The genocides committed by the Ottoman Empire

According to the Swedish parliament, Riksdagen, will on Wednesday vote over resolutions that will make Sweden recognize the genocide of Armenians and Assyrians by the Muslim Turks of the Ottoman Empire in 1915. Turkey has always denied these accusations, but substantial research concludes that genocides against theses people happened. The genocide killed between 500,000 and 1,500,000 Armenians. Also, large numbers of Assyrians were killed in a way that can only be described as genocide. Estimates of Assyrians killed, range from 500,000 – 750,000 people.

Rev. John Eshoo, who miraculously managed to escape, writes that:

The Assyrian refugees were kept under guard for eight days, without anything to eat except a handful of popcorn served daily to each individual. This consideration was by no means intended as a humanitarian act, but merly to keep the victims alive for the infliction upon them of the most revolting tortures at a convenient time set for their execution. At last they were removed from their place of confinement and taken to a spot prepared for their brutal killing.

The helpless Assyrians marched like lambs to their slaughter, and they opened not their mouth, save by saying: “Lord, into thy hands we commit our spirits.” The procession of the victims was led by two green turbaned Sayids (the highest religious order in Islam), one with an open book in his hand, reading from it aloud the passages pertaining to the holy war, and the other carrying a large bladed knife, the emblem of execution.

According to Egyptian-born scholar Bat Ye’or the massacres was a jihad, thus they had a religious character. This is completely in line with a statement by Cevdet Paşa the governor of Van, who is reported to have held a meeting in February 1915 at which he said, “We have cleansed the Armenians and Syriac [Christian]s from Azerbaijan, and we will do the same in Van”.

I welcome a Swedish recognition of these crimes against humanity, that they rightfully will be labeled genocide.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams and Catholicos of all Armenians Garegin II at the Armenian Genocide monument in Yerevan for a torch lighting ceremony for the genocide victims in Darfur. The two men are standing on purple cloth, with Garegin on the left and Williams on the right.


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