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The Centennial of the Armenian Genocide
No matter where one stands on the centenary anniversary of the Armenian genocide, or on what fence one opts to sit instead, it is undeniable that there has been a huge groundswell of support in favour of recognition.

20 April 2015   |   Armenian Issues   |   Subject  The Armenian Genocide

This does not mean that Turkey will suddenly recognise this genocide next week. Nor, for that matter, does it mean that people will still speak about it so volubly once the immediacy of the commemorations fades away. However, a psychological threshold has been crossed by the collective efforts of Armenians, assisted by many well-meaning Turks and many other supporters worldwide, who together have confronted the harrowing impact of denial.

As a simple individual with no particular influence, power or principality, I thank each and every one of them. I thank even more deeply those righteous Turks - good neighbours indeed - who helped the Armenians during their moment of need in 1915 let alone the missionaries, ambassadors, consular officials or photographers who bore witness to this genocide. But I also thank those individuals and families across the Arab and Muslim Worlds who welcomed, received, cared for and provided shelter and safety to those men, women and children at the very desperate moment when body and soul were no longer held together.

A collective THANK YOU again!

At moments of anger or frustration, I re-read Mustafa Akyol’s Open Letter to the Armenian Diaspora of 2007. This thoughtful letter by a fellow Anatolian (of sorts) injects in me a sense of inclusiveness let alone awareness that there are many Turks today who still remain deeply convinced of their own narrative. They are not the enemy, but they need to face facts too.

So let me end here with a final challenge to those who are duty-bound to deny what happened to Armenians under cover of WWI! The University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies showed in stark figures that there were 2,133,190 Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1914 but only 387,800 remained by 1922.

So my question today is simple: where - and how - did the 1,745,390 Armenians go in 8 years?

© Dr Harry Hagopian   |   Armenian Issues   |   20 April 2015


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