The systematic murder of 1.5 million Armenians by the Turks, which began a century ago, will be memorialized around the world on April 24.
The Pope got things rolling early this week by meeting with Armenian religious leaders at the Vatican. He called for international recognition of the historical truth of this genocide. He said this to the visiting leaders.
“A century has passed since that horrific massacre which was a true martyrdom of your people, in which many innocent people died as confessors and martyrs for the name of Christ. Even today, there is not an Armenian family untouched by the loss of loved ones due to that tragedy: It truly was Metz Yeghern, the ‘Great Evil’, as it is known by Armenians.”
The Turkish government promptly recalled its ambassador to the Vatican. Why? Because it has been politically incorrect to mention the Armenian genocide in Turkey for a century.
The Turkish government tried this first in 1894-95. That didn’t work out as planned. They killed “only” 200,000 to 300,000 of them. Two decades later, they completed the job.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”
The official views of the Turkish government have changed over the years. Originally, it was this: “It never happened.” Then it was this: “This is taken out of context!” These days, it is this: “It was just one of those things — just one of those crazy things.”
The first major historical investigation of this slaughter was researched by the British historian Arnold Toynbee. His statement in 1916 is clear:
“In one way or another, the Central Government enforced and controlled the execution of the scheme, as it alone had originated the conception of it; and the Young Turkish Ministers and their associates at Constantinople are directly and personally responsible, from beginning to end, for the gigantic crime that devastated the Near East in 1915.”
His full statement is here.
In 1916, Viscount Bryce — England’s great legal scholar and historian — released the primary source documents that Toynbee had assembled: The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-16. The book is posted on Brigham Young University’s website: here.
All of this has been known for a century, but still the Turks deny its relevance.
For background on this genocide, click the link.