97th anniversary of Armenian Genocide: reactions of the world media

The world media refers to the history of Armenian Genocide and publish articles on the theme.

“On Tuesday marks the 97th anniversary of the Armenian genocide by the Turkish government, a fact that the Turks to this day deny.

Armenians all over the world commemorate this great tragedy on April 24, because it was on that day in 1915 when 300 Armenian leaders, writers, thinkers and professionals in Constantinople (present day Istanbul) were rounded up and deported or killed. Also on that day in Constantinople, 5,000 of the poorest Armenians were butchered in the streets and in their homes.

The Ottoman Empire was a world power from the 13th century until the 20th. During the 16th and 17th centuries the empire reached its height of power under Suleiman the Magnificent, controlling much of southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa.

Much like the Roman Empire, the Ottoman Empire rotted away with the Young Turks forming a modern country called Turkey. In the process of the revolution, the Armenian minority (mostly Christian) were threatened, killed and raped in the worst ethnic cleansing in Turkish history.

It was a prelude to what Adolf Hitler would do 20 years later in Germany. An estimated 1.5 million to 2 million Armenians were slaughtered. Those who survived fled the country”, gosanangelo.com writes.

“While the modern-day Republic of Turkey was founded in 1923, eight years after its Ottoman predecessors embarked on a massive and systematic undertaking to rid the empire of its Armenian population, the country today often finds itself in diplomatic spats with various Western nations over its history. Outside the periphery of geopolitics, it would be perplexing to most as to why an event that occurred nearly 100 years ago would impact relations between Turkey and the United States and various European countries. The answer lies in the annals of history.

During the First World War, while the Islamic Ottoman Empire was fighting the Allied Powers on the side of Germany, its native Christian Armenian population became a target of organized deportations and massacres. Long having suffered from discrimination and second-class citizenship, WWI provided the Young Turk government a cover to reach a “final solution” to the prevailing Armenian question.

Starting April 24, 1915, with the arrest and killing of the Armenian intelligentsia, an entire civilization was uprooted from its many-millennia-old homeland and outright massacred or driven to a slow death in the deserts of Syria. The material and cultural loss of the Armenians has also been enormous, with some 3,000 churches destroyed alone. It is estimated that out of a population of two million Armenians, one-and-a-half million were killed while another half a million survived and dispersed to nearly every continent, thus resulting in the creation of a large and dynamic Armenian Diaspora”, Jerusalem Post writes.

They held their children in their arms and carried whatever else they could into the desert.

Bibles that had been in families for centuries. Handmade lace handkerchiefs made for weddings and baptisms. Documents that listed their names and where they were born.

Nearly 100 years after the Armenian Genocide began in the Ottoman Empire, some of those very same items can be found carefully preserved in glass cases and in frames in the San Fernando Valley, a testament of survival.

An estimated 1.5 million Armenians died from 1915-23 in what has been called the first genocide of the 20th century.

The Turkish government maintains the deaths were a consequence of betrayal and civil unrest in what was then the Ottoman Empire. Even the genocide has become politicized with both the United States and Turkish governments refusing to call it such. Armenian-American activists have said the U.S. government won’t officially recognize the killings as genocide because it would hurt relations with Turkey, a NATO ally.

“Turks believe it was a civil war within a world war, engineered, provoked, and waged by the Armenians with active support from Russia, England, and France, and passive support from the U.S. diplomats, missionaries, media and others with anti-Turkish agendas, all eyeing the vast territories of the collapsing Ottoman Empire,” said Ergun Kirklikovali, president of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations, based in Washington.

Armenians, however, say the killings involved the systematic cleansing of Christians, which included Assyrians and Pontic Greeks. Priests and intellectuals were beheaded. Women and children were terrorized as they were marched out of their homeland and into the Middle East”, dailynews.com writes.

Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian issued the following statement on April 23in response to President Barack Obama’s remarks at the U.S. Holocaust Museum, outlining U.S. commitment to the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities, armenianweekly.com writes.

“President Obama undermined his own commitment to ‘Never Again’ in his speech at the U.S. Holocaust Museum this morning, when, on the day before the annual commemoration marking the Armenian Genocide—the atrocities that Hitler himself referenced prior to launching the Holocaust—he cited several past genocides but remained entirely silent on the Armenian Genocide, the crime that, as a candidate for the White House, he so prominently and repeatedly promised to recognize,” stated Hamparian.

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