Annihilation of three Christian communities in Ottoman Empire “homogenizing” process

Assyrian information agency AINA took an interview from the founder of the Gomidas Institute in London Ara Sarafian, who deals with promoting and disseminating research and scholarship on modern Armenian studies. He published The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916 book, referring to the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian genocides. Armenian publishes an excerpt from the interview.

Asked whether he considers the 1915 genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks to be one genocide, he confirmed it especially in the sense that the Armenian Genocide was part of a process of “homogenizing” a modern Turkish state. Whereas in the case of Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, it was achieved through mass murder, but also forced assimilation of those who stayed alive. The annihilation of these three Christian communities was a “homogenizing” process.

As for the fact that the Armenian Parliament rejected a proposal to consider a bill recognizing the Assyrian and Greek genocides recently and whether Armenia should recognize the Assyrian Genocide, the scholar said that Armenia should be the first country to express solidarity with Assyrians and recognize the Assyrian Genocide. He believes that with a little work, it would be possible to win over people in Armenia to take a stand on the Assyrian issue.

In response to the question, how the three main victim groups can cooperate for a united approach towards genocide recognition and justice, Sarafian said it is possible through adopting common projects, maintaining academic standards, making such knowledge available at a wider level.

He also added that many Turks, Kurds and other Muslims recognize the genocides that were committed in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Hence, there is a fundament, but Assyrians should work together and elaborate their case reasonably.