Writing this note for one of my foreign friends we’ve met recently and who asked me to share some more information on Genocide of 1.5 Million Armenians in Ottoman Turkey 95 years ago. I use to refuse any comment on this topic, it hurts me, really, so just posting some links and quoting their information without any comment. Sorry.
The Armenian Genocide (Armenian: Հայոց Ցեղասպանություն, translit.: Hayoc’ C’eġaspanowt’yown; Turkish: Ermeni Soykırımı) – also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime (Մեծ Եղեռն, Mec Eġeṙn, Armenian pronunciation: [mɛts jɛˈʁɛrn]) – refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction (genocide) of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was implemented through wholesale massacres and deportations, with the deportations consisting of forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees. The total number of resulting Armenian deaths is generally held to have been between one and one and a half million. Other ethnic groups were similarly attacked by the Ottoman Empire during this period, including Assyrians and Greeks, and some scholars consider those events to be part of the same policy of extermination. Source – Wikipedia.org / Armenian Genocide
Why April 24, 1915? On April 24, 1915, the Red Sunday (Armenian: Կարմիր Կիրակի), was the night which the leaders of Armenians of the Ottoman capital, Constantinopole, and later extending to other Ottoman centers were arrested and moved to two holding centers near Ankara by then minister of interior Mehmed Talat Bey with his order on April 24, 1915. These Armenians later deported with the passage of Tehcir Law on 29 May 1915. The date 24 April, Genocide Remembrance Day, commemorates the Armenian notables deported from the Ottoman capital in 1915, as the precursor to the ensuing events. Interior Minister Talat Pasha, who ordered the arrests. See April 24 Victims, photo
Why “Mets Yeghern” Qualifies as Genocide? – The UN convention
he UN Convention of December 18, 1948 clearly defines the term Genocide as cited below:
Article I. The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and punish.
Article II. In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group;
b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
Article III. The following acts shall be punished:
b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
d) Attempt to commit genocide;
e) Complicity in genocide.
Article IV. Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.
Article V. The Contracting Parties undertake to enact, in accordance with their respective Constitutions, the necessary legislation to give affect to the provision of the present Convention and, in particular, to provide effective penalties for persons guilty of genocide or of any of the other acts enumerated in Article III.
Article VI. Persons charged with genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article III shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the State in the territory of which the act was committed, or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction with respect to those Contracting Parties which shall have accepted its jurisdiction.
Article VII. Genocide and the other acts enumerated in Article III shall not be considered as political crimes for the purpose of extradition. The Contracting Parties pledge themselves in such cases to grant extradition in accordance with their laws and treaties in force.
Article VIII. Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent organs of the United Nations to take such action under the Charter of the United Nations as they consider appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in Article III.
Article IX. Disputes between the Contracting Parties relating to the interpretation, application or fulfillment of the present Convention, including those relating to the responsibility of a State for genocide or for any of the other acts enumerated in Article III, shall be submitted to the International Court of Justice at the request of any of the parties to the dispute.
Thus all those acts enumerated in Article II of the Convention are crimes of genocide. The Armenian genocide (Mets Yeghern) is about all the mentioned five points in general, about the first two points and in particular:
a) Killing members of the group; and
b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group.
Therefore there is not even a slightest doubt that what had happened in 1915 in Western Armenia was Genocide.
As the Article III of the Convention states
a) the act of Genocide and
b) Conspiracy to commit genocide should be punished;
which means that the Ottoman Empire (presently Turkey) that had committed the crime of genocide against Armenians must be punished by the international laws.
According to the IV and VI articles of the Convention the persons that are guilty of committing genocide shall be tried either in the territory of the State where the act has been committed or by an international penal tribunal.
In 1919 the Court Martial in Constantinople condemned Talaat, Enver and Jemal Pashas, and Doctor Naseem to death in absentia. But the sentence was never enforced. Years later that verdict was carried out by Armenian revenge takers.
● Armenian Genocide History/Timeline – here
● Recognition of the Armenian Genocide, List of countries – here
● Armenian Genocide Photos and Videos, /warning -the images may not be suitable for all audiences/ – here
● Armenian Genocide Quotes – here
● Armenian National Institute, Genocide Studies – here
● Further reading – here , here and here
● Light a candle for victims of Armenian Genocide – here
● The Armenian Genocide Museum-institute – here
No one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten.