Monday, 13 April 2015

Pope Francis and genocide

Pope Francis has used the word "genocide" to describe what happened to the Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Good for him!

Indeed, we can add to this the Greek and the Assyrian Genocide and the persecution of my Maronite ancestors by the Ottomans and the evil that has come out of the false religion of a desert dweller that has denied Christ for 1400 years. Yesterday, in Byzantium, words from the at false prophet and antichrist were read in the Church of Holy Wisdom.

The government of Turkey is upset and has called in the Ambassador of the Holy See and has recalled their own from Rome.

Enough of the lies of these Turks and of Islam. Perhaps the Pope has come to the conclusion that the slaughtering of Christians in the last year has in fact been with the acquiescence of these in Turkey who refused to defend the Assyrians on their border and have provided access points for murderous barbarians to join the so-called Islamic State of Dirt Dwellers. This is nothing new for the Turkmen who have done this so many times in the past.

Let us give thanks to God that Pope Francis has named the evil. May he find the courage and wisdom to call out the root of it.

Turkey threatens a response

Erdogan's Turkey threatens "response" to Pope’s affirmation of Armenian "genocide" 
Government officials across the board define " the words spoken yesterday by Francis as “invalid", "null and void", "inappropriate", "unilateral", "unacceptable" and "distorts history". The same words used in 2001 by John Paul II. But the "moderate" Islamic president wants to propose a new Ottomanism and is concerned about the approach of the general elections of 7 June.

Rome (AsiaNews) -  "Null and void", "inappropriate", "unilateral", "unacceptable" and    a “distortion of history", this is the harsh response from the Turkish government to Pope Francis’ words about the "genocide" of Armenians carried out one hundred years ago by  the Ottoman Empire.
Francis was speaking during Mass celebrated for the "Metz Yeghern", the Armenian "Great Evil" when he stated that " our human family has lived through three massive and unprecedented tragedies. The first, which is widely considered “the first genocide of the twentieth century” affected the Armenian people.
Ankara’s response seems to indicate a new Vatican attitude regarding the Armenian "genocide" – which Turkey continues to deny - but in reality the term was used in the Joint Declaration made in Armenia, in Etchmiadzin by John Paul II and Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, September 27, 2001, which was expressly mentioned yesterday. At the time, the Turkish reaction was very bland.
Thus, if the "Vatican" statement is the same and the Turkish reaction very different, the change of policy actually is on Ankara’s part.  The political power has passed from the secularism of parties who referred to the tradition of Kemal Ataturk to that of the "moderate" Islamism of Erdogan and his attempt to propose a new Ottomanism. Moreover, the president is concerned about the approach of the general elections of June 7, to the point of taking intransigent positions on the most sensitive national issues to contain the dreaded drain of votes from his AKP party towards MHP nationalists.
In fact, yesterday the Turkish foreign ministry summoned the papal nuncio, Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, to whom the deputy undersecretary Levent Murat Burhan said that the Pope’s remarks caused “deep sorrow and disappointment” in Ankara. Criticizing the Pope’s remarks as “one-sided” and “far from accurate,” that they had “created a loss of trust in bilateral ties” and that “Turkey will surely respond.” Ankara has also recalled its Ambassador to the Holy See Mehmet Pacaci "for consultations". The Foreign Ministry, in making their decision known stated that the allegation made by Francis " is controversial in every aspect, which is based on prejudice, which distorts history and reduces the pains suffered in Anatolia under the conditions of the First World War to members of just one religion".
And that’s not all. The Minister of Turkey to the EU, Volkan Boksir, via Twitter also wrote: " I reject the Papal attitude, which should strive to leave a legacy of peace and friendship for future generations, but instead tries to derive enmity out of history". “There is - he added - There is no period of time in Turkey's history that it would be ashamed of. Efforts towards constituting an identity based on falsified documents will fail". And there’s even more, the Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in another tweet described the Pope's words as "unacceptable", " far from historic and legal truths".
Finally, the same Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, In a televised speech on Sunday, Davutoglu accused the pontiff of making “inappropriate” and “one-sided” remarks, adding, "We'd expect the religious leaders to call for peace. Opening archives for those whose hearts are sealed serves no purpose". This last statement refers to the request made to Turkey, and never met, to open the archives relating to that period.
In this regard, the official Anadolu news agency, repeats the "historic" Turkish line, according to which "the Ottoman Empire, following the revolt, moved Armenians to eastern Anatolia and there were Armenian victims during the process of relocation".
An estimated one and a half million. (FP)'s-Turkey-threatens-response-to-Pope%E2%80%99s-affirmation-of-Armenian-genocide-33961.html

Reprinted below is a post from January of this year featuring an article from Uzay Bulut. It is worth remembering in light of these other holocaust deniers.

Why Does No-one Remember the Assyrian Victims of Ottoman Turkey's Christian Holocaust?

As you read below this article from October 2014 and scan the old photos, ask yourself, have you seen these images lately? Who was behind it then? Who is behind it now?

By Uzay Bulut

October 28, 2014 12:10 GMT

You may have heard of the Armenian genocide. You've probably heard of Stalin's starvation of the Ukrainians, and the atrocities committed by the European empires in Africa. You've definitely heard of the Holocaust.

Yet chances are you've never heard of the Assyrian genocide, even though this was just as brutal and costly. It was perpetrated alongside the Armenian massacre, yet only one of the twin programmes has lived on in infamy.

The Assyrian genocide occurred 100 years ago, and decimated a people whose territory stretched from the areas now known as Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Egypt. Today, this very same area is the world's fiercest conflict zone, the wounds which opened a century ago showing no sign of healing.

Which makes it all the more important that we remember the horrors inflicted on the Assyrians all those years ago.

Ethnic cleansing

Historians today describe the Assyrian Genocide as a programme of extermination carried out by the Ottoman Empire upon the Chaldean, Syriac and Assyrian populations. All three peoples were Christian, and the Ottomans attempted to wipe them out during a wider ethnic cleansing campaign, which also included the Armenian and Greek genocides.

The Assyrian extermination campaign actually lasted from 1914 to 1923, Turkey's rulers carrying on the killing long after their empire had been dismantled. The death toll varies depending which historical scholar or record you consult.

"Estimates on the overall death toll vary, with some contemporary reports placing the figure at 270,000, and estimates range to as many as 750,000," reported Dr. Israel W. Charny, the editor of two-volume Encyclopedia of Genocide and executive director of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide.

Charny groups the Assyrian Genocide together with the massacre of Greeks and Armenians in a "Christian Holocaust", which he claims was "the precursor to the Jewish Holocaust in WWII." 
"To this day, the Turkish government ostensibly denies having committed this genocide" Charny adds.

Ottoman Jihad against native Christian populations

Sabri Atman, who is also one of the most well-known lecturers on the Assyrian Genocide, said in an interview with the Armenian Weekly this year that the Ottoman Empire was bent on "ethnically annihilating all non-Muslim citizens living under the Ottoman occupation, with the objective of homogenising Turkey in accordance with their goal to create a nation of 'One Religion'.

"Their motto was 'One Nation, One Religion.' To achieve their goal, jihad (or holy war) was declared on Nov. 14, 1914 in all of the Ottoman mosques... The main plot was to get rid of all the Christian minorities of Turkey,."

Atman added that "Denial is a form of continuation of the genocide. It is to be killed twice."

Hannibal Travis, a Professor of Law at Florida International University, wrote an article on the Assyrian Genocide in 2006, suggesting that "the Ottoman Empire's widespread persecution of Assyrian civilians during World War I constituted a form of genocide... a deliberate and systematic campaign of massacre, torture, abduction, deportation, impoverishment, and cultural and ethnic destruction.

"Established principles of international law outlawed this war of extermination against Ottoman Christian civilians before it was embarked upon, and ample evidence of genocidal intent has surfaced in the form of admissions by Ottoman officials.

"Nevertheless, the international community has been hesitant to recognize the Assyrian experience as a form of genocide."

Finally, a monument

An Assyrian genocide monument, in memory of the Assyrian victims of the Christian genocide of the Ottoman Empire during World War One, was erected on 19 October in Athens. The monument's opening was attended by Kyriakos Betsaras, the president of the Assyrian Union of Greece,  as well as the current and former Mayors of Athens.

Assyrian Monument vandalised in Sydney, Australia in 2101.
Sabri Atman spoke at the ceremony, called on "Turkey and all nations around the world to recognise this historical reality," adding: "In recent years, Assyrians have been working diligently towards greater public awareness and worldwide recognition of the Assyrian Genocide.

"The ethnic extermination of hundreds of thousands of our people and the destruction of our lands forever changed the demographics of the area we called home for thousands of years. We Assyrians standing here today are the children of a nation which was almost completely eliminated from the face of the earth," he said.

"I'm also proud to stand in front of you today knowing that over 20 countries have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. It is my hope that in the future, countries will continue to follow in this pattern, and will also include the recognition of Assyrians and Greeks as victims of the same Genocide."

Monuments commemorating the victims of the Assyrian genocide have also been erected in Sweden, Belgium, France, Armenia, Australia, Wales and the United States. Whether Turkey follows suit, however, remains to be seen.

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