International community should condemn both Turkish denialism and Azerbaijani crimes – Eduard Sharmazanov
YEREVAN, MAY 25, ARMENPRESS. Vice President of the National Assembly of Armenia, the Head of Armenia-Slovakia Friendship Group Eduard Sharmazanov took part in the exhibition with the heading “Parliamentarians against Genocides” dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Genocide adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. As ARMENPRESS was informed from the press service of the parliament of Armenia, he National Assembly Vice President noted in his speech:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Genocide adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 9 December 1948. The Convention on Genocide was among the first United Nations conventions addressing humanitarian issues. The Genocide of Armenian, Greek and Assyrian minorities in Ottoman Empire and Kemalist Turkey is considered to be one of the greatest disasters of the XX century that has taken lives of more than 2 million of innocent Christians.
Dear Mr. Danko and dear Mr. Tittel,it is a great honourforme to be here and address you as the Vice President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia and as a descendent of both nations who survived the Greek and Armenian Genocide.
Before highlighting the milestones of the genocide I would like to find the roots of this terrible tragedy. I would argue that this crime was not a chaotic phenomenon caused by and limited to the World War I. It dates back to the Christian massacres in the days of Sultan Abdul Hamid at the end of the XIX century and steps into the XX century with the 1909 slaughter of 30,000 Armenians in the city of Adana.
Moreover, during the 1911 Summit in Thessaloniki the Young Turks adopted a resolution according to which the Christian population of the Empire, as an “untrustworthy element hindering the progress of the country”, was condemned to extermination and assimilation.
On April 24 1915, 600 Armenian writers, journalists, doctors, scientists were arrested and exiled to the depths of Anatolia. A part of them died on the way of the exile, while others died after reaching there. Later, in October Enver Pasha, the Ottoman Minister of War, declared in the presence of a German military attache "we shall solve the Greek question, the same way as we have solved the Armenian question”.
It is worth mentioning that although the World War I ended, the atrocities against the Greek population continued. In September 1922, when the troops of Mustafa Kemal invaded the city of Smyrna, the city was set on fire, the Greek and Armenian quarters were totally destroyed.
Winston Churchill described the atrocities of Smyrna in the following way, “Kemal turned the city into ashes and totally exterminated its Christian population’.
The Genocide of Christian minorities in Ottoman Empire is one of the biggest atrocities of the 20th century. This is a crime against humanity. Unfortunately, Turkey today not only continues its policy of denial but also supports Azerbaijan’s non-constructive policy which is a great regional threat.
Let us not forget, that impunity leads to new crimes. The massacre of Armenians in Sumgait 1988 and Azerbaijan’s aggression two years ago against peaceful people of Nagorno-Karabakh when innocent Armenians were killed and beheaded, are examples of such impunity.
Recently, the Middle East faces the same threats as Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians a century ago. Innocent Christians and Yazidis are still being exterminated because of their ethnicity and religion. This is unacceptable.
I would like to thank Slovakia for recognizing the Armenian genocide and would like also to say that International Community must condemn the denial of the genocide of Christian population in Ottoman Empire, the massacre of Armenians in Sumgait, aggression of Azerbaijan in 2016 as well as the Yazidi Genocide.”
English –translator/editor: Tigran Sirekanyan