Alfred De Zayas is a professor of international law in the Geneva School of Diplomacy in Switzerland. He has served as senior lawyer in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and as secretary of the Human Rights Committee
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Armenians have undoubtedly a strong and legitimate claim to receive reparation from Turkey for the material and moral injury that accompanied the genocide perpetrated between 1915 and 1923. Bearing in mind that there is no prescription in international law in cases of genocide and crimes against humanity, the Armenian entitlement for reparation has certainly not lapsed. Therefore, it is only normal that Armenians should continue to press their demand for reparation in the form of restitution of their cultural and religious heritage, including churches and monasteries, compensation for destroyed property as well as for the immense moral suffering endured, and a measure of satisfaction in the form of an official apology from the Government of Turkey and recognition of their status as victims of genocide. This right to the various levels of reparation can and should be invoked by the survivors of the descendants of the Armenian genocide both in Armenia and in the diaspora. . .
The Norms of international law, which I shall briefly outline, are fairly clear. Nevertheless, these norms are not always self-executing and may require legislative action in order to identify the specific legal basis and establish the proper forum where claims for restitution and reparation may be adjudicated.
What is most needed is the political will of governments throughout the world to ensure that appropriate legislative and judicial measures are taken in order to implement the applicable norms of international law. For this political will to materialize, it is necessary to mobilize civil society in all countries, to educate through the universities, high schools and the media, and to appeal to the overarching principle of human dignity from which all human rights derive. To discriminate among victims of genocide is inacceptable and entails in itself a separate and distinct violation of human dignity.
Now, the Principle of reparation for violations of international law is not a new normative development attributable to the work of the League of Nations, or of the United Nations or of the International Law Commission. The obligation to make reparation for violations of international law is a general principle of law as referred to in article 38, paragraph 1c of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. Already the Permanent Court of International Justice stated in its 1928 Judgment in the Chorzow Factory Case:
“It is a principle of international law, and even a general conception of the law, that any breach of an engagement involves an obligation to make reparation.”
Similarly, article 31 of the Draft Articles on State Responsibility, which essentially reflect pre-existing international law, stipulates that “the responsible State is under an obligation to make full reparation for the injury caused by the internationally wrongful act.”
Article 34 stipulates further that “full reparation for the injury caused by the internationally wrongful act shall take the form of restitution, compensation or satisfaction, either singly or in combination.”
More concretely, in the Armenian case where enormous destruction was visited on the cultural heritage of thousands of years, the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property of 1954 and its Protocols give us guidance.
Among other general principles of law that apply in the context of the obligation to make reparation are the principle of “good faith”, the prohibition of “unjust enrichment” the rules on “estoppel”, the principle “ex injuria non oritur jus”, which provides that no rights can be derived from a prior violation of law. Bearing in mind that genocide and crimes against humanity are the most grievous offences against international law, it is obvious that the murderer cannot keep the fruits of the crime. International ordre public or public order imposes this conclusion.
Some will object that the Chorzow Factory Case Judgment, the Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property, the Genocide Convention and the International Law Commission’s Articles on State Responsibility are all subsequent to the Armenian genocide and that therefore they cannot be applied retroactively. This is wrong. Not only is it a fallacy in international law, but also a red herring intended to distract attention from the core issues and to undermine the Armenian entitlements.
The fact is that the Armenian claims did not arise with these instruments and judgments, but were already in existence in 1915 and were recognized internationally in article 144 of the Treaty of Sevres of 1920, which was signed by the representatives of the Sultan but not ratified after the Kemalist revolution. The non-enforcement of article 144 does not mean that the entitlements did not exist, but rather that the use of force by Mustafa Kemal Attaturk prevented the implementation of applicable norms of international law.
Law, ladies and gentlemen, is not mathematics. And the norms – as good as they may look on paper – are certainly not equivalent to their enforcement. On the other hand, the non-enforcement of norms, even for a prolonged period of time, does not detract from their validity. And you should not be discouraged because of the reluctance of some journalists and politicians to endorse your claims. It is your right to continue pressing the claims until they are satisfied.
As far as compensation is concerned, Article 36 of the Articles on State Responsibility stipulate the obligation of a State “to compensate for the damage caused … insofar as such damage is not made good by restitution.”
As far as satisfaction is concerned, Article 37 stipulates “The State responsible for an internationally wrongful act is under an obligation to give satisfaction for the injury caused by the act insofar as its obligation cannot be made good by restitution or compensation. Satisfaction may consist in an acknowledgement of the breach, an expression of regret, a formal apology or another appropriate modality.”
In this connection it is useful to recall that in 1993 President Bill Clinton issued an apology to the people of Hawaii for the crimes and abuses committed in connection with the overthrow of the legitimate government of the Hawaiian Queen one hundred years earlier, in 1893. Similarly, on 13 February 2008 the Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd issued an apology to the Aborigines of Australia for the injustices visited upon them. It should be noted that title to huge areas of Australia has been returned to the Aborigines, who are now administering these territories in cooperation with Australian authorities. Thus, even “historical inequities” can be partly redressed provided that there be a modicum of good will. Indeed, over the past decades the various governments of Germany have issued countless apologies to the governments and peoples of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, etc. in connection with the Holocaust. Germany has also made meaningful reparation in the form of both restitution and compensation to the survivors of the victims of the genocide.
In obtaining reparation the Armenians should also appeal to international solidarity and to the erga omnes obligation not to recognize the effects of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Article 10 of the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Illegality of population transfers of August 1997 stipulates:
“Where acts or omissions prohibited in the present Declaration are committed, the international community as a whole and individual States, are under an obligation: (a) not to recognize as legal the situation created by such acts; (b) in ongoing situations, to ensure the immediate cessation of the act and the reversal of the harmful consequences; (c) not to render aid, assistance or support, financial or otherwise, to the State which has committed or is committing such act in the maintaining or strengthening of the situation created by such act. “
Of particular relevance to the Armenians are the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law, adopted by the General Assembly in its Resolution 60/147 of 16 December 2005. Section VII, paragraph 10 of the Basic principles stipulates: “Remedies … include the victim’s right to the following as provided for under international law:
“(a) Equal and effective access to justice
(b) Adequate, effective and prompt reparation for harm suffered,
(c) access to relevant information concerning violations and reparation mechanisms.”
Section IX, paragraph 15 stipulates:
“ Adequate, effective and prompt reparation is intended to promote justice by redressing gross violations of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law. Reparation should be proportional to the gravity of the violations and the harm suffered. “
Paragraph 16 stipulates:
“States should endeavour to establish national programmes for reparation and other assistance to victims.”
Paragraph 17 stipulates:
“States shall, with respect to claims of victims, enforce domestic judgements for reparation against individuals or entitles liable for the harm suffered and endeavour to enforce valid foreign legal judgements for reparation in accordance with domestic law and international legal obligations. To that end, States should provide under their domestic laws effective mechanisms for the enforcement of reparation judgments”
Paragraph 19 stipulates:
“Restitution should, whenever possible, restore the victim to the original situation before the gross violations of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law occurred. “
Paragraph 20 stipulates:
“Compensation should be provided for any economically assessable damage as appropriate and proportional to the violation and the circumstances of each case… such as “(a) physical or mental harm, (b) lost opportunities, including employment, education and social benefits, (c) material damages and loss of earnings, including loss of earning potential; (d) moral damage; (e) costs required for legal or expert assistance, medicine and medical services and psychological and social services.”
Section XI is of particular relevance. Paragraph 25 stipulates “the application and interpretation of these Basic Principles and guidelines must be consistent with international human rights law and be without any discrimination of any kind or on any ground, without exception.”
Another significant United Nations document that gives support to the Armenian Claims is the report of the Independent Expert Sergio Pinheiro known as United Nations Principles on Housing and Property Restitution, or simply as the Pinheiro Principles.
Principle 2 stipulates clearly: “All refugees and displaced persons have the right to have restored to them any housing, land and/or property or which they were arbitrarily or unlawfully deprived, or to be compensated for any housing, land and/or property that is factually impossible to restore as determined by an independent, impartial tribunal.”
Ladies and gentlemen, I could continue citing norms of hard law and soft law that apply to or are of particular relevance to the case of the Armenian genocide. Suffice it to say that international law is on the side of the Armenians.
Another issue is that of implementation, and you know better than anyone else what an uphill battle it has been to obtain recognition of the historicity of the genocide. Here again the United Nations can strengthen your claim through its increasing insistence on the right to truth, including historical truth. This may be a right de lege ferenda, but a right that you can already invoke in the form of pertinent United Nations resolutions.
I do not underestimate the obstacles before you in obtaining reparation for the injuries suffered in connection with the Armenian genocide. One problem is that of non-self-executing international norms. This is why Austria and Germany have adopted laws related to the restitution of objects to victims, as has the United States in the form of its Law on Restitution for the World War II Internment of some 120,000 Japanese-Americans and Aleuts.
It is the responsibility of politicians to propose such legislation in Congress, e.g. to make Armeinan claims against Turkey justiciable in United States courts. The United States has adopted the Federal Alien Tort Claims Act pursuant to which Jewish claimants have been able to obtain redress.
Before finishing this short introduction, I should mention the possibility of entrusting the United Nations with the responsibility to administer a Fund for Victims of the Armenian Genocide and their Descendants. Already the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights administers several funds, e.g. for the Victims of Torture, and this experience would provide a blueprint for an Armenian United Nations Fund.
I thank you for your attention.
 Alfred de Zayas, “The Genocide Against the Armenians 1915-1923 and the Relevance of the 1948 Genocide Convention”, Haigazian University Press, Beirut 2010. Also available in Spanish translation, El Genocidio contra los Armenios, Catálogos S.R.L., Buenos Aires 2009.
 Publications of the Permanent Court of International Justice, Series A - No. 9; Collection of Judgments
A.W. Sijthoff’s Publishing Company, Leyden
 http://www.icrc.org/ihl.nsf/FULL/400?OpenDocument, http://www.unesco.org/new/index.php?id=19138&L=0
 Adopted in second reading 2001. untreaty.un.org/ilc/texts/instruments/.../9_6_2001.pdf
 Resolution 19, 103d U.S. Congress, 23 November 1993. http://www.hawaii-nation.org/publawall.html
We have forwarded a copy of the counter comments above to Mr Zayas (5 Nov 2010) And just received his further communication (6 Nov 2010) as follows:
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: Counter comments
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2010 18:41:29 +0100
From: Alfred Zayas alfreddezayas at gmail dot com
To: newsrush at gmail dot com
CC: Henry Theriault htheriault at worcester dot edu,
Garo Armenian gkarmenian at gmail dot com,
hilda tchoboian hilda dot tchoboian at eafjd dot eu
We are not in Kindergarten
And we are not going to have to prove that the Earth isn't really flat.
The Historical work has been done by greater historians than myself
We are no longer at square one. The issue is that of reparations, not of proving and reproving the genocide.
I refer you to my book "The Genocide Against the Armenians and the Relevance of the 1948 Genocide Convention".
Alfred de Zayas
Genocide Against Armenians 1915-1923 & Relevance Of 1948 Genocide Convention By Alfred De Zayas
I attended this seminar last
Submitted by John Keusseyan, Lt Col USAF (Retired) , 2010-10-26
I attended this seminar last Saturday. It was very informative. I think we should have similar seminars on a regular basis. I also asked a question about the Protocol that was signed by Armenia and Turkey last October. The question was: if the Protocols are ratified by both Armenia and Turkey how will that impact or change our territorial demands? And the answer was (by Ara Papian): we give up all our rights beyond the current borders of Armenia. So, we should make sure that the Armenian Parliament does not ratify the Protocols, if they do ratify, it will be the end of Armenian Cause.
Reparations only for sufferings & lost properties?
Submitted by VTiger on , 2010-10-26 1
Valuable article. However my question is how can we get reparations for our occupied lands? Our occupied lands are creating wealth for Turkey whether with their natural resources or being oil/gas pipeline route from the east to Europe & Turkey & so many other... Should we get reparations for our occupied lands on a yearly basis similar to renting a property?
Thank you and very well said Prof. De Zayas.
The misguided people in our community who still cling to a victim complex of defeatism in our relations with Turkey (i.e. Karekin types) need to read and re-read this article as many times as necessary until they realize that defending our peoples rights to our occupied lands and property is a righteous legal cause worth fighting tooth and nail for. Those who believe in our cause will continue to cling to a justice complex and work to reclaim our rightful belongings with compensation. While the rest of us work towards this end, the nervous Nellie’s amongst us and the nattering nabobs of negativism who still suffer from a victim complex are free to watch and learn from the sidelines AGAIN…(i.e. RA independence, NK liberation etc.).
AMEN Dikranagertzi jan… well said…
Excellent article.. Thank you Professor De Zaya.. You truly put all those who believe otherwise to shame.. We appreciate your candid and informative speech…
Like Dikranagertzi stated above, all the Karekins and nervous Nellis of the world should read and re-read this article over and over.. because I for one will never stop fighting….we do have the right to fight.. and i dont’ care if Karekins of the world and Ragnars of the world says otherwise…because my great grandfather did not work to his bones to save orphans and re-unite them with their families all over the world and lose his own family and wealth to Genocide to have us shot our mouths, eyes and ears and let things just be as they are… HELL NO…
This article should be share with everyone and be posted everywhere…
Thank you again
I was there listened to him talking on the phone , I’ve never been to such interesting conference where tons of fresh ideas regarding the restitution aspect of the Armenian Genocide was put on the table with detailed scientific analysis.
I really enjoyed every bit of it and I want to thank the organizers for that.
During lunch break I was alone where Edgar an intelligent Armenian young man approached my table and asked if he can join me.
We exchanged the basic information and then he asked me what I’m seeing for the future where my answer was ready, I told him:
Having these brilliant ideas on the table first thing that we need is unity and one voice, and that is just in this important subject only, no one will listen to us if we continue talking with totally different ideas, first we must unite and put aside all those divisive things like political ideologies, country of origin, accents, name callings, and we all know what else; to become like one with one voice and that voice can’t be anyone other than the President of the Armenian Republic.
I know it sounds naïve and seems I’m hallucinating with John Lennon’s song, but think twice; who will listen to a bunch of people; scattered around the world who even don’t understand each other and can’t unit in something that they are asking from the world.
That requires that all Armenians of the world to put a temporary halt to all internal disagreements, problems and focus just on resolution of the Armenian Genocide by standing behind our President.
Now the most important and essential thing for us; that is all Armenians; to do so is to hear and learn from our President what is his plan for the Armenian Genocide resolution in this critical turning point, because signing the “Protocol” will put an end to everything.
Bravo De Zayas!
I congratulate the organizers of the UCLA convention. This is an extremely important work. It is long time coming. I am very happy that we are more and more focusing our efforts in giving shape to our legal claims for reparation and restitution from Turkey within the framework of international legal and academic guidelines.
I am no expert, but I tend to agree with Ossig, that in order to be taken seriously we have to speak in one voice. Several different voices will undermine and weaken our case. In this respect an Armenia Diaspora Artsakh Union needs to be formed or a Universal Armenian committee should be elected and internationally recognized as the official body presenting the grievances of the Armenian people.
Agreed with Katia on organizing a united body to represent of all Armenians..excellent idea and well received… now we need to find a leader and start the process.. Katia.. how about I nominate you, Msheci, Jda, Mjm, Boyajian,to kick off this excellent idea of yours..:)
Ossik jan.. your intentions are well received however trust me when I say this.. the pResident may have great ideas how to get the ball rolling but he is not sharing or putting into practice.. on the contrary, he is doing things that are taking Armenian backwards instead of forward.. i would love to support our President he needs to be the man our people want to follow… once he earns people’s trust and respect, people will automatically follow him.. no doubt. but until then.. i dont’ think you will have alot of supporters on this particular point…however, you definintely have the right idea…
God Bless our people and Armenia…
What is Armenia waiting for?
It’s time to do a FUNDRAISER for Armenia to pursue Turkey legally, whatever the cost may be. I suggest doing a MASSIVE star studded concert – with Aznavour, and other world class performers – in CYPRUS. Not in the Turk occupied North – but in CYPRUS proper. The funds raised should be immediately made available to pursue legal action against the rapists, murderers, thieves, arsonists and criminals of the Ottoman Empire,
and their RELATIVES who profited from these crimes.
No Armenian can ever be safe can ever start healing before JUSTICE is demanded and achieved.
Really, if the case is so strong, what are you all waiting for? Any ideas about where I can apply for reparations for the lost lands, property and lives caused by Armenians? The I want to take Crazy Ivan of Russia to court, the maybe Napoleon and Chuchill and all their estates, governments and anyone else I can find…
Well said Murat! Too bad the editorial board keeps censoring and deleting all of my posts! It’s truly sad to watch a group of cowards do things like this. What a bad example they are to future generations of Armenian children!
Oh look.. the two stooges from the three stooges group sang again.. how cute…
You two are an inconic Turks that represent some % in the world who have so much hate against ARmenians and any drop of “oh Turkey is going down little by little” trigger your small brains to react right away and write such negative and untrue statements.. amazing.. but not surprising..
Murat, Ivan of Russia and Napleon? seriously? you seriously trying to compare cold blooded murder of millions, (INTENTIONAL murder) with these two nut jobs? i mean if you are talking about nut jobs, crazies, and phycos.. then you may be accurate…. Turkey is definintely in the same boat as these people including Hitler… however the events and circumstances of these nut jobs are no where comparible for what your blood thirsty govt did to innocent people… no comparison at all.. that shows how your knowledge of history is sooo wacked up….
If I was a Turk, a decent, intelligent, open minded, Turk, I would be ashamed to call myself a Turk knowing you two represent a % of my own people ….
Robert… you worry about the future generations of the Armenian children? oh how human of you.. how sweet of you.. if you are sooo worried about our children why don’t you get your mind out of genocidal state toward Armenians and start acknowledging what happened in 1915 was indeed a Genocide..that goes to your other stooges who believe Genocide is a myth, a lie, something we took out of our you know what… i would think learning the history, THE TRUE history, and admitting your govt’s intentionally killing million and a half (could be more ) innocent men, women, children and elderly, and start repaying back the lands and riches you and your family enjoy, and enjoyed for years upon years, then i can say you truly do think about our future generations.. because then our Children won’t grow up knowing that Turkey still hides behind the money and wealth she stole of their ancestors by murdering them in cold blood; and continue to instill hatred and lies into HER OWN Turkish children… especially in schools.. now THAT is a sad sad fact…
You two need professional help…
I would rather call them misled. Obviously they have great affection and love for those lands which you and I also call home. That is not a terrible thing actually. I wish they could channel those feelings to more productive and constructive ends. There is an opportunity to actually re-seed the Armenian culture and even presence in Asia Minor again. All this backward looking, vendettas and racial and ethnic and religious hate makes all potential positive developments so less likely.
Murat, the difference is that these lands are ancestral home for me, but stolen home for you. Try to understand that what you call “backward looking, vendettas and racial, ethnic and religious hate” originate from 95-year long denial of your state to acknowledge the crime and apologize to us. What is “racial, ethnic, and religious hate” for you is righteous indignation for Armenians. The responsibility for committing a crime has no time limits, therefore, it can’t be called “backward looking.” If Armenians are “backward looking,” what about other members of international community who in the present time continue to acknowledge the crime of your grandparents as genocide? Because non-acknowledgment of crimes against humanity, and Turkish barbarity undoubtedly falls under this category, sparkles repetition of similar crimes. Jewish Holocaust that Hitler justified based on Turkish annihilation of Armenians, genocides of the Cambodians, holodomor of the Ukrainians, genocides of the Cambodians and Darfurians, are examples of this universal truth. Your suggestion to drop “backward looking, vendettas and racial and ethnic and religious hate” and call for an utopist “opportunity to re-seed the Armenian culture and even presence in Asia Minor again” is nothing else than an attempt, in the best tradition of your denialist, unrepentant government, to bury Turkey’s obligation to apologize to Armenians to oblivion. Ain’t gonna happen, Murat. Apology first, and then we’ll think about re-seeding the Armenian culture and presence in Asia Minor. Cheers.
Paul has said it so well. The truth will not be buried as long as there are ‘backward-looking’ Armenians with breath to speak it. Period. Turkey would be better off acknowledging this bitter truth and forging a new future with its Armenian neighbors and thus, the rest of the civilized nations of the world.
To all Turks who deny the truth, hate the truth, are repulsed by the truth, hate the speakers of the truth, teach their children to hate the speakers of the truth, pay others to create false history, teach distorted history, attempt to destroy evidence of the truth by destroying ancient churches and cemeteries, claim ancient artifacts as ‘Seljuk remnants’: Your future as a people lies in facing reality and not in running from your nomadic and barbaric past. You will never outrun the truth. It is well-recorded throughout the world and the nations are declaring it,one after the other. The Armenians have had a presence in those lands over thousands of years and a culture that has outlasted the majority of conquerors that have come and gone. Our virtue is patience and our strength is in the knowledge that we are on the right side of justice. Your ancestors may not have known better. Do you? Can you rise above acting as criminals who hide their crime or blame the victim? Can you value all people as equal? Can you simply say ’We are sorry. What can we do to make things right?’
To Turks who acknowledge the Truth: Thank you for your courage!
To the Azeris: Honor the right to self-determination and give up what was never rightfully yours in the first place. Gain peace with neighbors instead.
To the Armenian Diaspora: Let your voice be heard! The Armenian story is still being written and we are each part of it.
To the Armenian Church: Lead your people in this just fight! Where is the Khrimian Hayrig for this generation?
To the leaders of the Republic: Serve justice and make a name for yourselves in history that will outlive all the riches you will leave behind once you leave this life!
To the citizens of Armenia: Do not lose heart. You are the caretakers of an ancient and noble culture. Hold your leaders accountable and demand courage and honor of them.
To the Karekins: To fight for justice is a Godly act. Don’t be afraid to be unpopular with the perpetrators. Your rewards are not to be found here on earth, anyway.
To the Ragnars: How will history remember you?
To the Media: Who will carry on Hrant Dink’s legacy?
To those who would call me naive: How has realistic passivity and acquiescence worked for us? All gains we have achieved have come from activism borne of commitment to the IDEAL of justice.
AMEN BOYAJIAN JAN.. AMEN… you hit the bull’s eye.. Very strong and powerful words.. and i agree with them 100%.. Thank you for putting it in such clear way that Murat and Robert, Ragnar and Karekins of the world can read and understand…. it was straight to the point…
Paul jan.. well said my friend.. well said…
Murat… backward looking? wow.. you are full of yourself are not you? It is just absolutely frustrating that one group of people who had no idea what culture is, what it means family values, what it means art and music, conquer by murder, rape, killing and taking over everything Armenians, the civilized people created for many years and now the same group now are jumping high and mighty, calling the land and wealth their own.. that to me my friend is lower than a scum…to me that govt is like parasites,…. they are the filth of the earth… so if you truly want to make a difference, i say you need to get out of the dirt and clean your shoes and enter a much cleaner, honest and just world … then a chance of having a better conversation is likely to happen…. until then…… have a blessed day…
Look folks…I don’t deny that reparations would be a just resolution to 1915, but, tell me, how does one get blood from a stone? No scientist can do it, and no one here seems to have a rational answer that will produce results. You may choose to be angry, bitter and worse, but I don’t. I won’t put my head under the sand or wear sunglasses to shield these facts. This does not mean I don’t support the Armenian position, it’s just that I’ve lived long enough to see that no one in our community has been able to address it effectively for the last 95 years and that tells me all I need to know.
Robert, You and Murat are the real cowards here. You and your ilk are cowards because you are dead scared of …….the TRUTH. I may be mistaken though, because you may just be historically brain-dead ignorants, simply indoctrinated to believe LIES fabricated by the Turkish anti-Armenian propagnda machine. On the other hand, you are probably a couple of agents, stooges of the biggest coward, the Turkish government, here only to evesdrop on us and to gauge our resilience, which as you can see, will FOREVER remain intact. Soooooo……Why don’t you both pick up the FACTS (even the healthy self-criticism) you’ve learnt in this ARMENIAN forum, backed by INTERNATIONAL LAW as Prof. De Zayas stated, and find the courage to go back to your Masters in your pathetic gov. and your biased media and tell them this: “Wakey wakey everyone……..Look at how our biggest ally in modern history, Germany, have recognised the Armenian Genocide….isn’t it time for TURKEY to show how BRAVE we can be to own up to the TRUTH and finally show the world that we want to be CIVILIZED and kick our barbaric past into touch.”
Until you can do that, then please don’t be a fool and call anyone here a coward. Oh, except Murat and Robert, of course!
Karekin, how is asking for an acknowledgment of the truth and an apology like ‘getting blood from a stone’? How is asking for just compensation for what was stolen like ‘getting blood from a stone’? Neither of these things is so far fetched that Armenians should be discouraged from pursuing them. Why are you so committed to dissuading Armenians from pursuing their rights under international law?
Boyajian – do you not think the case has been made at some point during the last 95 years? Where has international law been all this time? Our case has been made rather consistently and very well by many, many illustrious people over the years, including my very own grandfather. But what has that gotten us? In all honesty, asking for something, while it may be polite, isn’t always effective especially because the other party can always say ‘no’. Plus, it’s virtually impossible to do it on your own. In this day and age, Armenians asking for something, in Khrimian Hayrig fashion, with a paper cup, gets us nothing substantial or lasting. It never has. The world is not sympathetic to Armenians or Armenian causes….and I have no idea why. We have lost land, people, monuments, history and more…yet no one seems to care, at least not enough to help us get those reparations. At some point, we need to be realistic and get our heads out of the sand. This is why I feel our focus should be on what we have, not on what we’ve lost. We have Armenia and we have Karabagh…those need to be paramount. History is nice, but we cannot and should not be held hostage by it. No one can take it away from us, but they can take away today’s Armenia if we’re not careful.
Thank you for your vote of confidence! Our younger generation should aspire to be as patriotic as you instead of being indifferent to our cause, Bravo!
Boyanjian!!! You outdid yourself! Your post of Nov 1st, is so inspirational, it belongs in an article of its own instead of a mere commentary! Absolutely excellent messages! Bravo!
Murat and Robert… I think you should entertain the idea that maybe YOU are the ones who have been misled. It would serve you to look up or read about the following:
1. Turkey has already agreed to return the Armenian lands in now Eastern Turkey back to the Armenians, in the Treaty of Sevres that Turkey itself signed with the Allies and the US in 1920.
2. In true Turkish fashion, after signing the Sevres, Turkey went on a full scale attack on Yerevan to finish off the Armenians and take over the fledgling first Armenian Republic (1918-1920).
3. The trained Turkish army lost the war against the destitute remnants of the Armenian people who put up the fight of their lives in the battle of Sardarabad. The Turkish army retreated!
4. In legal terms, the Armenian lands are considered “occupied” by Turkey because they were returned to the Armenians in the Treaty of Sevres which Turkey simply ignored.
5. 200,000 additional Armenian refugees died of hunger and disease in the newly formed Republic of Armenia. Not sure if they could withstand another attack from Turkey they agreed to join the Soviet Union.
6. What Turkey could not gain in battle, it got with a backdoor cowardly agreement with the Soviet Union in the Kars Treaty of 1921 and snatched Ani, Van, Kars, Ardahan, Ararat from Armenia. Yes, Ani, Van, Kars, Ardahan and mount Ararat belonged to Armenia until 1921. The Kars Treaty has always been illegal because it was signed between Turkey and the Soviet Union which by the way no longer exists. So the Kars Treaty is either way no longer valid, because one of the parties that signed it no longer exists.
7. In order to make its illegal eastern borders stick, Turkey came up with the genius clause in the recent ill fated Protocols, which asks for Armenia to sign and agree that Turkey’s eastern border is LEGAL. By signing, Armenia would have legalized the deal in the no longer legally valid Kars treaty.
8. The Treaty of Sevres is the darkest secret that Turkey has been ignoring and trying to bury 50 feet under ground. Ataturk was able to weasel his way out of it by striking oil revenue deals with the corrupt Allies in exchange of keeping the Armenian lands in the Treaty of Lausanne 1923.
9. The destitute Armenian refugees watched powerlessly as their lands were bartered for percentages of oil revenue between morally corrupt countries. Thanks to the Genocide, no Armenians were left in those lands to speak up against this (that was the idea from the get go), most of their leaders were killed and they were now under the oppressive Soviet regime.
If you call disarming a population, recruiting its youth into your army to have them massacred by their army buddies, arresting their writers, poets, journalists, religious and political leaders then killing them, telling the women and children to pack their valuables because they were being deported then steeling their valuables on the road and having them rut in the desert with no water and food, taking them to remote places and bringing in the chettehs to massacre them, taking away all their homes and bank accounts and destroying their churches “an honorable and legal way to conquer a supposed war”… then why is Turkey standing in the way of Israel… why don’t you tell your brothers the Palestinians not to be backward looking and accept their fate. You are being hypocrites by treating ”deporting and killing innocent civilians” as legal acts of civilization. The Armenians lost their lands in eastern Turkey in 1921, the Palestenians lost their lands a mere 27 years or so later. Who are you calling backward looking… You are too scared to look back! It does not suit you to look back!
I asked you both to tell me how I could be compensated for my grandfather’s home, his horses, his stores and bank accounts. I am not asking for Western Armenia to be returned to me. I am asking you how I can get compensated for my family’s belongings that were taking away from them. Neither of you responded. Should I call you cowards!…
Rebecca and Boyajian,
Point well taken. We need leaders who will ask Turkey to fess up now! We need Armenia to raise official claims against Turkey for the Genocide, lands, and restitution NOW. To do this, we need to hold our politicians accountable for their acts. Enough waiting. The more we waited, the more we gave Turkey the time and luxury to destroy more evidence, brainwash its people and the entire world by concocting all sorts of creative fabrications to serve as explanations about the disappearances of the indigenous Armenians from their ancestral lands. The funniest being that they “were deported, and they unfortunately died of hunger and disease”, as if these poor people were being relocated in carriages to the Four Seasons.
Deporting the indegenous people of a land is part of Genocide. Deporting them on FOOT, marching them in circles, allowing them no food or water, raping, attacking and steeling from them are acts of Genocide. Massacring them in the hundreds in the remote desert of Del Zor is an act of Genocide.
This crime will not go away, until it is legally paid for.
This is the time when we have to shape our legal case. This is not the time to brood about in a defeatist stance, bitc…g about where Armenians went wrong. If we did some things wrong, this is the time to work together to right them.
You ask: “do you not think the case has been made at some point during the last 95 years? Where has international law been all this time?” The difference between then and now is that until recently there has been no subject of international law to make the case. Illustrious Diaspora Armenians making it were not subjects of international law, the Republic of Armenia is.
As for the other party, it cannot always say ‘no’, because our case is not about a rubbery in Istanbul’s Besiktas district, it is about a crime against all humanity based on which term “genocide” has been coined and a UN Convention adopted. To say that “it’s virtually impossible to do it on our own” is also misleading. Almost 30 foreign governments adopted genocide resolutions, so did many provincial governments, international organizations, professional associations, advocacy groups, scores of historians, genocide scholars, lawyers, Nobel prize winners, prominent intellectuals. Are they not essential part of the world or you expect 6 bln people to sympathize with us?
History is part of any nation’s collective identity and sense of security. History shapes our present-time perceptions, keeps us on alert about threats and the environment we live in. In other words, it supplements our awareness about threats to our existence. If you’re so concerned about Armenia and Artsakh that could be “taken away”, why won’t you ask Turks as to why they continue to refuse establishing diplomatic relations and open the common border with Armenia? Why did they impose blockade of Armenia that never placed genocide recognition as a precondition to establish relations with Turkey? Because Turks’ objective is not having “zero problems with neighbors”. If it were, Turks would have already established relations with Armenia. It is exactly the history and our memories of their barbarism that they want to suppress. In vain.
Katia, with so much pessimism out there, I really appreciate your strong voice for our cause. Your encouragement to others to keep struggling for justice by leaving past mistakes behind and focusing on what we need to succeed today is right on target.
Paul, thanks for putting the proper perspective on why the international law angle has not been fully pursued in 95 years. We now have a free nation which can press for international law and call for support of our cause from other nations based on principles of human justice which the nations of the world uphold. We are not alone, Karekin Pessimistian, but we aren’t going to get the support of other nations unless we call for it with the confidence that comes from knowing you are on the right side of justice. Giving up, giving in, accepting the results of Turkish inhumanity toward our nation, is a betrayal to the principles of justice and equal rights of all people, a betrayal of our God given humanity. We must never give up. JMO
Boyajian… you just made me laugh..:)
Karekin Pessimistian.. I LOVE IT…lol
Lausanne Treaty is the final treaty concluding World War I, between Turkey (successor to the Ottoman Empire) and the Allies. Signed in Lausanne, Switz., it replaced the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) and recognized the boundaries of the modern state of Turkey. Property, rights and interests issues were already settled in the articles 65, 66, 69 and 70 of Lausanne Treaty.
Here are these articles (from: http://www.hri.org/docs/lausanne/): Lausanne Treaty:
Part III SECTION I. PROPERTY, RIGHTS AND INTERESTS.
ARTICLE 65. Property, rights and interests which still exist and can be identified in territories remaining Turkish at the date of the coming into force of the present Treaty, and which belong to persons who on the 29th October, 1914, were Allied nationals, shall be immediately restored to the owners in their existing state.
Reciprocally, property, rights and interests which still exist and can be identified in territories subject to the sovereignty or protectorate of the Allied Powers on the 29th October, 1914, or in territories detached from the Ottoman Empire after the Balkan wars and subject to-day to the sovereignty of any such Power, and which belong to Turkish nationals, shall be immediately restored to the owners in their existing state.
The same provision shall apply to property, rights and interests which belong to Turkish nationals in territories detached from the Ottoman Empire under the present Treaty, and which may have been subjected to liquidation or any other exceptional measure whatever on the part of the authorities of the Allied Powers.
All property, rights and interests situated in territory detached from the Ottoman Empire under the present Treaty, which, after having been subjected by the Ottoman Government to an exceptional war measure, are now in the hands of the Contracting Power exercising authority over the said territory, and which can be identified, shall be restored to their legitimate owners, in their existing state.
The same provision shall apply to immovable property which may have been liquidated by the Contracting Power exercising authority over the said territory. All other claims between individuals shall be submitted to the competent local courts. All disputes relating to the identity or the restitution of property to which a claim is made shall be submitted to the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal provided for in Section V of this Part.
ARTICLE 66. In order to give effect to the provisions of the first and second paragraphs of Article 65 the High Contracting Parties will, by the most rapid procedure, restore the owners to the possession of their property, rights and interests free from any burdens or encumbrances with which such property, rights and interests may have been charged without the consent of the said owners.
It will be the duty of the Government of the Power effecting the restitution to provide for the compensation of third parties who may have acquired the property directly or indirectly from the said Government and who may be injured by this restitution. Disputes which may arise in connection with such compensation shall be dealt with by the ordinary courts. In all other cases it will be open to any third parties who may be injured to take action against whoever is responsible, in order to obtain compensation.
In order to give effect to these provisions all acts of transfer or other exceptional war measures, which the High Contracting Parties may have carried out in respect of enemy property, rights and interests, shall be immediately cancelled and stayed when liquidation has not yet been completed. Owners who make claims shall be satisfied by the immediate restitution of their property, rights and interests as soon as these shall have been identified.
When at the date of the signature of the present Treaty the property, rights and interests, the restitution of which is provided for in Article 65. have been liquidated by the authorities of one of the High Contracting Parties, that Party shall be discharged from the obligation to restore the said property, rights and interests by payment of the proceeds of the liquidation to the owner.
If, on application being made by the owner, the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal provided for by Section V finds that the liquidation was not effected in such conditions as to ensure the realisation of a fair price, it will have the power, in default of agreement between the parties, to order the addition to the proceeds of the liquidation of such amount as it shall consider equitable. The said property, rights and interests shall be restored if the payment is not made within two months from the agreement with the owner or from the decision of the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal mentioned above.
ARTICLE 69. No charge, tax or surtax to which, by virtue of the privileges which they enjoyed on the 1st August, 1914, Allied nationals and their property were not subject, shall be collected from Allied subjects or their property in respect of the financial years earlier than the financial year 1922-23. If any sums have been collected after the 15th May, 1923, in respect of financial years earlier than the financial year 1922-l923, the amount shall be refunded to the persons concerned, as soon as the present Treaty comes into force. No claim for repayment shall be made as regards sums encashed before the 15th May, 1923.
ARTICLE 70. Claims based on Articles 65, 66 and 69 must be lodged with the competent authorities within six months, and, in default of agreement, with the Mixed Arbitral Tribunal within twelve months, from the coming into force of the present Treaty.
Does it say anywhere in the treaty of Lausanne that it nullifies the treaty of Sevres?
You say Kars Treaty signed by Russia is void because SSCB is no longer…
Now defunct Ottoman Empire signed Sevres Treaty so go ask the Sultan for your reparation.
“Lausanne Treaty is the final treaty concluding World War I, between Turkey (successor to the Ottoman Empire) and the Allies. Signed in Lausanne, Switz., it replaced the Treaty of Sèvres (1920) and recognized the boundaries of the modern state of Turkey.”
– Tunahan: You didn’t elaborate on or just deliberately omitted the fact that the Republic of Armenia was not an Ally at the time of signing of the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), because it has been occupied by Russian Bolsheviks and was forcibly integrated into the USSR. The USSR ceased to exist in 1991, therefore, the only legal document signed by Turkey (Ottoman Empire at the time) on the one hand and the Republic of Armenia on the other is the Treaty of Sèvres. Can you refer us to a particular passage in the Lausanne Treaty that clearly says it “replaces the Treaty of Sèvres”?
– Jannaan: When the Treaty of Sèvres was signed there was no Sultan, there was the murderous Young Turks government, chief perpetrator of the genocide of Armenians. Therefore, we don’t have to go ask the Sultan for reparations. We go after the current government of Turkey, because modern Turkey is officially the successor state to the Ottoman empire, the one that for 95 years continues to deny the crime of its predecessor. We also go after the modern Turkish state because according to the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, which defines genocide based on Raphael Lemkin’s term by reference to the Armenian Genocide, declares genocide a crime under international law which punishment is not subject to the limitations of time and place.
You are way off and totally wrong, because if there is any valid treaty and document other that Sevres treaty that sets the boarders between two countries; then why Turkey put this item in the “Protocol” that Armenia should stay in current boundaries and accept the existing boarders between two countries?
Do you think that item is in there by mistake or it’s there just for fun of it?
The answer is NO, Turkish government is well aware of reality that the Sevres treaty is the latest and still valid document since 1920; signed between WW I Allies and defeated Turkey; and also aware of the existence of the new map of the region by US; having President Woodrow Wilson as mediator; therefore by sliding the Borders statement between lines of the “Protocol” Turkey is trying to trap Armenia, and if Armenia is that stupid to ratify such “Protocol” then Tunahan your whish will come true and by that the “protocol” which is nothing but a piece of paper; becomes the latest document with a boarders clause; signed between TWO COUNTRIES; nullifying Sevres Treaty and that new map; forcing Republic of Armenia to accept the existing boarders; but since then; as long as Sevres treaty still in force; that NEW MAP must be implemented by US mediation.
The International law on each side of the International Treaties requires signature(s) of internationally recognized country or countries only; and that does not include organizations, Interim care takers, rebel groups and individuals.
Now if Turkey knows about any such International Treaty signed after the Severs Treaty which has any explicit statement in regards of its borders with the Armenia; then why should they bother to slide such unrelated subject in the “Protocol”?
Because all the treaties signed after Sevres Treaty either is not signed by Turkey as an Internationally Recognized country or are not directly related to the subject of the boarders between Armenia and Turkey.
You are mixing Apples with Oranges; KARS treaty was not signed by Two Internationally Recognized Countries, it was Turkish Majlis on one (your) side and some USSR internal So-Called “Republics” not Russia, at that time the Armenia and it’s First Republic did not exist anymore; Soviet Armenia; Soviet Georgia which neither were Internationally recognized as Country (only USSR was) signed that treaty.
The first Armenian Republic was already gobbled by USSR and now after USSR collapsed the second Republic of Armenia is dealing with Turkey.
Either you didn’t know this or you assumed no one will notice, you are totally off like your comrade Tunahan (You also can read my reply to him and learn more).
This is just great! Armenia, which did not exist as a state for centuries and through WWI, demands recognition and reperations from a Republic of Turkey, which did not exist as a legal entity through those years either. Double irony.
Does anyone know what “official successor to Ottoman State” means? If there is such legal status or definition, acceptated and ratified, what are the defined obligations? The sole purpose of Luasanne Treaty was to define very specifically ALL the obligations of the Turkish Republic with respect to the previous regime, and retire them once and for all. The whole idea behind Lausanne was to sit accrosss the table with ALL the combatants and resolve and retire ALL claims, economic and political. That being the idea, just imagine the absurdity of people discussing the possibility of opening those chapters now. Lausanee represents joining of the Turkish Republic among the family of nations. That privilage came at an extremely steep price for the Turkish nation.
By the way, Turks paid for some of the Ottoman loans back to the colonial powers, through 50s. This was a very very poor country then, just as a note.
What is even more absurd of course is the fact that there was NO Armenia sitting accorss the table from Inonu in Switzerland.
Oh, yes, there was an attempt by a Bogosyan Pasa, a seasoned Ottoman official, a man who held high postitons in the Ottoman State and government, trying to take a seat among the powers who attacked and fought his OWN country. To make his case he even boasted of the large number of Armenians who armed themselves and FOUGHT against the Ottomans, helping the Allied cause! He was not taken seriously.
I have always been imnpressed with the ability of some Armenians to delude themselves to depths that one would think not possible. Then again, here we are.
“What is even more absurd of course is the fact that there was NO Armenia sitting across the table from Inonu in Switzerland.” Thanks for catching on Murat!! Exactly, that is exactly what the Armenians are bitter about! Switzerland, Greece, Britain and Turkey basically decided what to do with the historical Armenian lands IN THE ABSENCE OF THE ARMENIANS! Do you understand our resentment now?… They decided what to do with our historical lands, lands that were part of the region of Armenia for thousands of years, the same Armenia mentioned by Roman historians when it was part of the Roman Empire… without even having us on the negotiating table! How would you or anyone feel when your ancestral land, not the lands that your ancestors occupied and made an empire with, your ANCESTRAL LANDS, are partitioned amongst countries without involving you in the negotiations or making any reparations for them?
If you are Turkish, you should hopefully know that the Ottoman Empire consisted of the occupation of several countries. It was never and it will never be considered the ancestral home of the Turks. The Turks’ ancestral indigenous land is in Central Asia.
You said that the Treaty of Sevres was signed between the Ottoman government and the Republic of Armenia, and since the Ottoman empire no longer exists the Sevres Treaty is meaningless also. You see, the Armenians do not need the Treaty of Sevres to know where their indigenous ancestral lands exist. The Ottoman empire crumbled and all the countries and regions it occupied were released from its domination. The same Ottoman government made negotiations and treaties to release Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Romania, etc etc… should we tell all these countries that the Ottoman empire no longer exists so those treaties are now nullified. That’s absurd! All these countries and regions existed and had established civilizations long before the Seljuk Turks arrived. The “Ottoman Empire” was an unnatural phony imposing oppressive arrangement… is was never a legitimate “country” to start with… it was an “empire”, synonymous with a large scale “occupation”. And part of the reasons why it crumbled was because of the way these indegenous people were treated by the Ottomans. The indeginous people on whose lands the Turks settled in were treated as second class citizens on their own historical lands. The Ottomans failed to homogenize all these nationalities into one nationality because of their superiority complex. The Armenians were called infidels and their rights were abused… because they were Christians… as if Allah and God are not one and the same.
Well Said… Way to shut Murat’s mouth… next time he will think before he says something..
Paul and Osik jan.. thank you for pointing out how weak and wrong Jannaan and Tunahan are…but then why are we surprised… of course they will project wrong information and provide inaccurate data… that is in their blood..
I am just appauled how oblivious and detached these Turks are from their history.. wow…
There is no double irony, Murat. You’d be better off if you don’t see everything that’s being posted here through your Kemalist and utterly Armenophobic glasses. Armenia did not exist as a state for centuries and through WWI exactly because our ancestral lands were colonized by the Ottomans who ultimately found a final solution to the Armenian Cause just like Nazis did against the Jews: they annihilated almost entire Armenian race. That’s the reason why Armenians demand recognition and reparations from the Republic of Turkey, which is a legal successor state of the Ottoman empire. Besides, if by stating that the Republic of Turkey did not exist as a legal entity through those years, you attempt to distance modern-day Turks from the Ottomans, might you know why the modern-day Republic of Turkey avoids recognition of the crimes of no longer existing Ottoman Young Turks? Would be curious to know… As for what official successor state means, everyone seems to know, you don’t? Or it’s just not soothing your Armenophobia well? Here’s a legal definition of succession of states: “Succession occurs when one state ceases to exist or loses control over part of its territory, and another state comes into existence or assumes control over the territory lost by the first state. Changes in the form of government of one state, such as the replacement of a monarchy by a democratic form of government, do not modify or terminate the obligations incurred by the previous government.”
Your understanding of the Treaty of Lausanne is, in light of your overly Turk-tinted observations, is as well poor and contradicting in and of itself. You claim that the purpose of the Lausanne Treaty was “to define ALL the obligations of the Turkish Republic, sit across the table with ALL the combatants and resolve and retire ALL claims, economic and political”. But, Murat, in the midst of ALL of these, as you correctly mention in the following sentence, “there was no Armenia sitting across the table from Inonu in Switzerland.” The bottom line is that the Lausanne Treaty was not a treaty where you can find Armenia’s signature. Allies and Turkey solved ALL their problems at the expense of Armenia’s historical lands. Do you now understand where our frustration is coming from? Therefore, the only valid treaty that bears the signatures of both Armenia, other Allies, from the one hand and Turkey (Ottoman empire at the time) on the other, is the Treaty of Sèvres. There is no absurdity on our part whatsoever, and most of non-Turk international lawyers will confirm this actuality.
It is also utterly cynical of you to state that “Lausanne represents joining of the Turkish Republic among the family of nations, [a] privilege [that] came at an extremely steep price for the Turkish nation.” Murat, was the price steeper that having roughly 2 million innocent people slaughtered and forcibly expelled? Was it steeper than losing two-thirds of your ancestral (not colonized, as in the case of the Ottoman empire) lands? Was it steeper than having tens of thousands of Christians converted to Islam or sold to harems? Was it steeper than having all your property, houses, pastures, and bank accounts stolen? Are you trying to be objective on these pages, or you just narrow-mindedly defend what you consider “yours” as opposed to what you consider “theirs”? Is this the limit of your intellectual capacity and humanitarian integrity?
If by “Bogosyan Pasa” you meant Boghos Nubar, again one-sidedness on your part. Ottoman Armenians were colonized, Murat, Ottoman empire has never been Armenians’ OWN country. Our lands were occupied by the invading Seljuk Turks and then made “vilayets” of the Ottoman empire. It was NOT our country, it was YOUR country formed on blood and bones of millions of indigenous, sedentary native peoples inhabiting it for millennia. Armenians never actually fought against the Ottomans on the scale that could endanger Ottoman national security. A few revolutionaries attempted to mobilize masses against the loathed Ottoman rule in a hope to liberate their lands from Ottoman colonization. Why aren’t you trying to understand the motives of the other side? Armenians were not the only ones, ALL of other enslaved nations: Arabs, Serbs, Montenegrins, Albanians, Greeks, Romanians, Bulgarians raised to throw off the shackles of the Ottoman tyranny. We were not an exception, but we exterminated en masse because for Turks losing central and eastern parts of Turkey meant disintegration as nation-state. There has never been any organized, tidily mobilized “fighting” on the part of Armenians against Ottomans, they were wiped out because Turks wanted to salvage as much lands as possible for themselves.
Your “nation” will pay price for this crime, however delusional and distorting Turks like you can be.
How about the Gymru Agreement which was signed by the short lived Republic of Armenia?
I can see all sorts of excuses to extort wealth from a country you are all so jealous of by playing the victim role. May God bring sense into your mind.
Oh my Lord.. Is this person for real? Jannaan are you from the planet Apes where they do not comprehend anything that is said in human tongue?
Did Paul, Katia and Boyajian not provide you detailed data for your slow mind to read and understand what truely transpired in those years?
You are still stuck on the brainwashed Turkish way of claiming and owning everything that is in Turkey as your own? wow.. talk about ignorance and arrogance.. I laughed so hard when I read this person’s comment on “Armenians jealouse of wealth and act like a victim” … I pray to God to instill some humbleness, honesty, humility, justice and understanding as well as intelligence in YOUR MIND and your kind Jannaan ….you definintely need it and in HUGE DOSES..
Paul jan.. shat shat mersi.. sirts hovatsav when I read your comment..excellent … can you please use the same tactic (which i love)to show this person called Jannaan that he or she is dillusional in thinking that Armenians are jealous and want the riches which they originally owned and Jannaans barbaric ancestors took from the rightful owners and called it their own….???
I am still laughing how limited these TUrks knowledge is and how much influence they had from their govt to think like this.. i wonder if these Turks are regular citizens of Turkey or govt workers.. that is something very interesting to find out…
Karekin, thus your negativity and useless comments need not appear…. We have the generaitons who have followed and today, yes today, still seek the justice due and owing to the Armenians, not just by the Turks who owe reparations, lands,and more. For one, the USA leadership, morally denying the recognition of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation has prolonged the resolution of this historical Genocide. For a Genocide is a Genocide is a Genocide… Armenians, persisitently, seeking justice for all those slaughtered, tortured, raped and worse… can never ever allow the Turk leaders to ‘get awa;y with murders, rapes, tortures so that a Turkey can have the Armenian lands of nearly 4,000 years As recently as the Obama pledge, in effect ‘I shall be the president who recognizes that it was the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians,\. Truth: all the civilized nations who condone the Genocides, allow Genocides to be pursued, allow Genocid to continue from the 19th, the 20th, and now the Darfurians and the Kurds in the 21st centuries… and the Armenian Genocide since the 1890s until 2010, simply because the perpetrator bully,Turkis leaders, still deny their Genocides.
Thus, until all civilized nations join together and admit that Genocides shall nvever be allowed by anyone, anywhere, anyitme…Turks of today. Manooshag
P.S. Too, in civilized nations those who commit murders are pursued and then
justice is served. Today, the killer of Hrant Dink, in custody for about three years is about to be freed. Turkish justrice BUT only for their own. The world over the killer of Hrant Dink shall been adjudged as a “murderer”.M
Janaan, by “Gymru Agreement,” are you referring to the Treaty of Alexandropol? I had a hard time making out what you meant by “Gymru”? Is it another Turkified name of an Armenian city of Gyumri, known as Alexandropol in the past? Is it in the best Turklish tradition to Tukify everything that doesn’t belong to your nation? Like Christian Byzantine capital of Constantinolpe turned to “Istanbul” or Biblical mountain of Ararat turned into “Agri Dag”?
If you meant the Treaty of Alexandropol, then be aware that the treaty was signed by an Armenian government to prevent further Turkish advances into the territory of Eastern Armenia after Western Armenia was wiped out, millions of its Armenian inhabitants slaughtered or forcibly deported by your forefathers. The treaty was signed on December 2, 1920 when the government of Armenia had no juridical power to sign because earlier, in November 1920, Armenia was already declared a Russian republic as a result of the Bolshevik invasion from the north. If you could only imagine the internal situation of a nation two-thirds of which was annihilated by the Turks and their lands stolen and the remaining part forcibly incirporated into the Bolshevik Russia. But you are a Turk, and I don’t believe that for you the pain and grief of other nations matter. Also, for your information, the Alexandropol Treaty was never ratified by the Armenian parliament due to the Bolshevik Russia’s occupation of Armenia.
Janaan, Turks were the ones who extorted (simply: stole) wealth from my nation by massacring millions of innocent people, stealing their properties, bank accounts, houses and pastures, transforming their churches into mosques and sheepcots, or simply detonating them. We don’t want to extort wealth that doesn’t belong to us. We want what historically and legally BELONG to us and what’s been criminally appropriated by your nation. It’s OUR wealth, not the Turkish one. As a Christian, I pray that God forgives you for derogating us, victims of a crime that the civilized world admits as the first genocide of the 20th century, in that we’re playing(?!) the victim role. If you think we’re players, explain where is 2-2.5 million of Ottoman Armenians now? Whose cultural and religious edifices are scattered all over central and eastern parts of modern-day Turkey? Why even Ottoman Turks called several vilayets in the Ottoman empire “Armenian vilayets”? Why foreign diplomats, consuls, missionaries stationed in the Ottoman empire described mass murders of Armenians as “annihilation of the race”? Explain all this, if you can. If you cannot, shut the h*** up about us “playing the victim”…
Ay jaaaannn Paul jan.. apres.. shat lav asetsir… that is exactly what someone needed to tell this Jaanan individual and Murat, and Robert and yes Karekin.. simply to shut the h***** up….from time to time..well deserved statement if i say so myself… mersi Paul jan..
Manooshag.. well said my dear.. it is the willingness to let it go to play it nice that got us no where… being submissive and naive and polite did not get us anywhere.. now we have Karekin to stop our path.. but unfortunately, unlucky him that won’t happen no matter how much he tries….
Thank you Gayane jan,
Thank you Paul for your great input here…
Reducing our rightful legal claims to an expression of jealousy is utterly ignorant and proposterous! Actually it is quite a banal attempt at minimizing a crime that the whole world was outraged about when it happened.
No, we are not jealous at the successful way your criminal state has taken over other people’s properties, lands and cultural treasures by killing their owners and lying about them being Turkish, we are not jealous of the way the Turkish state was able to brainwash its people and get away with murder with striking unethical and immoral deals with leading countries of the world… We are outraged by the despicable injustice of it all…
We are jealous of the riches of your country? What riches are you talking about? The riches your ancestors brought with them from Central Asia on their horses or the blood and sweat of the nations the Ottomans ruled and taxed the hell of? Are you talking about all the homes, lands, farms, bank accounts, jewelry, antique rugs, stores and their inventories and even life insurances you stole from the Armenians or all the benefits your country is reaping from leasing out the Kassabian property to the US Injirlik base, turning old Armenian villas into hotels and the churches into Museums with no historical explanations to lure more tourists into your country????
It is propostorous how incredibly in denial you guys are of what your ancestors were responsible for! How about thanking the Armenians for all the monies, the lands, their country, the symbol of Armenians mount Ararat, 600 years of outrageous taxes paid and ridiculous discrimination endured, and 1.5 million innocent women, men and children that were brutally lost so that you can have your “rich” Republic today!
We do not hold you personally accountable for what your ancestors have done, but we hold you as a nation accountable for righting a terrible wrong by at least starting with acknowledging the truth. You will either live with this dark cloud on your heads or clear up the air and bring in rays of hope and decency to the caucasus by following the example of Germany.
Paul; the turks think that by changing all the Armenian village names they can erase us from the memory of the world. They think that if they change the names of the treaties, their terms will eventually be forgotten. This is a continuation of the act of genocide. Denial is a common strategy used by perpetrators. So is erasure of names.
Karakin asks us to stop looking backward, to only look forward. This is what the Turks want us to do. They want the world to move on, to forget what was done. They draw up new maps with new names that do not conform to treaties, hoping they can erase our people from human memory. Never.
AMEN TO THAT Katia jan..
There is a saying in Armenian for people who just sit there and munch off of others.. we call them .. BOOT YEV SHATAKER…. that is how the Turkish govt wants her subjects to be and Janaan and the rest who think like her or him, are the absolute perfect off springs of that… it is sad really…
What a terrific discussion. We need to see such a discussion take place on the pages of Hurriyet and Today’s Zaman. Our ancestors have not been forgotten and their unjust suffering will not be swept under the ‘turkish rug woven of threads of denial and amnesia.’ Armenians only want what is just and pursue a just resolution to acts of inhumanity inflicted upon their nation. The Treaty of Sevres should be examined for juridical impact today. Both Turkey and Armenia signed it and it was never declared null and void. Not a legal expert myself, I wonder what those who are have to say about this.
UCLA Reparations Conference Looks at Legal, Ethical, Political Aspects of Justice for Genocide By: Armenian Weekly Staff
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—The International Human Rights Law Association (IHRLA) at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) hosted a conference entitled, “Genocide and Then What? The Law, Ethics, and Politics of Making Amends” on Saturday, October 23, 2010 at UCLA’s Dodd Hall.
Organizers and presenters of the UCLA conference. From left to right they are; Rev. Dr. George Leylegian, Aleta Sprague (IHRLA), Keiara Auzenne (IHRLA), Dr. Armen Marsoobian, Ara Papian, Natalie Samarjian (IHRLA), Ayda Erbal, Dr. Jermaine McCalpin, George Aghjayan, and Dr. Henry Theriault.
The conference featured a soon to be released report which explores the legal, ethical, and political aspects of justice for the Armenian Genocide.
The authors presented at the conference and were joined by fellow scholars in related fields who gave comment on the subject and the report’s findings.
“The International Human Rights Law Association is very interested in bringing in topics that are of interest not only to our student population, but also the law school community at large,” noted Keiara Auzenne, President of the IHRLA.
The report study group was led by Dr. Henry Theriault, Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Worcester State University. Theriault’s work explores the ethics of reparations for crimes against humanity. He joined Auzenne in opening the conference with an introduction to the reportand its authors.
Following the introduction, Dr. Alfred de Zayas, presented his work on the legal backbone for justice and restitution for the Armenian Genocide. De Zayas is the former chief of petitions at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva, retired secretary of the UN Human Rights Committee, and former senior counsel with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He recently published “The Genocide Against the Armenians, 1915-1923, and the Relevance of the Genocide Convention.”
Ara Papian, another of the report’s authors, discussed treaty law and its impact on Armenian Genocide. His work focusing on the Wilsonian arbitration following the genocide generated several follow up questions from audiencemembers and fellow conference panelists.
Drawing in his field expertise in long-term as well as transitional justice, Dr. Jermaine McCalpin, another of the report’s authors and Professor of Government at the University of the West Indies, noted that truth and justice are the cornerstones of reconciliation in the case of the Armenian Genocide. McCalpin has conducted research in this field covering cases from US slavery, Native American extermination, and the Armenian Genocide.
Several noted specialists commented on the report’s findings during the second, third, and fourth panels.
Holocaust reparations and human rights legal scholar, Michael Bazyler discussed the pursuit of restitutional justice for and by victims of the Holocaust.
The afternoon panels featured ethicist Dr. Armen Marsoobian from Southern Connecticut State University who discussed the issues of trans-generational response to the Armenian Genocide as well as the important implications between accepting responsibility versus taking responsibility for this crime against humanity.
Graduate students and doctoral candidates, Khatchig Mouradian (Genocide and Holocaust Studies at Clark University) and Ayda Erbal (Department of Politics at New York University) discussed Turkish efforts, from the government to civil society, to address the Armenian Genocide and engage the Armenian community within its own borders, in the Republic of Armenia, and the diaspora.
George Aghjayan presented his research into the demographic overview of theOttoman Empire prior to and following the Armenian Genocide while Rev. Dr.George Leylegian, a specialist on church properties and cultural heritage, discussed the losses in this regard during the Armenian Genocide.
In concluding the event, Dr. Theriault invited academics on the panel and the audience to continue to provide comment on the report in advance of its formal release. The event was made possible by the generous support of on-campus funding boards. The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region also supported the event with an educational grant. The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
I had the pleasure of attending the UCLA conference on the Armenian Genocide and the reparations movement, which was a first for such a conference for us.
First I would like to thank the organizers and also the participants, who devoted extensive hours of research and preparation for this event.
While it was a pleasure to hear all the different avenues we as Armenians can pursue, I cannot help but wonder if this, too, shall be an event that we can only comment on, or if it will take us out of the box we have built for ourselves.
We have, God knows, for umpteen years unsuccessfully tried to pass a resolution for America to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide. Our last hope and attempt with the election of President Obama has yet again left us disappointed and frustrated—and I can also add, not without the contribution of our independent Armenia which helped to sabotage these efforts and gave Obama and his administration a way out.
Since we can no longer rely on Armenia to take the initiative, we, the Diaspora Armenians, are again left with the responsibility to make sure our priorities are pursued.
As an Armenian American, I take offense that this country refuses to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Again as an Armenian American, I also have the right to accuse this country of discrimination against the Armenian Genocide, being the only genocide that this country has not recognized.
This has caused us tremendous emotional stress year after year. Are we supposed to quietly sit back and try to pass such a resolution for another 10-20 years, or are we going to take bolder actions?
When I have said to a lot of different people that we should sue our government for discriminating against the Armenian Genocide, the reaction has been mostly positive, but there are also those that look at me like I am crazy.
Well, my fellow Armenians, what we have tried for so many years has had the success of keeping us interested and of invigorating the youth, but the time has come to also expect results and be noticed.
I will never forget years ago, at a three-day conference that I attended, the closing comment delivered by Prof. Richard Hovannisian, who gave the best speech I have heard to this day. “Words into action,” he said, and left the podium. Which is also the point I am trying to make.
Credits will be added upon commenter's approval
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—On Saturday, Oct. 23, the International Human Rights Law Association (IHRLA) at the University of California, Los Angeles hosted a conference titled “Genocide and Then What? The Law, Ethics, and Politics of Making Amends” at Dodd Hall.
The event featured speakers from across the world to discuss a soon to be released report about the foundations for pursuing justice for the Armenian Genocide. The report was authored by Dr. Alfred de Zayas (Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations), Dr. Jermaine McCalpin (University of the West Indies), former Ambassador Ara Papian (treaty law specialist), and Dr. Henry Theriault (Worcester State University).
1ST Panel – The Armenian Genocide Reparations Study Group
Dr. Alfred De Zayas, Esq., Geneva School of Diplomacy International Relations
Ambassador Ara Papian
Dr. Henry Theriault, Worcester State University
Dr. Jermaine McCalpin, University of the West Indies
The first panel introduced the report and discussed its details. Dr. Alfred de Zayas opened the first panel outlining the legal foundation for justice for the Armenian Genocide. He noted that the rights to restitution for the Armenian Genocide are based on general international law in force at the time of the crime and recognized by treaty following the genocide.
His presentation quoted a litany of international laws and principles that forms the foundation for a strong claim to restitution. Furthermore, he drew on comparisons of United States, Australian, and German efforts to redress injustices against the people of Hawaii (over 100 years ago), the Aborigines, and targets of World War II aggression respectively.
Acknowledging that the lack of execution of the law remains an obstacle to justice and reconciliation, De Zayas noted: “Law, ladies and gentlemen, is not mathematics. And the norms—as good as they may look on paper—are certainly not equivalent to their enforcement. On the other hand, the non-enforcement of norms, even for a prolonged period of time, does not detract from their validity. And you should not be discouraged because of the reluctance of some journalists and politicians to endorse your claims. It is your right to continue pressing the claims until they are satisfied.”
Carrying the discussion into the realm of treaty law, former Ambassador Ara Papian discussed the different levels of reparations; individual, group/organizations, and the nation or state.
Focusing on the post-genocide arbitration by then U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, Papian pointed out that the arbitration was an act of state which was signed by the President in addition to the U.S. Secretary of State and sealed with the Great Seal of the United States. “Wilsonian Armenia,” as it was known, was legally a territory of Armenia for ten days.
“Even though Armenia never de-facto gained control of the territory, legally speaking, it was a part of it,” stated Papian, who went on to note that the continued pursuit of the arbitration ended because Armenia ceased to be an independent state when it was absorbed into the emerging Soviet Union.
With de Zayas and Papian having established the legal and political foundation for justice for the Armenian Genocide, Dr. Henry Theriault focused on addressing why justice should be pursued and why it matters today.
Theriault noted that instead of being a geographically larger country with a population over 20 million and regional engagement rivaling Syria, Iraq and other countries in the area, the end result of the genocide left Armenians today with a small, land-locked country in which the impact of genocide, both communally and individually, is felt to this day.
He noted that this is not only acknowledged within the Armenian community, but also the Turkish community as evidenced by a recent conference in Ankara, which examined the economic fallout of the genocide. The Turkish economy of today is a result of and many affluent Turkish families can trace back their financial wealth to the Armenian Genocide.
“The Armenian Genocide was an attempt for a very successful process by which the emerging Young Turk movement expropriated a tremendous amount of wealth from Armenians,” noted Theriault.
Theriault continued by noting that the intense poverty in Armenia relates to the extraction of resources nearly a century ago. Not only property and wealth were lost, but people were lost who could have made tremendous contribution to sciences and culture. Therefore, Turkey has enriched itself based on the loss of the Armenians.
Theriault acknowledged that there were many naysayers who believe restitutional justice is not possible. Some argue that too long has passed, but Theriault pointed out that a “pipedream can become a reality overnight. Nobody thought an independent Armenia was possible.” “To get things to change, we have to change them even though before the change they seem impossible,” he added.
Rounding out the first panel was Dr. Jermaine McCalpin, a transitional justice specialist who has studied post-Apartheid reconciliation in South Africa, U.S. Slavery reparations, and the Armenian Genocide.
McCalpin noted that most countries that democratize use truth commissions as part of the process. However, these he noted that given past examples of successful reconciliation processes, justice is a necessary component, saying that “in order for groups to reconcile, there has to be basis for justice, both material and moral.”
Touching on the subject of ethics and intergenerational responsibility, McCalpin stated that “just as wealth can be transferred across generations, responsibilities and obligations are also transferable.”
The first panel of the conference concluded with members of the audience asking questions of the presenters and setting the stage for the remaining panels of the day. These panels further explored the legal, ethical, political, and real numbers with regard to the Armenian Genocide and efforts to secure a meaningful resolution to the issue.
2nd Panel – International Law and Reparations
Ambassador Ara Papian
Michael Bazyler, Esq., Chapman University School of Law
The second panel of the conference took a comparative look at Holocaust-related justice measures as well as some possible mechanisms for pursuing justice for the Armenian Genocide.
Michael Bazyler, a Professor of Law at Chapman University School of Law, noted that much of the restitution claims made as a result of the Holocaust in the 1990s were successful for a number of reasons. He pointed to Germany’s admission of culpability for the Holocaust and that this actually empowered Germany and its relationship with the current State of Israel. “By recognizing the atrocities as atrocities, by recognizing the genocide as a genocide, to go ahead and bring the truth to the people becomes an important founder and something that Germany is a great example of,” said Bazyler.
“Litigation itself cannot succeed. You need to have the support of politicians, the support of the media, and also recognition on the part of the defendants that they are willing to talk, they are willing to have some kind of recognition,” he added.
Ara Papian followed up his presentation during the first panel of the conference by discussing the interpretation of treaties and treaty law as a basis for pursuing restitutional justice for the Armenian Genocide.
He reiterated that the Treaty of Sevres was accepted by the parties involved, including Turkey and that the subsequent Treaty of Lausanne does not mention Armenia or the Armenian-Turkish border. Papian returned to the topic of the U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s post-genocide arbitration.
“Is the Woodrow Wilson arbitration valid or not? If it is valid, then we have to take the decision which is binding all members of the UN and Turkey,” he noted. Papian noted that treaty law left Turkey with many obligations in the post-genocide era that have yet to be fulfilled. However, it is up to the community to call for the enforcement of the law and the fulfillment of these obligations.
3rd Panel – The Conceptual and Political Challenges of Reparations
Dr. Armen Marsoobian, Southern Connecticut State University
Ayda Erbal, Doctoral Candidate, Department of Politics at New York University
Khatchig Mouradian, Doctoral student, Genocide and Holocaust Studies at Clark University
The afternoon panels featured ethicist Dr. Armen Marsoobian who discussed the issues of trans-generational response to the Armenian Genocide as well as the important implications between accepting responsibility versus taking responsibility for this crime against humanity. Khatchig Mouradian and Ayda Erbal discussed Turkish efforts, from the government to civil society, to address the Armenian Genocide and engage the Armenian community within its own borders, in the Republic of Armenia, and the diaspora.
Armen Marsoobian discussed the issues of trans-generational response to the Armenian Genocide as well as the important implications between accepting responsibility versus taking responsibility for this crime against humanity. “Citizens of the nation-state of Turkey have a moral obligation to take responsibility for historic injustice committed by their ancestors.”
Marsoobian continued by noting how some Turkish citizens accept responsibility, without taking responsibility. He argued that accepting responsibility by issuing a government statement acknowledging the genocide is not the moral equivalent to the more difficult act of taking responsibility for the wrongdoings. “The difference between accepting responsibility and taking responsibility may only sound like a verbal difference, but the passive and active connotations of these words highlight a significant moral difference.”
Speaking to the issue of collective accountability and denial of collective guilt, he stated that ethnic communities are collectives that transcend national identities. The moral obligation derives from a person’s membership and identity to a group in the present. “The political, social, cultural, religious, and educational institutions that mark all large communities or collectivities provide a degree of moral reliability that is necessary for individuals to carry on their legitimate interests.”
Khatchig Mouradian spoke about Turkish stereotypes of Armenians. He said that discourse in Turkish political and intellectual circles categorizes Armenians into three distinct groups: The good, the bad, and the destitute.
Turks consider the Good Armenians as their “brothers” who reside in Turkey. They are good, Mouradian argued, as long as they stay away from politics and do not demand equal rights and justice. The Bad Armenians are the “Hawks” in the Diaspora who talk about the Armenian Genocide, and the “Destitute Armenians” are those in Armenia who, according to the dominant Turkish discourse, would be happy to normalize relations with Turkey, but are being pressured by the Bad Armenians to hold an anti-Turkish position instead.
Looking at the attitudes in Turkey and the possibility for meaningful change to arise from within the country, Mouradian posits that it is impossible for a handful of people in Turkey to create a movement that would force the Turkish government to deal with 1915 in any meaningful way. Even many progressive scholars and intellectuals are often not veering too far from Turkish denialists. “No Turkish government will remain in power the next day if [it] in any way makes any kinds of clear concessions on this matter.”
Mouradian provided an example of Armenians being allowed to pray in Akhtamar for one day, which was countered with an MHP—an extreme radical party—organized Muslim prayer in a former Armenian church in Ani.
Ayda Erbal discussed the literature dealing with apologies. She pointed out that apologies can change national identities and signal better citizenship. Speaking about the recent apology campaign initiated by a group of intellectuals, she noted that the signers were not apologizing for the event itself, but for the denial of the event. Discussing the text of the document, she noted that everything is in the passive tense, except the “I apologize.” The apology, she noted, does not even mention who suffered what.
Further, the organizers of the “Apology Campaign” did not consult the Armenians. It was written by four people. She noted that this pulls the discussions away from politics and pulls the discussion into the backyard of psychology, which does not necessarily solve the problem.
4th Panel – Populations and Property: A Practical Determination of Losses
George Aghjayan, Fellow, Society of Actuaries
Rev. Dr. George Leylegian
George Aghjayan presented his research into the demographic overview of the Ottoman Empire prior to and following the Armenian Genocide while Rev. Dr. George Leylegian, a specialist on church properties and cultural heritage, discussed the losses in this regard.
George Aghjayan discussed the two primary sources for the number of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire: the Ottoman registration system and the Armenian Patriarchate data.
The Ottoman registration system initially included males only (no women and children) and served as a system for taxation purposes, not necessarily a census. “It is only after 1906 that you start to see Armenians accounted in any greater precision.”
The Armenian Patriarchate documents of 1907 were a more detailed summary of Armenians living in Istanbul. In the Armenian Patriarchate data, the system included some Muslims, although it undercounted some children. In 1913/14 some children were not listed, but in the 1915 data they were listed for the first time even though they were born before 1913/14.
“The great disparity between the Ottoman registration number and the Armenians Patriarchate number are centered on three different districts in the general province [Apaget Province], and that was Chermik, Palu, and Sevre.” Large Armenian towns show less than a thousand Armenians in the Turkish registration, while the Armenian Patriarchate shows a larger number.
Aghjayan pointed out that these population figures and dates can be used as a timeline to understand what happened to the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire.
George Leylegian provided an overview of the distribution of clergy to population centers, using the Paluk region of the Diyabekir Province as a case example. One priest served 20 households and 8 villages were administered by a local ministry (vank). At the turn of 19th century there were 6 monasteries in the Western district and 6 monasteries in the Eastern district, each serving about 60 villages.
Starting 19th century, accelerated attempts by the Kurds to convert the Armenians into Shiites. Priests were killed, Armenian women were sold, and monasteries were destroyed. Nothing remains of their archives. In Paluk, the county out of 240 villages in 1800, it is believed that nearly ½ were inhabited by Armenians, the other by various tribes of Kurds. “The villages were distinct and segregated based on religion. While there was some interaction, boundaries were respected,” he noted. By mid 19th century only 6 villages in Paluk were listed as being Armenian. Roughly 90% of Armenians were converted to Islam.
Today, there are only 30 churches for more than one million people in Armenia. The Armenian Church today has one priest every 1200 household instead of 20 households. “The aftershocks of forced conversion, genocide, and anti-Christian oppression are reverberating to this day throughout the Armenian community. The human suffering is unfathomable.”
There remains a suppressive impact on the generations of survivors, but Armenians continue to build new churches and maintain their Christian faith.
www.armenianweekly.com, www.keghart.com, www.alfreddezayas.com