What happened in the Genocide of 1915?

@gazetesabro – Every year on April 24, the gruesome events of the 1915 Armenian Genocide are remembered. Those who were brutally killed are commemorated. Calls for official recognition and confrontation are repeated in the 106th year of the Genocide of 1915.

On April 24, 1915, Ottoman authorities began, unannounced and en masse, to arrest and exile Armenians in Istanbul. Those arrested were mostly intellectuals, community leaders, and political activists. 224 Armenian intellectuals were taken to concentration camps in Ayaş and Çankırı. What followed was the massacre and deportation of an entire population. Hundreds of thousands of people were subjected to forced migration and one and a half million Armenians were systematically massacred during the Genocide.

Syriacs (Arameans-Chaldeans-Assyrians), Pontic-Greeks and Jews suffered the same fate as the Armenians in the 1915 Genocide. They too were subjected to mass killings, forced migration, sexual abuse, Islamization, detention, and repression. Syriacs commemorate the hundreds of thousands killed annually on June 15. More than 300,000 Pontic Greeks were also killed. They are commemorated annually on the 19th of May.

Image: Gazete Sabro

Call to action and recognition

The Genocide is much discussed academically and politically, but many governments have not yet officially recognized the Genocide of 1915 as such. And one of these countries is Turkey in particular. The Genocide requires continuous action and confrontation for recognition. The call for official recognition is also repeated this year by the ancestors of the victims, Armenians and the other peoples repeat their demands. The Christian Armenian, Syriac, and Pontic-Greek peoples still face the effects of the genocide today. Because not only people were they massacred in the Genocide. Their languages, schools, libraries, churches, monasteries, cemeteries, real estate property and many other things were burned, destroyed, and seized.

With the systematically planned policy of Genocide, all the cultural heritage, all places of worship, and schools of these peoples needed to be attacked and these peoples needed to be forced into emigration from Turkey. In order to eliminate these people, the perpetrators wanted to destroy their tongue, to assimilate it. On the other hand, many Christian peoples were forcibly converted to Islam and subjected for years of persecution. Thousands of churches, monasteries, schools and properties were seized, burned, demolished or turned into stables.

Syriac and Armenian orphans from southeastern Turkey and Hakkari in Baquba refugee camp, Iraq, after the Genocide of 1915.

Hate and seizures continue today

In today’s Turkey, repressive and discriminatory policies continue. In the most recent months alone, there have been multiple hate attacks against Christians in Turkey, 4 churches were put up for sale, 2 churches were converted into mosques, 7 legal excavations were carried out under the assumption that there was “gold treasure” in churches-converted-into-mosques, 1 church was destroyed, and earthwork was begun because it was really necessary to build a “multi-storey reinforced concrete car park” near a Syriac Catholic monastery.

106th year

Every year, on April 24, Armenians commemorate the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and the one and half million Armenians who lost their lives in this genocide.

For the original article in Turkish see Gazete Sabro