to march for days through arid conditions fit for the sole purpose of their extermination. The plan was simple, drag a population through the desert and through the harshest of conditions under the guise of ‘relocation’ when in fact, the underlying object was to drive them to their inevitable demise. Deprived of basic human needs such as water, food and against the harshest of elements, Armenians fell in great numbers. Those who survived, were eventually broken down, raped, tortured and abused. Human cruelty knows no bounds and I will spare the reader the gory details.

The genocide began on the 24th of April 1915. Careful planning went into the process of systematic killing. Community leaders, religious figures, thinkers, teachers… were rounded up and summarily executed this immediately plunged Armenians into disorientation and despair. There were no means of communication at the time, so villages were isolated and their population led en masse towards mainly deserted terrains. Many Armenians tried to escape but were inevitably captured and killed. Some Armenians fought back using whatever limited means they had at the time, but they were insignificant as a force in the face of the mighty Turkish army and its allies.

1.5 million Armenians were massacred in the most brutal and inhumane fashion. The atrocity was so grotesque, it repulsed foreign dignitaries, nuns and charity workers into taking action to save the lives of children; risking severe consequences by hiding the orphaned children in basements and make shift hiding places.

The Turks maintain till this day a pathetic attitude of denial. They refuse to admit to their crime because they know very well that blood is costly in monetary terms and 1.5 million souls come with a hefty price tag. There is also the fact that lands illegally acquired or occupied would have to be given back, the most famous being the Armenian landmark ‘Mount Ararat’ which is mentioned in the Holy Bible, as the final resting place of Noah’s ark. Conveniently, the massacres took place at an age when communication or media were extremely limited so much of the evidence that existed was destroyed, lost or simply vanished into thin air.

Despite Turkish denials, evidence is slowly emerging from various witnesses (Armenian and non-Armenian),  genocide survivors and leaked documents and diaries. At present, there is an active body that is engaged in collecting data to build a case for the Armenians, hoping that one day the opportunity may arise for a case in court.

The Turkish government maintains till this day that there was no genocide per se and that the women, children or the old simply died in the fog of war. They ridicule the number of the dead and claim that it is an Armenian fabrication. There is no perfect crime and certainly not on a mass scale.  We now have records to disprove Turkish claims and and slowly but surely, the evidence continues to stack up.

The genocide was a very dark and painful episode in Armenian history, it hurts every single Armenian but equally I found that it also painful to many Turks who see past the denials and lies. Although the majority of Turks will deny the genocide ever took place, there is a growing minority who believe otherwise. One such individual, Turkish Professor Ugur Ungor has given countless lectures and written on the subject openly. He has revealed many interesting facts that I myself was not even aware of, here is a link to one of his lectures on the subject https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dymso_Wr5RM

I am writing this article hoping to remind us all that good and bad exist in all people, regardless of race, religion, colour or creed. I know it is easy for me to express my point of view and conveniently at a time when none of my immediate family are being mutilated or raped by the oppressors but I feel compelled to be reminded that Armenians were the first nation to adopt Christianity as a state religion. This presents a very serious dilemma because the teachings of Christ are for us to forgive our enemy and to love our enemy. If we are to consider ourselves Christians then we have no choice but to abide by these fundamental principles of Christianity with no exception under any circumstance or situation. We have no choice but to forgive our enemy, if we are to rise above this evil.

I am not implying that we should ever forget about the 1.5 million Armenians killed, nor should we ever forget about the Armenian Genocide and its painful effects. However, seeking justice through any means that conflict with Christ’s teachings will render us in a position much worse. We should seek recognition and compensation but we must also maintain through faith that justice will be served in a manner that God chooses. I know that it is only a matter of time before the Armenian Genocide is formally recognized and I pray that it happens in my lifetime…

Evil knows no bounds and nor is it isolated to a specific population or circumstance. It has infested and infected humanity as a whole and we are all responsible. Anger and hate will never allow us to progress and nor are they characteristic of Christ or his teachings. Forgiveness is our ultimate liberator from that which is evil and painful. It grants us the power to move on in a dignified manner and away from that which shackles us and keeps us from the righteous path.

We, the Armenians have the power to forgive the Turks, it is very hard but not impossible.

The question remains: are you, the Turks, ready to accept your responsibility and admit to to the Armenian Genocide? Do you have the courage to step into the light or will you forever continue to hide in the shadows of lies, denials and guilt?

Your past is smeared with blood from many genocides you have committed against many populations including but not limited to the Greeks, Assyrians, Armenians, etc…

You have demonstrated your might in blood but times have now changed and we are in the modern world, which incidentally, you are quite keen to be part of.  Unfortunately for you, your past is tarnished so you need to prove to the rest of the world that you are worthy of consideration.  Show us the might of your empire, not through the sword but through acts of humility, it may go to show the rest of the world that you almost qualify to being human.

Garo Dedeyan
April 24, 2013
London, England

Posted in: Current Events

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