100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

Exactly 100 years ago the first genocide of the 20th century started: The Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Turks. The Ottoman empire, the predecessor of Turkey, ordered the deportation and execution of hundreds of thousand of Armenians. At the end the number of killed Armenians became close to 1.5 Million.

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The mass-murder was ordered by Enver Pasha, the effective head of the Ottoman empire, after having been badly destroyed in the Battle of Sarikamish by the Russians. Mostly because he blamed the Armenians for his disastrous failure.

Up till today Turkish governments oppose calling this mass murder genocide, although the dimensions speak for themselves. Finally, at least Pope Francis dared to step up and speak out loudly about the genocide, calling names as it should be, with the usual rebuttals of the right-wing political system in Turkey.

Having been myself in Armenia, as well as Georgia, and Turkey, I have seen and know the pain of looking onto Mount Ararat, taken from Armenia by the Turks. This mountain is the center piece of Armenian mythology, now always there but nobody can reach it.

As a side note, also Japan never stood up and declared the killing (like the Nanking massacre) in Korea and China as what it is, mass murder!

On another side note, in one of my favorite books, Zülfü Livaneli’s Serenade für Nadja, the main actor’s grand parents were involved in this genocide, and survived because of a brave Turk rescued Armenians. And by the way, it was also due to the Turkish government that the greatest civilian ship accident in the history, the sinking of the Struma with about 850 Jewish refugees, took place. Also this has never been acknowledged!

It is time to speak out. The post-Nazi countries (Germany, Austria) have taken a clear stance towards the horrible genocide during this time. Turkey still ignores its responsibilities. Let us at least never forget the millions of dead Armenians, slaughtered by Turks just for the fun.

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