The destruction of Christian life must be recognized as a genocide against the Armenians! – An open letter to the members of the German Bundestag

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An open letter to the
members of the German Bundestag
Göttingen, April 14, 2015
100th anniversary of the genocide against the Armenians in the
Ottoman Empire (April 24, 1915)
Call it what it is: The destruction of Christian life must be recognized as a genocide against the Armenians!

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen

On occasion of the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the genocide against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (April 24, 1915) the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) would like to ask the German Bundestag to officially recognize the crimes as such. More than 1.5 million Armenians and at least 500,000 Assyrians/Aramaeans/Chaldeans were murdered back then. The deportations of Ottoman Greeks in Eastern Thrace and Ionia were later continued in the region of Pontus during the First World War. Tens of thousands lost their lives.

On behalf of our human rights organization, I would like to appeal to you to urge the federal government to act on the government in Ankara. The destruction of Christian life, which took place in 1915 and the following years (in a region which belongs to Turkey today), must be officially recognized – as a step towards reconciliation with the Armenians, the Assyrians/Aramaeans/Chaldeans and the Greeks of Asia Minor.

In addition, we would like to ask you to condemn the defamation of Christian minorities in Turkish textbooks. By order of the Turkish Ministry of Education, the Armenians, Assyrians/Aramaeans/Chaldeans and Pontic Greeks are still described as spies, traitors and barbarians. In opinion of our human rights organization, this education policy is an attempt of the Turkish government to prevent a reappraisal of historical events. Even today, the Syrian Orthodox Christians are not recognized as a minority in Turkey.

Now, 100 years later, the Turkish government has obviously not learned much. By providing logistical support for the “Islamic State” (IS) in neighboring Syria and in Turkey itself, it is once again involved – at least morally – in the persecution and extermination of Christian communities. Apparently, Turkey has taken sides with Islamist extremists who persecute Kurds, Yazidis, Armenians, Assyrians/Aramaeans/Chaldeans, Ismailis and other minorities in Syria. Thus, IS-fighters are able to cross the Syrian-Turkish border freely, while humanitarian aid supplies for the Kurdish and Christian regions of the neighboring country are blocked.

Please keep in mind that the European Parliament made a decision in 1987, according to which Turkey will only be allowed to join the Union if the genocide against the Armenians is officially recognized.

With best regards
Tilman Zülch, Secretary General of the STP

>>>>>>>>>>>>> Für Menschenrechte. Weltweit. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker / Society for Threatened Peoples
P.O. Box 20 24 – D-37010 Göttingen/Germany

Nahostreferat/ Middle East Desk
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