Friday, April 29, 2016

Yet another attempt to deny The Armenian Genocide---sad but true

Only two countries deny the Armenian Genocide — Turkey and its close ally, Azerbaijan — but the European Parliament and 29 countries including Canada, France, Germany and Russia recognize the systemic massacres by the Ottoman Empire as genocide. U.S. efforts to formally recognize the Armenian Genocidehave repeatedly fallen flat due in part to pro-Turkish opposition, but 44 states have recognized the atrocities as genocide including New Jersey.
Taskin's letter on the Michigan school books issue was posted the day after the annual day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide on April 24 and several days after recent pro-Turkey skywriting appeared over New York City. According to Vice News, that skywriting featured messages such as as "101 years of Geno-lie," "Gr8 ally = Turkey," "BFF = Russia + Armenia," and ""
Drew to commemorate Armenian genocide, host former CIA director
Drew University will host a commemoration event for the Armenian Genocide as well as host the former director of the CIA for a lecture this week.

Turkey has repeatedly denied the killing of Armenians in the early 20th century was organized and systematic, disputed the number killed and opposed international efforts to recognize it as genocide — going so far last year during the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, according to the BBC, as to recall its ambassador to the Vatican when Pope Francis referred to the atrocities as "the first genocide of the 20th century."
Taskin's website for the Turkish Institute for Progress lists three issues as its top priorities: denying the killing of Armenians from 1915 to 1917 amounted to genocide; encouraging a reconciliation of Turkey and Armenia; and highlighting Turkey's role in NATO and global security.
Taskin's website also disputes the number of Armenians killed, saying only "600,000 Armenians died" and those killings were not "premeditated" or "systematic." The website also states 2.5 million Turks, Kurds and Arabs also died.
In a statement sent to NJ Advance Media Friday morning, Taskin said her group recognizes "that the events around 1915 and earlier were tragic."
"Many millions of lives were lost, including Turkish, Armenian, Muslim, and Jewish lives," she said. "We do not dispute this.  We do dispute the accusations that the events of 1915 raise to the level of 'genocide.'"
She also said an open dialogue needs to occur between Turkey and Armenia in order to foster reconciliation. Taskin has not yet addressed how a reconciliation can be possible given Turkey's failure to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.
According to an overview by the New York Times, Armenians mark April 24, 1915 as start of the genocide — the day Armenian intellectuals were rounded up, arrested and later executed. Figures compiled by the University of Minnesota's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies by province and district show there were about 2.1 million Armenians in the empire in 1914 and only about 387,800 by 1922, according to the newspaper.
The overview states the Times "covered the issue extensively — 145 articles in 1915 alone by one count — with headlines like 'Appeal to Turkey to Stop Massacres.' The Times described the actions against the Armenians as 'systematic,' 'authorized,' and 'organized by the government.'"
Paterson Mayor Jose Torres referred comment on the issue to Taskin herself.
Justin Zaremba may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JustinZarembaNJ. Find on Facebook.

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