What the Ottomans did during the 1915 genocide (and what Turkey is today) is much like what the Islamic state.
While in most places of the world, one is shocked by the atrocities committed by the Islamic state against non-Muslim communities in Syria and Iraq, a non-Muslim community in Turkey, the Armenians suffered for decades – essentially abandoned by the world.
This was done by the Ottomans during the 1915 genocide (and what Turkey is today) is very similar to e that makes the Islamic state. Draw parallels between past and present is very useful for understanding the continuity, universality and horror of the jihadist Islamic genocide.
Although 101 years have passed since the 1915 genocide befell Armenian Christians, committed by the Ottoman Empire, the few houses, churches and even cemeteries remaining victims are still being targeted by both state authorities and local authorities in Turkey. For the most part, the public is also complicit, keeping silent about these injustices.
Today, Armenians, their ancient homeland within Turkey’s borders were virtually extinct. But in Turkey, even the dead Armenians are not allowed to rest in peace.
“Dozens of graves were dug and bones were dug up,” says Aziz Dagci, the head of the Association of Armenian minorities, who filed a criminal complaint in the city of Mush, made for destruction of tombs, some were dug in the 1800s.
“They must they cease to excavate our graves. Only found there our dead, “he said. “And they should also stop destroying our monastery.”
Most of the world’s media are silent on the abuse of human rights which Armenians and other Christians suffer in Turkey. Their only point of attachment is apparently the Islamic state. It is regrettable to see that the Armenians and other Christians suffer in Turkey, a NATO member country.
In 2013, for example, 500 Armenian historical houses in the Kale district of Muş were demolished as part of the governmental “urban renewal” (see a video house demolition).
“This total destruction of a culture …,” wrote researcher Varak Ketsemanian, “is a constant policy of the Turkish government; he uses it as an instrument of propaganda against against Armenian claims that affirm their presence in these lands before 1915. Although this policy has no massacres or deportation, it is the continuation of the same policy adopted in 1915 “.
Again, in 2013, a restaurant was built on the Armenian cemetery in the town of Tekirdag in Thrace to the east.
“During the construction, the bones in the cemetery were scattered everywhere and some were thrown into the garbage. The gravestones, stolen from the cemetery in the city, were used as tiles above grave looks and stones were found elsewhere on the site infrastructure works, “reports the newspaper Taraf.
Taraf also reported that in the town of Sivas Central Anatolia, “the Armenian cemetery in the city was plundered during the construction of a road and human bones scattered on the sides of the road. It is not known what happened to the tombstones. “
Mush was a lively Armenian community before 1915. The statistics montren qu’avat genocide, 140,555 Armenians lived in 339 villages of Mush. There were 228 churches, 94 monasteries, 53 sacred places and 135 schools with 5669 students. The city is also the subject of many songs and Armenian folk tales, the love song “Golo”, performed by Armenian singer Hasmik Harutyunyan.
According to the Ottoman census of 1917, however, 99 percent of Armenians in the region were declared “missing”. Obviously, the term ‘disappeared’ in the Ottoman Turkish dictionary means “killed” or “deported” – and by the most brutal methods imaginable.
“Some of the children were burned alive, others were poisoned or drowned, died of hunger or disease,” according to the Museum-Institute of the Armenian Genocide.
“I’m sure,” said Henry Morgenthau, the US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, “that the entire history of the human race contains no episode so horrible.” The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem presqu’insignifiantes compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915. (*)
Most Armenians were eradicated of Mush, as in the rest of Turkey. “[Officially], there are now 3000 Armenians in Mush, but here are said to be more,” said the director of the Center for Studies of the Armenian Question Western, Haykazun Alvrtsyan in 2014, which added “they are at least 2.5 million ‘Muslim Armenians’, half hiding.”
Given the unlimited intolerance against any reminiscence of Armenians in Turkey, the ‘hidden Armenians’ seem to have justified reasons not to disclose their ethnic or religious affiliation.
In a country where even the bones in the Armenian cemeteries are not respected, being Armenian is a difficult test to survive each day.
Uzay Bulut is a Turkish journalist formerly based in Ankara today in Washington DC.
(*) The Armenian Genocide: the essential reference guide by Alan Whitehorrn ABC-CLIO 2015 Editions
Translation Gilbert Béguian
Stéphane © armenews.com