Canadian Museum for Human Rights Produces Film about Armenian Genocide

( TORONTO, Ontario—In partnership with the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), the Armenian National Committee of Canada co-organized the premiere of the museum’s new film about the Armenian Genocide, “Acts of Conscience: Armin T. Wegner and the Armenian Genocide” on October 13th, 2016.

Scene from “Acts of Conscience: Armin T. Wegner and the Armenian Genocide” (Photo: Armenian National Committee of Canada)
Scene from “Acts of Conscience: Armin T. Wegner and the Armenian Genocide” (Photo: Armenian National Committee of Canada)

The event took place at the Armenian Youth Centre of Toronto and attracted hundreds of community members and supporters of the ANCC and CMHR. The event was also attended by Peter Farenholtz, Consul General of Germany in Canada, MP Arnold Chan. Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Agincourt and Chair of the Canada-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Group, Councilor Jim Karygiannis, Toronto City Councilor, TDSB Trustees and a large number of activists.

After the screening of the documentary, the event featured a discussion with renowned Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan, who narrated the short documentary which will play in the Museum’s “Breaking the Silence” gallery.

Subsequently, remarks were delivered by CMHR president and CEO, John Young, MP Arnold Chan – who also read a statement from The Right Hon. Justin Trudeau – and Councilor Jim Karygiannis, Toronto city councilor. Closing remarks were delivered by ANCC president, Shahen Mirakian. In his remarks, Mirakian said that it is only through our concerted efforts that we can stay true to our commitment and carry on the legacy of Wegner by standing up against any forms of injustice towards humanity.

The film “Acts of Conscience” looks at the genocide through the lens of Armin T. Wegner, a German war medic who photographed and documented atrocities against the Armenian-Christian minority that were occurring around him in the Ottoman Empire during the first World War – including forced “death marches” through the desert. In the 1930s, Wegner also voiced his opposition to the anti-Semitic policies of the Nazis and authored an impassioned plea to Hitler on behalf of the Jews of Germany.

Compelled by his conscience to take action despite great personal risk, Wegner’s story epitomizes the importance of efforts to combat the denial and minimization that often surround gross human rights violations.

An exhibit at the CMHR explores the efforts for recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Wegner and others. In 2004, the Canadian Parliament voted to officially acknowledge and condemn the Armenian Genocide.

The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Canadian-Armenian grassroots human rights organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Canadian-Armenian community on a broad range of issues and works to eliminate abuses of human rights throughout Canada and the world.

A beautiful mosque and the dark period of the Armenian genocide


The city of Gaziantep and the ‘Liberation’ mosque is a milestone on the journey between one great crime of the 20th century, and another seen during the Second World War

( The ‘Liberation’ Mosque is a fine, neo-classical, almost Gothic construction with striped black-and-white stone banding, unusual for a Muslim holy place but a jewel in the Tepebasi district of the old town of Gaziantep. Its stone carvings and mock Grecian columns beside the window frames are a credit to another, gentler age. The minarets perch delicately – and I had never seen this before – on square towers that might have been church towers had there been Christians in this ancient city.

The 'Liberation' mosque as it is today. Nelofer Pazira.
The ‘Liberation’ mosque as it is today. Nelofer Pazira.

But of course, there were. What no-one will tell you in Gaziantep, what no guidebook mentions, what no tourist guide will refer to, is that this very building – whose 19th century builders were none other than the nephews of the official architect of Sultan Abdulhamid II – was the Holy Mother of God cathedral for at least 20,000 Christian Armenians who were victims of the greatest war crime of the 1914-18 war: the Armenian genocide. They were deported by the Ottoman Turks from this lovely city, which had been their families’ home for hundreds of years, to be executed into common graves. The murderers were both Turks and Kurds.

Altogether, up to 32,000 Armenians – almost the entire Christian population of 36,000 of what was then called Antep – were deported towards the Syrian cities of Hama, Homs, Selimiyeh, to the Hauran and to Deir Ezzor in 1915. The Muslim citizens of Aintep then apparently plundered the empty homes of those they had dispossessed, seizing not only their property but the treasures of the cathedral church itself. Indeed, the church, ‘Surp Asdvazdadzin Kilisesi’ in Armenian, was turned into a warehouse – as were many Jewish synagogues in Nazi Germany and in Nazi-occupied eastern Europe during the Second World War – and then into a prison.

Prowling around the church-mosque enclosure, I found some of the prison bars still attached to the window frames, although the building has been functioning as a mosque since 1986. The main gate was closed but I pushed it open and found not only that the structure of the magnificent building is still intact but that scaffolding has been placed against the walls for a renovation. Behind the church – and separate from the building – was an ancient stone cave whose interior was blackened with what must have been the smoke of candle flames from another era, perhaps a worshipping place because the cave appears to have been a tomb in antiquity. The caretaker came fussing up to us to tell us that the mosque was shut, that we must leave, that this was a closed place. But he was a friendly soul and let us take pictures of the great façade of the church and of the minarets.

The only sign of its origin is the date “1892” carved in stone on the east façade of the original church, marking the final completion of the work of the great Armenian architect Sarkis Balian – he was the official architect of the 19th century Sultan Abdulhamid II, a terrible irony since Abdulhamid himself began the first round of Armenian massacres of 80,000 Christians (the figure might be 300,000) in Ottoman Turkey just two years after the Armenian stonemason Sarkis Tascian carved the date on the façade. In the later 1915 Armenian Holocaust – even Israelis use this word for the Armenian genocide – a million and a half Armenians were slaughtered by the Turks. It is a shock to realize that Aintep’s vast toll of dead were only a small fraction of this terrifying war crime.

Outside the church, I found an elderly Syrian refugee sitting on the pavement by the closed gate. He greeted us in Arabic and said that, yes, he knew this was once a church. Just over a century ago, the Arabs of northern Syria – the land now occupied by Isis – were among the only friends the Armenians found in the vast deserts into which they were sent to die. Some took Armenian children into their homes. Others married Armenian women – the degree of coercion involved in this ‘charitable’ act depends on the teller — although more than twenty years ago I met a Syrian man and his ‘converted’ Armenian wife near Deir Ezzor, both around a hundred years old and both of whom has lost count of their great-great-grandchildren.

A Turkish man in a shop below the cathedral was less generous. Yes, it had been a church, he said. But when I asked him if it had been an Armenian church, he chuckled – dare I call it a smirk? — and looked at me, and said nothing. I suppose a kind of guilt hangs over a place like this. So it is a happy thought that some Armenian families have in recent years – as tourists, of course – visited the city that was once Antep and have spoken with warmth to members of Turkey’s leftist parties and celebrated the work of American missionaries who cared for both the Armenian and Turkish Muslim population here before 1915. One Armenian identified his old family home and the Turkish family who lived there invited him in and insisted that he should stay with them and not in a hotel. For this was also his home, they said.

But tears of compassion do not dry up the truth. For when the First World War ended, Allied troops marched into Antep. First came the British, led by the execrable Sir Mark Sykes – of Sykes-Picot infamy – and then the French in October 1919, who brought with them, alas, elements of the Armenian volunteers who had joined their ‘Legion d’Orient’ in Port Said. The Muslim elites who had taken over the town – and the Armenian homes and properties – feared the newcomers would demand restitution. Fighting broke out between Muslims and the French and their Armenian allies and the Muslims discovered a new-found enthusiasm for the independence struggle of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Thus began the false history of the city.

Perhaps the greatest font of knowledge on this period is a young Harvard scholar, Umit Kurt, of Kurdish-Arab origin, who was born in modern-day Gaziantep. Mr Kurt is now an academic at Harvard’s Center for Middle East Studies and wrote his doctoral dissertation on the Armenians of Antep from the 1890s with a special focus – this is the important bit for readers – on property transfers, confiscation, deportation and massacres. Mr Kurt’s conclusion is bleak.

“The famous battle of Aintab [sic] against the French,” he says, “…seems to have been as much the organised struggle of a group of genocide profiteers seeking to hold onto their loot as it was a fight against an occupying force. The resistance…sought to make it impossible for the Armenian repatriates to remain in their native towns, terrorising them [again] in order to make them flee. In short, not only did the local…landowners, industrialists and civil-military bureaucratic elites lead to the resistance movement, but they also financed it in order to cleanse Aintab of Armenians.”

They were successful. The French abandoned Antep in December 1919 and the Armenian volunteers fled with them. The new Turkish state awarded the Muslim fighters of the city with the honourific Turkish prefix ‘Gazi’ – “veterans” – and thus Antep became Gaziantep and the great church of old Sarkis Balian would eventually be renamed the ‘Liberation Mosque’ – “Kurtulus Cami” – to mark the same dubious victory over the French and Armenians, the latter being defamed as killers by those who had sent the Armenians of the city to their doom in 1915.

Not much justice there. Nor in the official Turkish version of that terrible history of the Armenian Holocaust in which – this is the least the Turkish government will concede – Armenians died ‘tragically’ in the chaos of the First World War, as did Muslims themselves. German military advisers witnessed the genocide. Hitler was later to ask his generals, before the invasion of Poland and the destruction of its Jews, who now, in 1939, remembered the Armenians. The official Turkish account of the fate of Gaziantep’s original Armenians refers to their “relocation” – a word used by the Nazis when they sent the Jews to their extermination in eastern Europe.

No, we shouldn’t contaminate the Turks of modern Turkey with the crimes of their grandfathers. Umir Kurt wrote his dissertation for the brilliant and brave Turkish historian Taner Akcam, whose work on the Armenian genocide has revolutionised historical scholarship in Turkey. Last year, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan deliberately moved the date of the 1915 Gallipoli commemorations to the very day of the anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide in an attempt to smother any memory of the crime – but the government allowed Armenians to parade through Istanbul in honour of their 1915 dead. Yet if the historical narrative from the 20th century’s first holocaust to its second holocaust is valid, then the path upon which the first doomed Armenians of Antep set out in their convoy of deportation on 1st August 1915 led all the way to Auschwitz. The ‘Liberation’ Mosque is a milestone on the journey.

New Armenian Legal Center for Justice & Human Rights Launched

— International Institute to Seek Just Resolution of the Armenian Genocide; Defend Artsakh’s Right to Independence

YEREVAN – The Armenian Legal Center for Justice & Human Rights (ALC) – a new Washington, DC-based international legal institute was announced today at a press conference in Yerevan. The ALC will operate in the public interest and is dedicated to advancing sustainable solutions to the ongoing global, national, community, and individual costs and consequences of the Armenian Genocide.

With Armenian communities besieged around the world by an unrepentant Turkey that blockades and fans the flames of war against the Armenians of Armenia and Karabakh, denies religious and human rights to the indigenous Armenians of present-day Turkey, and attempts to silence the Diaspora communities around the world, the lack of accountability for the Genocide continues to grossly impact the human rights of Armenians today.

Through the use of national and international courts and forums, ALC will seek a just resolution of the Armenian Genocide and to defend Artsakh’s right to independence. ALC will seek to coordinate the claims of victims of human rights abuses, identify potential claimants, investigate abuses, and gather the necessary evidence.

“The ALC looks forward to working in concert with all quarters of the worldwide Armenian community, to address the geo-political, territorial and macro-economic implications of the Republic of Turkey’s and others’ responsibility for the Armenian Genocide, including those related to the Western Armenian homeland, the payment of reparations to the Republic of Armenia and relevant Diasporan and other stakeholders, and the future of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, whose independent status and regional security today face challenges in the international arena, in large measure, due to the Armenian Genocide,” explained Kenneth Hachikian, Chairman.

Parallel to its international and national level legal activity, the Center will focus on justice-based solutions to the vast array of collective properties and other assets stolen or confiscated during the Genocide, including those involving churches, religious sites, foundations, schools, museums, artwork, artifacts, books, and other resources.

ALC will document the expropriation of Armenian national, community, and personal properties in an effort to find lasting solutions for peace and stability in the region based on justice and accountability.

“The ALC – in seeking redress for the Genocide in national and international legal arenas – is committed to securing justice for all stakeholders, including those continuing to experience injury from this crime. More broadly, as an organization committed to the global human rights movement, the ALC will also work to prevent future atrocities by helping to establish legal precedents and promoting policy-making frameworks that align with international law and global humanitarian values,” said Giro Manoyan, ALC Board of Directors member.

At the turn of the century, the territory of modern-day Turkey was home to a large, ancient, and vibrant indigenous Christian population, comprised of millions of Armenians, Greeks, Pontians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Syriacs, accounting for around 25% of the population. Today, these same communities account for less than 0.1% of Turkey’s population, individuals have been prosecuted for discussing or writing about the genocide committed against them, and Turkey coordinates closely with Azerbaijan to blockade Armenia and Artsakh, inhabited by the grandchildren of the men and women it sought to annihilate.

Decades later, it is clear that a model based on justice not genocide is desperately needed. The ALC will fill this void.

Kate Nahapetian, an attorney with experience litigating class actions, who has advocated for Armenian Americans in Washington, DC for over ten years, will be ALC’s Executive Director. Ms. Nahapetian has worked previously for the Armenian National Committee of America, U.S. Department of Justice, then Senator Joseph Biden, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She received a J.D. with a focus on international and human rights law from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, which was partly funded through the prestigious Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Ms. Nahapetian is a member of the California and New York bars, but not yet a member of the DC Bar. Her practice is currently limited to cases in federal court.

The ALC will be headquartered in Washington DC, but will have an international focus as will be appropriate for the various avenues that it seeks redress through. Board members are from both Armenia and the broad Diasporan community throughout the world.

The Board of Directors will be chaired by Kenneth Hachikian (USA), long active in advocacy efforts for our community, and includes Garo Armenian (USA), Steve Dadaian (USA), Hagop Der Khatchadourian (Canada), Kevork Hagopjian (Austria), Raffi Hamparian (USA), Khajaque Kortian (Australia), Giro Manoyan (Armenia), Edvin Minassian (USA), Yervant Pamboukian (Lebanon), Raffi Sarkissian (Canada), Dr. Henry Theriault (USA), Dr. Vladimir Vardanyan (Armenia), and Vahe Yacoubian (USA).

There will also be a broadly representative Advisory Board consisting of experts in international law, human rights and in other fields relevant to the work of the ALC.

The ALC was started with a generous grant from the ANCA Endowment Fund and will be seeking community financial and moral support to expand its efforts.

To learn more and donate, please visit

Armenian Legal Center for Justice and Human Rights

1711 N Street NW

Washington, DC 20036

(202) 742-8702

Contact: Kate Nahapetian

Tel: (202) 742-8702

The Andean Parliament Recognized the Armenian Genocide and Condemned Denialism

( The Andean Parliament, a legislative body composed of representatives of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile, approved on September 17 a resolution recognizing the “Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the authorities of the Ottoman Empire between the years 1915-1923” and condemning “any policy of denial with respect to genocide and crimes against humanity suffered by the Armenian nation.”

The resolution, presented by Pedro de la Cruz, representative of Ecuador, and approved unanimously at a meeting of the organization in Montevideo, expresses its solidarity with the Armenian people and communities of the diaspora, while “urging” the international community to “acknowledge this historical fact as an unconditional support for truth and justice and as a form of rejection of such acts that shame all humanity.”

The Andean Parliament is the “governing body and representative of the peoples of the Andean Community,” according to a constitutive treaty of October 25, 1979. Its work focuses on the “parliamentary management, policy development and popular representation on issues related the Andean integration process such as education, mobility, migration, social and labor rights, energy, environment and climate change, coexistence and security, food security and sovereignty, competitiveness and entrepreneurship, among others.”

Gaceta Oficial
Del Parlamento Andino

Año: 13 #09 Bogotá D.C. Septiembre 2016

Aprobadas en la Sesión de la Mesa Directiva del 23 Y 24 de agosto de 2016 en la ciudad de Bogotá, República de Colombia.


Que, el Parlamento Andino es el órgano deliberante del Sistema, su naturaleza es comunitaria y representativa.
Que, uno de los objetivos del Parlamento Andino es velar por el respeto a los derechos humanos y a la calidad de vida de la población, en el marco de los objetivos e instrumentos de la integración subregional y de la comunidad internacional;
Que, el Tratado de Institucionalización y el Estatuto del Parlamento Andino, en sus PRINCIPIOS y PROPÓSITOS, establecen la condena a la amenaza y al uso de la fuerza contra la independencia política y la integridad territorial de los Estados; y, proclaman la solución pacífica, justa y negociada de las controversias internacionales; así como, contribuir a la afirmación de la paz, la seguridad y el orden jurídico internacionales y luchar por el desarme mundial, combatiendo el armamentismo y la agresión de quienes sustenten la política de la fuerza;
Que, el 24 de abril del año 2016, se conmemoró 101 años del genocidio del pueblo Armenio, perpetrado entre los años 1915 – 1923, cuando las autoridades del imperio Otomano llevaron a cabo un programa de arrestos y deportaciones y posteriormente matanzas de la población civil en los territorios de Armenia occidental y Anatolia; con el trágico resultado de más de un millón quinientas mil personas asesinadas;
Que, investigaciones realizadas por historiadores internacionales, hombres y mujeres de distintas nacionalidades y la existencia de pruebas documentales de diverso origen, han demostrado la veracidad de los actos de genocidio contra el pueblo Armenio, hechos en los que se identifican todas las categorías establecidas en la Convención para la Prevención y la Sanción del Delito del Genocidio, adoptada por la Asamblea General de la ONU en 1948;
Que, la Convención de la ONU de 1948 establece que genocidio es cualquiera de los siguientes actos, perpetrados con la intención de destruir total o parcialmente a un grupo nacional, étnico, racial o religioso: (i) Matanza de miembros de un grupo; (ii) lesión grave a
la integridad física o mental de los miembros del grupo; (iii) Sometimiento intencional del grupo a condiciones de existencia que hayan de acarrear su destrucción física, total o parcial; (iv) medidas destinadas a impedir los nacimientos en el seno del grupo; y, (v) traslado por fuerza de niños del grupo a otro grupo.
Que, las colectividades armenias asentadas en numerosos países han contribuido enormemente a la preservación de la memoria y a la reconstrucción de la historia veraz de la masacre ocurrida, aportando de manera fundamental en la lucha por la verdad y la justicia;
Que, el Papa Francisco durante la homilía en la misa en memoria de las víctimas del genocidio Armenio expresó que hoy se está viviendo una nueva especie de genocidio causado por la indiferencia general y colectiva ante una de las más grandes tragedias que ha sufrido la humanidad: el genocidio al pueblo Armenio, primera nación cristiana, junto a católicos, ortodoxos sirios, asirios, caldeos y griegos;
Que, naciones como Francia, Unión Soviética, Alemania, Argentina, Austria, Bélgica, Bolivia, Brasil, Bulgaria, Canadá, Chile, Chipre, Crimea, Líbano, Estados Unidos, Gran Bretaña, Grecia, Holanda, Italia, Luxemburgo, Suecia, Uruguay, Vaticano, Venezuela, Yugoslavia; Consejos como el Consejo de Europa, Consejo Mundial de Iglesias, Consejo de Naciones Unidas; El Parlamento Europeo, el Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos, entre otros, han promulgado distintos instrumentos en condena y reconocimiento del genocidio ocurrido contra el pueblo Armenio;
Por los considerandos antes expuestos, el Parlamento Andino, en uso de sus atribuciones y de conformidad a lo previsto en el Reglamento General.
ARTÍCULO PRIMERO.- RECONOCER el genocidio del Armenios perpetrado por las autoridades del Imperio Otomano entre los años 1915 – 1923 y expresar su solidaridad al pueblo armenio y a sus descendientes, que integran las colectividades armenias del mundo.
ARTÍCULO SEGUNDO.- CONDENAR toda política de negación respecto al genocidio y de los crímenes de lesa humanidad sufridos por la nación armenia.
ARTÍCULO TERCERO.- EXHORTAR a la Comunidad Internacional a fin de que reconozca este hecho histórico como un respaldo incondicional a la verdad y la justicia y como una forma de rechazo a esta clase de actos que avergüenzan a la humanidad entera.

Notifíquese y Publíquese
Dado y firmado en la ciudad de Bogotá, a los XXX (X) días del mes de agosto, del año 2016.




Secretario General

Germany’s Bundestag Recognises Armenian Genocide; Admits German Empire’s Partial Responsibility

German Parliament Recognizes Armenian Genocide, Angering Turkey

(NEW YORK TIMES) BERLIN — The German Parliament overwhelmingly adopted a symbolic but fraught resolution on Thursday declaring the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 a genocide, escalating tensions with Turkey at a diplomatically delicate juncture.

The Turkish government angrily denounced the vote as “null and void,” and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called his ambassador in Germany back to Ankara for consultations.

“The way to close the dark pages of your own history is not by defaming the histories of other countries with irresponsible and baseless decisions,” Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, wrote on Twitter. In Ankara, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, “There is no shameful incident in our past that would make us bow our heads.”

Germany needs Turkey’s help in following through on a deal with the European Union to manage the refugee crisis attributed in large part to the Syrian civil war. At the same time, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has been under pressure not to be seen as caving to pressure from Ankara to compromise on Western values, particularly after a recent dust-up over freedom of speech set off by a German comedian’s satire that outraged Mr. Erdogan.

For Turkey, there is scarcely a more delicate topic than what historians say was the murder of more than a million Armenians and other Christian minorities in 1915-16. In April, Mr. Erdogan visited the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey and, in a carefully worded statement, extended condolences to the families of those who had died, but the Turkish government has long rejected the term genocide.

Ankara has noted that thousands of people, many of them Turks, died in the civil war that destroyed the Ottoman Empire, and argued that the estimates of the number of Armenian deaths have been exaggerated.

The issue is also fraught for Germany. At the time of the killings, Germany, led by Kaiser Wilhelm II, was allied with the Ottomans, fighting alongside the Austro-Hungarian Empire against Britain, France and Russia in World War I. Acceptance of German responsibility for the atrocities of World War II has become an established part of the nation’s culture, and historians and activists have said that the Armenian resolution was an important step in acknowledging Germany’s indirect involvement in the 1915 killings.

Pope Francis called the killings a genocide last year, but the United States has long skirted the issue. President Obama stopped short of using the word — most recently in a statement marking Armenian Remembrance Day on April 24 — though he used the term before becoming president.

Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and its coalition partners supported the resolution, which was originally proposed for last year, to mark the centennial of the start of the killings. But it was repeatedly delayed, most recently in February, over concerns about angering Ankara.

As the vote approached, debate intensified in Germany, which is home to an estimated three million people of Turkish descent, many of whom have dual citizenship. About 2,000 Turks demonstrated last weekend in Berlin, rallying to say that Parliament is not a court and therefore should not pass judgment.

Ms. Merkel was in a tough spot. When she visited Istanbul last week, she spent time with Turkish intellectuals and lawyers critical of Mr. Erdogan before meeting the president, who warned her not to move forward with the resolution.

Her decision to do so, despite those objections, may have been influenced by an episode in March, when a German comic, Jan Böhmermann, lampooned Mr. Erdogan with a crude poem. Ms. Merkel initially criticized the verses, giving the impression — which she later said was a mistake — that she advocated restrictions on freedom of expression in Germany. Critics portrayed her as weak.

Cem Ozdemir, the co-chairman of the opposition Greens and a driving force behind the resolution, accused Ms. Merkel of paying little heed to Turkey for most of her decade in power, until circumstances forced her to engage with Mr. Erdogan.

On Thursday, Mr. Ozdemir said there was “never a favorable time to speak about something as dreadful as genocide.”

Mr. Ozdemir read century-old statements by officials of the German Empire showing they knew that up to 90 percent of Armenians had been killed. “Working through the Shoah is the basis of democracy in Germany,” Mr. Ozdemir said, referring to the Holocaust. “This genocide is also waiting to be worked through.”

He noted that there were Turks who had saved Armenians. “Before them, we bow down with highest respect,” he said.

Mr. Ozdemir said he had received threats because of his support for the vote, but that it was even more dangerous for people in Turkey to acknowledge the genocide.

The vote in the Bundestag, the lower house of Parliament, was nearly unanimous, with one lawmaker voting against and another abstaining. (Ms. Merkel and the two most senior Social Democrat ministers — Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier — were not present.)

Norbert Lammert, the president of the Bundestag, kicked off the debate with a clear message. “Parliament is not a historians’ commission, and certainly not a court,” he said. He added that the current Turkish government “is not responsible for what happened 100 years ago, but it does have responsibility for what becomes of this” in present times.

Mr. Lammert, a Christian Democrat, labeled the Ottomans’ killing of Armenians as genocide last year. Particularly because of “our own chapters of dark history,” Germans know that only by working through past events can one achieve reconciliation and cooperation, Mr. Lammert said on Thursday.

Including Germany, 12 of the European Union’s 28 members have recognized the Armenian killings as genocide. Despite initial protests, Turkey has maintained good relations with several of those countries.

When France approved legislation in 2011 recognizing the genocide, Turkey temporarily recalled its ambassador and halted bilateral military cooperation. Such steps by Ankara would be more complicated today and potentially more damaging, as Germany and Turkey are engaged in a NATO operation to stop migrant boats crossing the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece.

Aydan Ozoguz, the German commissioner for integration, who — like Mr. Ozdemir — is of Turkish descent, said before the vote that while she intended to vote for the resolution, “I still think it is the wrong path.” She added that she thought it would backfire.

Mr. Erdogan and ultranationalist Turks “will get a huge boost,” Ms. Ozoguz said. “They will use the resolution as proof of a further attack by the West on Turkey. Reasonable, considered voices will be isolated and will have no chance to be heard for a long time.”


Alison Smale reported from Berlin, and Melissa Eddy from Weimar, Germany. Sewell Chan contributed reporting from London, Katarina Johannsen from Berlin, and Safak Timur from Istanbul.


The resolution in German

Drucksache 18/8613
18. Wahlperiode
der Fraktionen CDU/CSU, SPD und BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN
Erinnerung und Gedenken an den Völkermord an den Armeniern und anderen christlichen Minderheiten in den Jahren 1915 und 1916
Der Bundestag wolle beschließen:

I. Der Deutsche Bundestag stellt fest:
Der Deutsche Bundestag verneigt sich vor den Opfern der Vertreibungen und Massaker an den Armeniern und anderen christlichen Minderheiten des Osmani-schen Reichs, die vor über hundert Jahren ihren Anfang nahmen. Er beklagt die Taten der damaligen jungtürkischen Regierung, die zur fast vollständigen Ver-nichtung der Armenier im Osmanischen Reich geführt haben. Ebenso waren An-gehörige anderer christlicher Volksgruppen, insbesondere aramäisch/assyrische und chaldäische Christen von Deportationen und Massakern betroffen.
Im Auftrag des damaligen jungtürkischen Regimes begann am 24. April 1915 im osmanischen Konstantinopel die planmäßige Vertreibung und Vernichtung von über einer Million ethnischer Armenier. Ihr Schicksal steht beispielhaft für die Geschichte der Massenvernichtungen, der ethnischen Säuberungen, der Vertrei-bungen, ja der Völkermorde, von denen das 20. Jahrhundert auf so schreckliche Weise gezeichnet ist. Dabei wissen wir um die Einzigartigkeit des Holocaust, für den Deutschland Schuld und Verantwortung trägt.
Der Bundestag bedauert die unrühmliche Rolle des Deutschen Reiches, das als militärischer Hauptverbündeter des Osmanischen Reichs trotz eindeutiger Infor-mationen auch von Seiten deutscher Diplomaten und Missionare über die organi-sierte Vertreibung und Vernichtung der Armenier nicht versucht hat, diese Ver-brechen gegen die Menschlichkeit zu stoppen. Das Gedenken des Deutschen Bun-destages ist auch Ausdruck besonderen Respektes vor der wohl ältesten christli-chen Nation der Erde.
Der Deutsche Bundestag bekräftigt seinen Beschluss aus dem Jahr 2005 (Drs. 15/5689), der dem Gedenken der Opfer wie auch der historischen Aufarbei-tung der Geschehnisse gewidmet war und das Ziel verfolgte, zur Versöhnung zwi-schen Türken und Armeniern beizutragen. Rednerinnen und Redner aller Frakti-onen haben am einhundertsten Gedenktag, dem 24. April 2015, bei der Debatte im Deutschen Bundestag und insbesondere der Bundespräsident am Vorabend der Debatte den Völkermord an den Armeniern verurteilt, der Opfer gedacht sowie zur Versöhnung aufgerufen. Das Deutsche Reich trägt eine Mitschuld an den Er-eignissen.
Der Bundestag bekennt sich zur besonderen historischen Verantwortung Deutschlands.
Dazu gehört, Türken und Armenier dabei zu unterstützen, über die Gräben
der Vergangenheit hinweg nach Wegen der Versöhnung und Verständigung zu suchen. Dieser Versöhnungsprozess ist in den vergangenen Jahren ins Stocken geraten und bedarf dringend neuer Impulse.
Der Deutsche Bundestag ehrt mit seinem Gedenken an die unvorstellbar grausamen Verbrechen nicht nur deren Opfer, sondern auch all diejenigen im Osmanischen Reich und im Deutschen Reich, die sich vor über hundert Jahren unter schwierigen Umständen und gegen den Widerstand ihrer jeweiligen Regierung in
vielfältiger Weise für die Rettung von armenischen Frauen, Kindern und Männern
eingesetzt haben.
Heute kommt schulischer, universitärer und politischer Bildung in Deutschland
die Aufgabe zu, die Aufarbeitung der Vertreibung und Vernichtung der Armenier
als Teil der Aufarbeitung der Geschichte ethnischer Konflikte im 20. Jahrhundert
in den Lehrplänen und -materialien aufzugreifen und nachfolgenden Generationen
zu vermitteln. Dabei kommt insbesondere den Bundesländern eine wichtige
Rolle zu.
Der Deutsche Bundestag ist der Ansicht, dass das Gedenken an die Opfer der
Massaker und Vertreibungen der Armenier unter Berücksichtigung der deutschen
Rolle einschließlich seiner Vermittlung an Mitbürgerinnen und Mitbürger türkischer
und armenischer Herkunft auch einen Beitrag zur Integration und zum friedlichen
Miteinander darstellt.
Der Deutsche Bundestag begrüßt die Zunahme von Initiativen und Beiträgen in
den Bereichen von Wissenschaft, Zivilgesellschaft, Kunst und Kultur auch in der
Türkei, welche die Aufarbeitung der Verbrechen an den Armeniern und die Versöhnung
zwischen Armeniern und Türken zum Ziel haben.
Der Deutsche Bundestag ermutigt die Bundesregierung weiterhin, dem Gedenken
und der Aufarbeitung der Vertreibungen und Massaker an den Armeniern von
1915 Aufmerksamkeit zu widmen. Auch begrüßt der Deutsche Bundestag jede
Initiative, die diesem Anliegen Anschub und Unterstützung zu verleihen.
Die eigene historische Erfahrung Deutschlands zeigt, wie schwierig es für eine
Gesellschaft ist, die dunklen Kapitel der eigenen Vergangenheit aufzuarbeiten.
Dennoch ist eine ehrliche Aufarbeitung der Geschichte die wohl wichtigste
Grundlage für Versöhnung sowohl innerhalb der Gesellschaft als auch mit anderen.
Es ist dabei zu unterscheiden zwischen der Schuld der Täter und der Verantwortung
der heute Lebenden. Das Gedenken an die Vergangenheit mahnt uns außerdem,
wachsam zu bleiben und zu verhindern, dass Hass und Vernichtung immer
wieder Menschen und Völker bedrohen.
Der Deutsche Bundestag nimmt die seit 2005 unternommenen Versuche von Vertretern
Armeniens und der Türkei wahr, in Fragen des Erinnerns und der Normalisierung
der zwischenstaatlichen Beziehungen aufeinander zuzugehen. Das Verhältnis
beider Staaten ist jedoch weiterhin spannungsreich und von gegenseitigem
Misstrauen geprägt. Deutschland sollte Türken und Armenier dabei unterstützen,
sich anzunähern. Eine konstruktive Aufarbeitung der Geschichte ist dabei als Basis
für eine Verständigung in Gegenwart und Zukunft unerlässlich.
Eine Entspannung und Normalisierung der Beziehungen zwischen der Republik
Türkei und der Republik Armenien ist auch für die Stabilisierung der Region des
Kaukasus wichtig. Deutschland sieht sich dabei im Rahmen der EU-Nachbarschaftspolitik
aufgrund seiner geschichtlichen Rolle in den deutsch-armenischtürkischen
Beziehungen in einer besonderen Verantwortung.
Vorabfassung – wird durch die lektorierte Fassung ersetzt.
Deutscher Bundestag – 18. Wahlperiode – 3 – Drucksache 18/8613
II. Der Deutsche Bundestag fordert die Bundesregierung auf:
– im Geiste der Debatte des Deutschen Bundestags vom 24. April 2015 zum 100.
Jahrestag weiterhin zu einer breiten öffentlichen Auseinandersetzung mit der
Vertreibung und fast vollständigen Vernichtung der Armenier 1915/1916 sowie
der Rolle des Deutschen Reiches beizutragen,
– die türkische Seite zu ermutigen, sich mit den damaligen Vertreibungen und
Massakern offen auseinanderzusetzen, um damit den notwendigen Grundstein
zu einer Versöhnung mit dem armenischen Volk zu legen,
– sich weiterhin dafür einzusetzen, dass zwischen Türken und Armeniern durch
die Aufarbeitung von Vergangenheit Annäherung, Versöhnung und Verzeihen
historischer Schuld erreicht wird,
– weiterhin wissenschaftliche, zivilgesellschaftliche und kulturelle Aktivitäten in
der Türkei und in Armenien zu unterstützen und im Rahmen verfügbarer Haushaltsmittel
zu fördern, die dem Austausch und der Annäherung sowie der Aufarbeitung
der Geschichte zwischen Türken und Armeniern dienen,
– eine Aufarbeitung der historischen Ereignisse durch die Türkei und Armenien
als ersten Schritt zur Versöhnung und zur längst überfälligen Verbesserung der
türkisch-armenischen Beziehungen aktiv zu unterstützen, z.B. durch Stipendien
für Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler oder Unterstützung zivilgesellschaftlicher
Kräfte aus beiden Ländern, die sich für Aufarbeitung und Versöhnung
– türkische und armenische Regierungsvertreter zu ermutigen, den derzeit stagnierenden
Normalisierungsprozess der zwischenstaatlichen Beziehungen beider
Länder fortzuführen,
– sich gegenüber der türkischen und der armenischen Regierung für die Ratifizierung
der 2009 unterzeichneten Zürcher Protokolle einzusetzen, die eine Kommission
zur wissenschaftlichen Untersuchung der Geschichte, die Wiederaufnahme
diplomatischer Beziehungen und die Öffnung der gemeinsamen Grenze
– dafür einzutreten, dass die in jüngster Zeit begonnene Pflege des armenischen
Kulturerbes in der Republik Türkei fortgesetzt und intensiviert wird,
– im Rahmen finanzieller Möglichkeiten auch weiterhin innerhalb Deutschlands
Initiativen und Projekte in Wissenschaft, Zivilgesellschaft und Kultur zu fördern,
die eine Auseinandersetzung mit den Geschehnissen von 1915/1916 zum
Thema haben.

Berlin, den 31. Mai 2016
Volker Kauder, Gerda Hasselfeldt und Fraktion
Thomas Oppermann und Fraktion
Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Dr. Anton Hofreiter und Fraktion

Die Vernichtung der Armenier im Osmanischen Reich während des Ersten Weltkrieges war die größte und folgenschwerste
Katastrophe in der mehrtausendjährigen Geschichte des armenischen Volkes. Den Deportationen
und Massenmorden fielen nach unabhängigen Berechnungen über einer Million Armenier zum Opfer. Zahlreiche
unabhängige Historiker, Parlamente und internationale Organisationen bezeichnen die Vertreibung und Vernichtung
der Armenier als Völkermord. Das Gedenken an diese Vertreibungen und Massaker ist deshalb neben Religion
und Sprache von zentraler Bedeutung für die Identität dieses Volkes.
Der Deutsche Bundestag gedenkt der Ereignisse auch im Zusammenhang des aktuellen Erinnerns an den Ersten
Weltkrieg. Das Deutsche Reich war militärischer Hauptverbündeter des Osmanischen Reiches. Die damalige
deutsche Reichsregierung, die über die Verfolgung und Ermordung der Armenier informiert war, blieb dennoch
untätig. Die Bundesrepublik Deutschland sieht sich in der Verantwortung, die Aufarbeitung dieses Verbrechens
zu fördern und die Erinnerung daran wach zu halten.
Bis heute bestreitet die Türkei entgegen der Faktenlage, dass der Vertreibung, Verfolgung und Ermordung der
Armenier eine Planmäßigkeit zugrunde gelegen hätte bzw. dass das Massensterben während der Umsiedlungstrecks
und die verübten Massaker von der osmanischen Regierung gewollt waren.
Insgesamt wird das Ausmaß der Massaker und Deportationen in der Türkei immer noch angezweifelt. Allerdings
gibt es auch gegenläufige Tendenzen. Im Jahre 2008 gab es Anlass zur Hoffnung auf eine türkisch-armenische
Annäherung, als die Staatspräsidenten beider Länder gemeinsam ein Fußballländerspiel besuchten und damit ihren
Willen für weitere Gespräche demonstriert hatten. 2009 wurde zwischen den Außenministern beider Länder
ein gemeinsames Protokoll unterzeichnet, in dem u.a. die Gründung einer Kommission vorgesehen war, welche
die Geschichte wissenschaftlich untersuchen sollten. Dieses Protokoll wurde aber bis heute in keinem der Parlamente
beider Länder verabschiedet.
Eine Versöhnung der beiden Völker ist nur dann denkbar, wenn die Ereignisse vor 100 Jahren grundlegend aufgeklärt
und die Fakten nicht weiter bestritten werden. Dazu ist es erforderlich, dass Wissenschaftler und Journalisten
in der Türkei bei der Aufarbeitung der Geschichte der Vertreibung und Ermordung von Armeniern frei und
ohne Angst vor Repressionen arbeiten können. Es gibt bereits zahlreiche Initiativen in der Türkei, die die Aufarbeitung
der Massaker zum Thema haben. Das Thema wird seit einigen Jahren in der türkischen Öffentlichkeit
vermehrt kontrovers diskutiert. Diese Entwicklungen sind genauso zu begrüßen, wie grenzüberschreitende zivilgesellschaftliche
Projekte, die vom Auswärtigen Amt seit vielen Jahren finanziell unterstützt werden.
Das Deutsche Reich war als militärischer Hauptverbündeter des Osmanischen Reiches ebenfalls tief in diese Vorgänge
involviert. Sowohl die politische als auch die militärische Führung des Deutschen Reichs war von Anfang
an über die Verfolgung und Ermordung der Armenier informiert. Als der evangelische Theologe Dr. Johannes
Lepsius am 5. Oktober 1915 im Deutschen Reichstag die Ergebnisse seiner im Juli/August 1915 in Konstantinopel
durchgeführten Recherchen vortrug, wurde das gesamte Thema von der deutschen Reichsregierung unter Zensur
gestellt. Ebenso wurde sein „Bericht über die Lage des Armenischen Volkes in der Türkei“, den er direkt an die
Reichstagsabgeordneten geschickt hatte, 1916 von der deutschen Militärzensur verboten und beschlagnahmt und
den Abgeordneten erst nach dem Ende des Ersten Weltkriegs 1919 ausgehändigt. Trotz dringender Eingaben
vieler deutscher Persönlichkeiten aus Wissenschaft, Politik und den Kirchen, darunter Politiker wie Philipp Scheidemann,
Karl Liebknecht oder Matthias Erzberger und bedeutende Persönlichkeiten aus der evangelischen und
katholischen Kirche wie z. B. Adolf von Harnack und Lorenz Werthmann, unterließ es die deutsche Reichsregierung,
auf ihren osmanischen Verbündeten wirksamen Druck auszuüben.
Auch die Akten des Auswärtigen Amts, die auf Berichten der deutschen Botschafter und Konsuln im Osmanischen
Reich beruhen, dokumentieren die planmäßige Durchführung der Massaker und Vertreibungen. Sie stellen
die wichtigste staatliche Überlieferung zu den damaligen Geschehnissen dar. Das Auswärtige Amt hat diese Akten
bereits vor vielen Jahren zugänglich gemacht. Bereits 1998 wurde Armenien ein kompletter Satz dieser Akten auf
Mikrofiche übergeben. Die Türkei hat anschließend ebenfalls einen Satz erworben.

Vorabfassung – wird durch die lektorierte Fassung ersetzt.

Unofficial translation of the resolution

the CDU / CSU, SPD and Alliance 90 / The Greens
Remembrance and commemoration of the genocide of the Armenians and other Christian minorities in the years 1915 and 1916
The Bundestag is requested to adopt:
I. The German Bundestag notes:
The German Bundestag bows to the victims of the expulsions and massacres of the Armenians and other Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire, which began over a century ago. It deplores the actions of the former Young Turk government, which led to the almost total annihilation of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Likewise, were members of other Christian ethnic groups, especially Aramaic / Assyrian and Chaldean Christians of deportations and massacres affected.

On behalf of the former Young Turk regime began on 24 April 1915 at the Ottoman Constantinople Opel scheduled expulsion and extermination of more than a million ethnic Armenians. Their fate exemplifies the history of mass extermination, ethnic cleansing, expulsions and even genocides, of which the 20th century is marked in such a terrible manner. We are aware of the uniqueness of the Holocaust, contributes to Germany guilt and responsibility.

The Bundestag deplores the inglorious role of the German Reich, which has not tried as a military ally of the Ottoman Empire despite clear information also on the part of German diplomats and missionaries on organized expulsion and annihilation of the Armenians to stop these crimes against humanity. The commemoration of the German Parliament is also an expression of special respect before probably oldest Christian nation on earth.

The German Bundestag reaffirmed its decision of 2005 (Drs. 15/5689), which was dedicated to the memory of the victims as well as the historical analysis of the events and the objective pursued to contribute to reconciliation between Turks and Armenians. Orators of all factions have the centennial commemoration, April 24, 2015, during the debate in the German Bundestag and in particular the President condemned on the eve of the debate the Armenian Genocide, remembered the victims and called for reconciliation. The German Empire bears partial responsibility for the events.

The Bundestag is committed to special historical responsibility of Germany. This includes supporting the Turks and Armenians, one looking through the trenches of the past away for ways of reconciliation and understanding. This reconciliation process has stalled in recent years and desperately needs new impulses.

The German Bundestag honors his memory of the unimaginably gruesome crimes not only their victims, but also those in the Ottoman Empire and the German Empire, the more than one hundred years ago in difficult circumstances and against the resistance of their respective governments in a variety of ways for the have used the rescue of Armenian women, children and men.

Today school, university and civic education in Germany comes to the task of picking up the processing of the expulsion and extermination of Armenians as part of the analysis of the history of ethnic conflicts in the 20th century in the curricula and materials and to provide future generations. In particular, the provinces have an important role.

The German Bundestag is of the opinion that the commemoration of the victims of the massacre and expulsion of Armenians also makes a contribution to integration and peaceful coexistence taking into account of the German role, including its referral to fellow citizens of Turkish and Armenian origin.

The German Bundestag welcomes the increase of initiatives and contributions in the fields of science, civil society, art and culture in Turkey, which have the processing of the crimes against the Armenians and reconciliation between Armenians and Turks aim.

The German Bundestag encourages the federal government to continue to dedicate to the memory and the processing of the expulsions and massacres of the Armenians in 1915 attention. Also, the German Bundestag welcomes any initiative to give this concern impetus and support. Our own historical experience of Germany shows how difficult it is for a company to work up the dark chapter of its own past. Nevertheless, an honest appraisal of history is the most important basis for reconciliation both within the company as well as with others. It is to differentiate between the guilt of the perpetrators and the responsibility of those alive today. The memories of the past reminds us Moreover, to remain vigilant and to prevent hatred and destruction repeatedly threaten people and nations.

The German Bundestag perceives the efforts made since 2005 attempts by representatives of Armenia and Turkey, to meet each other in questions of memory and the normalization of interstate relations. However, the relationship between the two countries is still exciting and characterized by mutual distrust. Germany should support Turks and Armenians, one to approach. A structural analysis of the history is indispensable as a basis for understanding the present and future.

A relaxation and normalization of relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Armenia is also important for the stabilization of the Caucasus region. Germany sees itself as part of the EU’s neighborhood policy due to its historical role in the German-armenischtürkischen relations have a special responsibility.

II. The German Bundestag calls on the Federal Government: – in the spirit of the debate of the German Bundestag of 24 April 2015 100th anniversary continues to a broad public discussion of the expulsion and the almost complete annihilation of the Armenians 1915/1916 and the role of the German contribute Empire,
– Encouraging the Turkish side to openly confront the former expulsions and massacres, in order to lay the necessary foundation for a reconciliation with the Armenian people,

– To continue to ensure that between Turks and Armenians by the refurbishment of past rapprochement, reconciliation and forgiveness of historical guilt is achieved,

– Continue to support scientific, civic and cultural activities in Turkey and Armenia and to promote the scope of the budgeted that serve the exchange and approach as well as the appraisal of history between Turks and Armenians,

– To support a reappraisal of historical events by Turkey and Armenia as a first step to reconciliation and long overdue improvement of Turkish-Armenian relations actively, for example, and through fellowships for scientists or supporting civil society forces from both countries who themselves worked up reconciliation involved,

– To encourage Turkish and Armenian government representatives to continue the currently stagnant process of normalization of interstate relations between the two countries,

– Defend against the Turkish and the Armenian government for the ratification of the protocols signed in 2009 in Zurich, which provide for a Commission for the scientific investigation of the history, the resumption of diplomatic relations and the opening of the common border,

– Advocate that the nursing begun recently of Armenian cultural heritage is continued and intensified in the Republic of Turkey – continue to promote within the framework of financial possibilities within Germany initiatives and projects in science, civil society and culture that a confrontation with the events of 1915/1916 have on the subject.

Volker Kauder, Gerda Hasselfeldt and Group
Thomas Oppermann and Group
Katrin Göring-Eckardt, Dr. Anton Hofreiter and Group

The annihilation of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War was the largest and most momentous disaster in the more ancient history of the Armenian people. The deportations and mass killings fell after independent calculations over a million Armenians victim. Numerous independent historians, parliaments and international organizations designate the expulsion and extermination of Armenians as genocide. The commemoration of these expulsions and massacres is therefore in addition to religion and language is central to the identity of these people.
The German Bundestag remembers the events also in the context of current remembrance of the First World War. The German Empire was a military ally of the Ottoman Empire. The then German government, which was informed about the persecution and murder of Armenians, but remained inactive. The Federal Republic of Germany considers itself the responsibility to promote the work-up of this crime and to keep memories of them.
To this day, Turkey denies, contrary to the facts, that the expulsion, persecution and murder of Armenians have a regularity underlain or that the mass deaths during the resettlement treks, and the massacres were intended by the Ottoman government.
Overall, the extent of the massacres and deportations in Turkey is still doubted. However, there are opposite trends. In 2008, there was reason to hope for a Turkish-Armenian rapprochement, as the President of both countries jointly attended a soccer match and had thus demonstrated their will for further discussions. 2009 joint protocol was signed between the Foreign Ministers of both countries, which envisaged, inter alia, the establishment of a commission which should investigate the history of science. This protocol was adopted but until now none of the parliaments of both countries.
A reconciliation between the two nations is only conceivable if the events 100 years ago solved fundamentally, and the facts are not disputed. This requires that scientists and journalists in Turkey work of repression in dealing with the history of the expulsion and murder of Armenians freely and without fear. There are already numerous initiatives in Turkey, having the processing of the massacre on the subject. The issue has been discussed for several years in the Turkish public controversy increased. These developments are to be welcomed as well as cross-border civil society projects that are financially supported by the Foreign Office for many years.
The German Reich was also involved as a military ally of the Ottoman Empire deep in these operations. Both the political and the military leadership of the German Reich was informed from the beginning of the persecution and murder of the Armenians. As the Protestant theologian Dr. Johannes Lepsius on 5 October 1915 at the German Reichstag recited the results of its conducted in Konstantin Opel in July / August 1915 search, the whole issue of the German government was put under censorship. Likewise, its “Report on the Situation of the Armenian People in Turkey”, which he had sent directly to the Reichstag, in 1916 banned by the German military censorship and seized and handed out to the deputies after the end of World War 1919th Despite urgent inputs of many German personalities from science, politics and the churches, including politicians like Philipp Scheidemann, Karl Liebknecht or Matthias Erzberger and major figures from the Protestant and Catholic churches such. As Adolf von Harnack and Lorenz Werthmann, it failed the German Reich government to exert on their Ottoman ally effective pressure.
The files of the Foreign Office, which are based on reports of German ambassadors and consuls in the Ottoman Empire, document the normal running of the massacres and expulsions. They represent the most important state tradition is to the former events. The Federal Foreign Office has made these files available many years ago. In 1998 Armenia was handed over a complete set of documents on microfiche. Turkey has subsequently also acquired a set.

Yes, It’s Genocide

(NEW YORK TIMES, June 3) In what has become an almost annual exercise, Turkey has thrown a fit because someone has spoken the truth about its dark past. This time, it has pulled its ambassador from Berlin and threatened dire consequences over a resolution, passed overwhelmingly by the German Parliament on Thursday, declaring that the century-old massacre of Ottoman Armenians was a genocide. That is what Turkey does every time a foreign government dares to challenge its discredited claim that the Armenians perished in the cruel fog of World War I, and not in a premeditated attempt to eradicate a people. Germany’s claims to the contrary, Turkish legislators huffed in a statement, are “based on biased, distorted and various subjective political motives.”

No, it was a genocide, the first of the 20th century. Historians have established beyond reasonable doubt that as many as 1.5 million Armenians were deliberately killed or sent on death marches in 1915-16 by the disintegrating Ottoman Empire, fearful that they and other Christian minorities could side with Russia in the war.

For Armenians, millions of whom were left scattered around the world, gaining recognition that the slaughter was a genocide — a deliberate atrocity, and not collateral damage — has been a long and passionate national mission, which has resulted in formal recognition by more than 20 countries.

The Armenians are fully justified in their quest for a historical reckoning. But the more the world has recognized that, the more aggressively Turkey has stormed and shouted. A couple of years ago, when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was still a relatively broad-minded prime minister, he seemed prepared to take a more conciliatory stance on the Armenian issue. It never happened, and the increasingly autocratic Mr. Erdogan warned Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, in advance that relations with Germany — “bilateral, diplomatic, economic, trade, political and military” — would be damaged by the resolution.

Mr. Erdogan’s threats are not without effect. Turkey is a crucial NATO ally in the upheavals of the Middle East, and especially important to Germany and the European Union as they try to stem the flow of Syrian refugees. Ms. Merkel was not present for the vote, though she did not oppose it. President Obama, who as a candidate in 2008 pledged to recognize the events of 1915 as a genocide, has failed to do so.

The damage done to Turkey’s relations with the Armenians and its NATO allies is the responsibility of that large majority of Turks who refuse to acknowledge a dark blot on their history, not those who seek to commemorate the tragedy. The Germans, who have admirably confronted the terrible genocide in their own history, did the right thing in defying Mr. Erdogan’s threats.


Entre Rios Province of Argentina Recognizes the Armenian Genocide

( The province of Entre Rios, Argentina, approved today a law adhering to the National Law 26,199 of recognition of the Armenian Genocide, which establishes every April 24 in Argentina as the “Day of Action for Tolerance and Respect between Peoples”.

The Senate of Entre Rios passed the adherence by unanimous vote of those present to the law “in commemoration of the genocide that was victim the Armenian people and with the spirit that its memory is a permanent lesson on the steps of the present and our future goals.”

Also on Tuesday, May 31, the Deputy Governor of Entre Rios and President of the Senate, Adan Humberto Bahl, along with Senator Lucas Larrarte, Chairman of the General Law Committee of the Senate, met with Nicolas Sabuncuyan and Jorge Dolmadjian, members of the Armenian National Committee of South America.

“The meeting was extremely positive and we deduct that the Government will enact the law. In addition, this will be the beginning of a way to work together with the province in the issues of human rights in different areas,” said Jorge Dolmadjian.

The bill (File No. 20783), was filed on March 30, 2015 by the then deputy Maria Laura Stratta, who is now Minister of Social Development. On May 12 of that same year it obtained the initial approval in the Chamber of Deputies of Entre Rios. Among the grounds, it is mentioned that “the memory of the Armenian Genocide interpellates modern society about the consequences that can lead to intolerance and discrimination, and invites us to reflect on the meaning of respect between peoples and individuals and the importance of active memory and ongoing injustice and impunity. The recognition, condemnation and denunciation are the basis for preventing the repetition of this abhorrent crime.”

“Ten years after the enactment of the law that put Argentina in first place in the struggle for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, it is very important that the representatives of the people of Entre Rios decided to join that path,” said Nicolas Sabuncuyan, Director of the Armenian National Committee of Buenos Aires.

The Article 4 of Law 26,199, that was enacted on December 13, 2006 and promulgated on 11 January 2007, invited provincial governments to “adhere to the provisions of this law.” The provinces that have already joined the recognition law are: Buenos Aires, Catamarca, Chaco, Chubut, Córdoba, Corrientes, Jujuy, La Pampa, Misiones, Neuquen, Rio Negro, San Juan, Santa Cruz, Santa Fe, Santiago del Estero and Tierra del Fuego.

Photo: (L-R) Jorge Dolmadjian, Adan Humberto Bahl, Nicolas Sabuncuyan, Lucas Larrarte

Spanish cities of Carcaixent, Alaquas and Elda Recognize Armenian Genocide

( Carcaixent, Alaquas, and Elda towns od Spain have officially recognized and condemned the Armenian Genocide, press department of the RA Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports.

According to the press statement, all the five political forces represented in Carcaixent city council voted for the adoption of the corresponding institutional statement.

During the voting at Alaquas city council only deputies of PP and Ciudadanos parties abstained, while in Elda only one representative from Ciudadanos voted against.
The city council sessions were attended by representatives of the Armenian community both from those towns as well as all over Spain, who expressed their gratitude to the city councils, reads the statement.

Ple ordinari de l’Ajuntament de Carcaixent 27/04/2016


La Sra. Alcaldesa indica que se ha solicitado la intervención de un representante de la
Asociación “Ararat de Mislata” mediante escrito presentado a instancia del grupo EU.
Igualmente indica que hay una enmienda de adicción del grupo PSOE que es aceptada por
la Sra. Pino y que dice:
“Solicita la inclusión en la propuesta de acuerdo de un punto 2 y 3 que digan los siguiente:
2. Recordar la Resolución del Parlamento Europeo del 15 de abril del 2015 en la que, entre
otras cosas, reconocía que los trágicos acontecimientos que tuvieron lugar entre 1915 y 1917
contra los armenios en el territorio del Imperio Otomano, representan un genocidio según la
definición de la Convención para la prevención y sanción del delito de genocidio de 1948.
3. Pedir a Armenia y a Turquía que tomen como ejemplo las reconciliaciones que se han
producido con éxito entre las naciones europeas y se centren en una agenda que ponga en primer
lugar la cooperación entre los pueblos; confía en que esto contribuirá a la reconciliación histórica
del pueblo armenio y el pueblo turco en un espíritu de verdad y respeto; respalda las iniciativas de
la sociedad civil emprendidas entre Turquía y Armenia para avanzar en la normalización de las
relaciones; insta a Turquía y armenia a normalizar sus relaciones ratificando y aplicando, sin
condiciones previas, los protocolos sobre el establecimiento de relaciones diplomáticas, abriendo
la frontera y mejorando activamente sus relaciones, con especial hincapié en la cooperación
transfronteriza y la integración económica.”
Seguidamente la Sra. Alcaldesa somete a votación la enmienda siendo está aprobada por
A continuación la Sra. Pino defiende la moción diciendo que es una iniciativa promovida por
la comunidad Armenia. El presidente de la asociación Armenia Ararat, de Mislata, se puso en
contacto con nosotros para mostrarnos su moción y proponernos traer esta iniciativa al pleno de
hoy. Hemos de decir que tuvimos la oportunidad de conocer a la comunidad y compartir con ellos
la celebración del pasado 24 de abril, día en que ellos recuerdan a todos los armenios que
perdieron la vida durante el genocidio que sufrieron entre los años 1915 y 1921. Voy a leer la
moción tal cual la han redactado ellos para que todos y todas tengáis conocimiento directo de lo
que en ella se refleja. Antes de empezar quisiera dar las gracias a Ararat Ghukasyan, Presidente
de la asociación, por acompañarnos esta noche, a Salvador García de la mota, compañero de
Esquerra Unida de Mislata, estrecho colaborador de la asociación armenia y a los vecinos y
vecinas Armenios de
Alaquàs que han acudido esta noche.
Seguidamenteda lectura a la moción:
“Este año se cumple el 101 aniversario del genocidio Armenio, considerado el primer genocidio del siglo XX.
Entre los años 1915 y 1921 tuvieron lugar un conjunto de masacres y deportaciones de la
población Armenia del actual territorio de Turquía, especialmente durante el régimen de los
jóvenes Turcos, en que murieron 1.500.000 Armenios y otros 2.000.000 tuvieron que abandonar
sus lugares y expandirse por todo el mundo, formando la gran Diáspora Armenia.
Las masacres se caracterizaron por su brutalidad y la utilización de marchas forzadas con
deportaciones en condiciones extremas, que generalmente llevaban a la muerte a muchos de los
deportados. Un exterminio que el abogado Polaco, Rafael Lemkin, calificó como Genocidio,
utilizando este término por primera vez en el vocabulario internacional.
Actualmente Turquía niega la existencia del genocidio, cosa que han reconocido países
como Uruguay, Argentina, Bélgica, Canadá, Chile, Chipre, Francia, Grecia, Italia, Lituania,
Holanda, Polonia, Rusia, Eslovaquia, Suecia, Suiza, El Vaticano, Venezuela …
El Genocidio Armenio ha sido reconocido por 44 Estados de los Estados Unidos y tres
comunidades de España (País Vasco, Cataluña y Canarias).
En el año 1984 la ONU y en el año 1987 el Parlamento Europeo reconocieron los hechos del
Genocidio Armenio, calificándolo de crimen contra la Humanidad.
Por todo ello, elevamos al pleno las siguientes
propuestas de acuerdo:
1º. El Pleno del Ayuntamiento de
Alaquàs acuerda el reconocimiento oficial del Genocidio
Armenio y condena los crímenes contra la Humanidad que se realizaron durante el mismo.
2º. El Pleno del Ayuntamiento de Alaquàs acuerda dar traslado del contenido de esta moción
a la asociación Ararat de Mislata
(C/ Pirotécnico Gori 8-23).
3º. El Pleno del Ayuntamiento de Alaquàs acuerda dar traslado del contenido de esta moción

Presidente del Gobierno.

Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores.

Grupos políticos del Congreso de los Diputados y Diputadas.

Grupos políticos de las Cortes Valencianas.

La embajada de Armenia en España.
4º El Pleno del Ayuntamiento de Alaquàs acuerda transmitir el contenido de esta moción a
través de los medios de comunicación institucional de que disponga.”
La Sra. Pino agradece la presencia en el Pleno de los representantes de la asociación y a
los vecinos armenios.
Previa autorización de la Sra. Alcaldesa y al amparo del artículo 228 del Reglamento de
organización, funcionamiento y régimen jurídico de las entidades locales,
hace uso de la palabra el Sr. Ararat Ghukasyan que expresa unas palabras en las que insta a que se adopten acuerdos
como los aprobados en otros Ayuntamientos para reconocer el genocidio armenio y Alaquàs será
el municipio número 16 que lo haga, para que este tipo de situaciones no se repitan y hace
entrega de un obsequio a la Concejala Sra. Pino.
Seguidamente la Sra. Alcaldesa indica que se ha trasladado la información facilitada por el
Consulado general de Turquía y hoy se ha entregado documentación de la
Embajada de Armenia que se facilitará a los Srs. Concejales.
Abierto el debate el Sr. Mellado agradece la presencia de la Asociación “Ararat de Mislata”
como una de las partes,
indica que en relación al conflicto armenio-turco y dado que durante el
periodo de la I Guerra Mundial, ocurrieron sucesos muy trágicos en los que, junto a muchas de
personas de cada bando, los armenios también perdieron la vida y dado que Turquía,
especialmente en los últimos años, ha dado unos pasos de especial importancia para poder poner
fin a la hostilidad provocada por este asunto, que alude a los armenios que perdieron la vida.
Entre dichos pasos los más destacados son la propuesta de Turquía de esclarecer los sucesos a través de un trabajo conjunto llevado a cabo por historiadores turcos, armenios y de terceras
partes, y los mensajes del Primer Ministro RecepTayyipErdogan en 2014 y el Primer Ministro
AhmetDavutoglu el 24 de abril de 2015. En estos mensajes se subraya que están firmemente
decididos a mantener sus esfuerzos para curar las heridas y restablecer las amistades.
Y dado que el genocidio es el crimen más grave que se pueda cometer contra la humanidad, así
como acusar a una nación de haber cometido el crimen de genocidio trae consigo la obligación
principal de demostrar las acusaciones con verdades históricas y fundamentarlas en la legalidad
internacional. Es obvio que las acusaciones basadas en las alegaciones armenias en su totalidad
pueden carecer de fundamento tanto de un punto de vista histórico como jurídico.
Por ello, una vez valorada la información de la moción presentada por EU de Alaquàs y la
documentación aportada por el Cónsul General de Turquía el Sr. Emir SalimYüksel, creemos que
no debemos tratar de interferir, ni afrontar los intereses concretos de forma
partidista hacia un bando u otro, ya que no ayudaría en nada a la normalización de las relaciones turco-armenias, ni
al establecimiento de una memoria justa sobre estos acontecimientos, sino que debemos apoyar
cualquier proceso de paz entre Armenia y Turquía, y que debemos denunciar realmente también y
sobre todo un problema global que buscamos afrontar de una forma eficiente y conforme a la
doctrina de la ONU y del Parlamento Europeo.
Por todo ello, proponemos al grupo de EU Alaquàs que retire dicha moción y al resto de grupos
que abordemos este tema entre todas las partes con un enfoque global, ya que seguramente nos
pueden llegar más mociones delicadas de este tipo y que en un principio, escapan a nuestras
competencias directas y afectan más al derecho internacional.
Toma la palabra la Sra. Blanch diciendo que como es lógico, nuestro grupo está totalmente
en contra de todos los actos que hayan implicado en el pasado o actualmente cualquier tipo de
represión, terrorismo, masacres o genocidios. En este punto y a colación de la moción presentada
por Izquierda Unida, votamos a favor del reconocimiento de los hechos acaecidos de 1915 a 1917
como genocidio, teniendo en cuenta la información que hemos estudiado en nuestro colectivo. No
pretendemos que este reconocimiento sea fuente de nuevas fricciones, pero en nuestra parcela
de responsabilidad, es así como consideramos estos hechos.
Seguidamente la Sra. Barberà indica que es un proceso de paz entre pueblos enfrentados,
que deben intentar buscar la paz, y aunque me equivoque, prefiero
dar la razón a los oprimidos.
El Sr. Pons (PP) indica que no es un tema de competencia municipal, no obstante insta a la
Alcaldía para que se tiendan puentes con el fin de que empresas españolas puedan vender
productos a Armenia.
Hace uso de la palabra el Sr. Oñate agradeciendo el talante de la proponente que ha
aceptado nuestra enmienda. La verdad es que hoy estamos aquí debatiendo una cuestión que
mas allá de nuestra competencia, donde este partido siempre se ha mostrado dispuesto a marcar
posición, lo cierto es que se desarrolló hace algo así como 101 años. Algo que debe de servirnos,
pues aprender del pasado, nos debe permitir no cometer los mismos errores en el futuro
Nosotros no vamos a discutir cómo se llama al hecho pues si tenemos algo claro es que
independientemente de cómo se llame, que el parlamento europeo ha dicho que es un genocidio,
si produce la muerte masiva de civiles merece toda nuestra condena.
Por supuesto mas allá de la condena si que estimamos oportuno que se deben poner los
medios para la reconciliación de los pueblos, y para que esto no se vuelva a repetir, eso es lo que
proponemos en nuestra enmienda de adición al acuerdo y lo que trasladamos a la proponente
para su votación.
La Sra. Pino indica que en este contexto no debería proceder limitaciones
en cuanto a las competencias municipales, sino que es momento de hablar y debatir
para que las cosas trasciendan.
Replica al Sr. Mellado, diciendo que ha utilizado datos del escrito presentado por el Consulado de
Turquía y que no formaban parte de la documentación del Pleno, dicha información quizás es una injerencia, y que debería hacerse a través del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores.
La Sra. Alcaldesa explica, que ella recibe a todas las personas que piden hablar con ella, se ha incorporado información para que cada partido lo procese, y las valore.
El Sr. Mellado indica que él se reunió con el Cónsul, además de haber visto la
documentación remitida desde la secretaria general y había previsto dos enmiendas, una de 4
puntos y otra de 7, por lo anteriormente expuesto pide que reflexionen los que apoyan estas
Finalizado el debate y sometida a votación la moción formulada con la inclusión de la enmienda aprobada, el Pleno de la Corporación de conformidad con el dictamen de la Comisión Informativa de fecha 21 de abril, aprueba por 15 votos a favor (9 del grupo PSOE, 3 del grupo COMPROMIS, 2 del grupo CET, y 1 del grupo EU) y 6 abstenciones (5 del grupo PP y 1 del grupo C ́s)
adoptar los siguientes acuerdos:
1. El Pleno del Ayuntamiento de Alaquàs acuerda el reconocimiento oficial del Genocidio
Armenio y condena los crímenes contra la Humanidad que se realizaron durante el mismo.
2. Recordar la Resolución del Parlamento Europeo del 15 de abril del 2015 en la
que, entre
otras cosas, reconocía que los trágicos acontecimientos que tuvieron lugar entre 1915 y 1917
contra los armenios en el territorio del Imperio Otomano, representan un genocidio según la
definición de la Convención para la prevención y sanción del
delito de genocidio de 1948.
3. Pedir a Armenia y a Turquía que tomen como ejemplo las reconciliaciones que se han
producido con éxito entre las naciones europeas y se centren en una agenda que ponga en primer
lugar la cooperación entre los pueblos; conf
ía en que esto contribuirá a la reconciliación histórica
del pueblo armenio y el pueblo turco en un espíritu de verdad y respeto; respalda las iniciativas de
la sociedad civil emprendidas entre Turquía y Armenia para avanzar en la normalización de las
relaciones; insta a Turquía y armenia a normalizar sus relaciones ratificando y aplicando, sin
condiciones previas, los protocolos sobre el establecimiento de relaciones diplomáticas, abriendo
la frontera y mejorando activamente sus relaciones, con especial hi
ncapié en la cooperación
transfronteriza y la integración económica.
4. El Pleno del Ayuntamiento de Alaquàs acuerda dar traslado del contenido de esta moción
a la asociación Ararat de Mislata (C/ Pirotécnico Gori 8-23).
5. El Pleno del Ayuntamiento de Alaquàs acuerda dar traslado del contenido de esta moción

Presidente del Gobierno.

Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores.

Grupos políticos del Congreso de los Diputados y Diputadas.

Grupos políticos de las Cortes Valencianas.

La embajada de Armenia en España.
El Pleno del Ayuntamiento de Alaquàs acuerda transmitir el contenido de esta moción a
través de los medios de comunicación institucional de que disponga.

Pleno Ordinario del Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Elda de fecha 28 de abril de 2016

European Democrat Students adopts resolution to recognize Armenian Genocide

( European Democrat Students (EDS) of the European People’s Party adopted a resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide, Armenpress reports.

The resolution had been included in the agenda of EDS Council at the suggestion of the Youth Organization of the Republican Party of Armenia. The latter joined EDS in summer of 2015.

The resolution condemns the genocides committed by the Ottoman Empire in late 19th and early 20th centuries against the Armenian, Assyrian peoples and Pontiac Greeks. The document urges Turkey to face the history and recognize the Armenian Genocide. It is also emphasized that Turkey’s denial of the genocide originates new crimes in the world.

Chairman of European Democrat Students Georgios Chatzigeorgiou said it was the first time for EDS to express an official stance on genocides.

Chatzigeorgiou stated that the resolution was adopted by the majority of the votes and that they urge all the countries to recognize and condemn the Genocide. He added that European People’s Party also had an official position on the issue, calling for genocide condemnation. As Chairman of European Democrat Students noted, many countries recognized the Armenian Genocide and it was their wish for EDS to have an official position on the issue.

Chairman of the Democrat Youth Community of Europe (DEMYC) Javier Hurtado Mira stressed the importance of the fact that EDS which is the official student organization of the European People’s Party, the leading force in the European Parliament, voiced the Armenian Genocide.

He added that DEMYC also adopted a document condemning the Armenian Genocide in Yerevan this year in April. He concluded his speech with the motto of the Genocide centennial: We remember and demand.

The meeting of EDS Council is held in Yerevan these days at the invitation of the Youth Organization of the Republican Party of Armenia.

Peoples’ Democratic Congress of Turkey urges Armenian Genocide recognition

( Peoples’ Democratic Congress of Turkey (HDK) issued Wednesday, December 9, a statement addressed to the Turkish state on the occasion of the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime, Armenpress reports citing

Signed by HDK Co-spokespersons Sebahat Tuncel and Ertuğrul Kürkçü, the statement calls on Turkey to face its own history and apologize for perpetrating the Armenian Genocide.

“The genocide of Armenians and Assyrians committed in 1915 under the command of İttihat ve Terakki (Committee of Union and Progress) aimed to eliminate the ethnic and religious identities of Ottoman Armenians,” the HDK statement reads to further stress that the Genocide started with the arrest and deportation of Istanbul’s Armenian intellectuals on April 24, 1915.

“After 100 years, Turkey continues to deny the Genocide,” the statement says.

The authors noted that what happened to Armenians was followed by more acts of genocide.

“Peoples’ Democratic Congress reminds that Turkey is among the states that have signed the international convention on prevention of genocides. We call on Turkey to stop denying the Armenian and Assyrian genocides and apologize for crimes committed against the Ottoman nations,” the statement concludes.

France’s Genocide Criminalization Bill Sent to Justice Commission

( PARIS—France’s National Assembly Thursday voted to send a bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide, introduced by Valérie Boyer, back to the Justice Commission, which had discussed the measure on November 25.

The majority of the parliament members who took turns to speak supported the measure with 26 votes cast in favor and 12 against the measure.

“It is time for France to take the responsibility which it has in the protection of democracy. I hope that Parliament members will be united during the vote on draft,” Boyer said in her opening remarks.

The Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF) issued a statement thanking Boyer for her leadership, adding that the majority support from legislators is proof that the view is largely shared within the National Assembly.

The CCAF said that it expected the ruling party, as well as all human rights activists to take the lead and declare unacceptable the denial of the Armenian Genocide set legal punitive guidelines.

The group also said that French President Francois Hollande must be held accountable to his earlier promises of support for such a measure and will move swiftly for its adoption as law.

A bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide was adopted by the French Parliament’s lower house on December 22, 2011 and its upper house—the Senate—on January 23, 2012. However; it was declared unconstitutional by France’s highest judicial body, the Constitutional Council, on February 29, 2012.