The 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, which saw 1.5 million Armenians killed as the Ottoman Empire came to its bloody end, will be commemorated next April. The UK and US governments are complicit in the Turkish government’s continuing denial, and do not recognise the events as being a genocide. More than twenty governments worldwide have recognised the events as genocide, plus the devolved bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is also broad consensus among historians and experts outside of Turkey about what happened to the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek populations of Anatolia during this period. Recognition from the UK (Westminster) and US governments would make the pressure on Turkey to recognise the genocide itself overwhelming – the only path to meaningful justice and reconciliation.
Raphael Lemkin, who lost relatives in the Holocaust and went on to coin the word ‘genocide’ in 1944, said: “I became interested in genocide because it happened so many times. It happened to the Armenians, then after the Armenians, Hitler took action.”
A concerted effort in the lead-up to April 2015 would provide an historic opportunity to highlight this issue of great moral importance. Contact your MP. [N.B. – see EDMs: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2005-06/2872, http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2005-06/1454, http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2006-07/2166] – D.R.