Two Turks join Armenians in Worcester to remember Genocide

Two Turks join Armenians in Worcester to remember Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - Two Turks - one Muslim, the other Christian - spoke at a commemoration in Worcester on Sunday, April 23 of the Armenian Genocide, the mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians that began 102 years ago at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, reports.

“We have a duty to face our past,” said Burcin Gercek, a journalist and author from Istanbul who is a doctoral student at Clark University’s Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

“Of course, justice cannot be done for killed people,” she said. “It’s too late for that. But at least a recognition, an official apology, and some steps concerning the Armenian cultural heritage in Turkey could be positive steps.”

The successor to the Ottoman Empire, today’s Republic of Turkey, has rebuffed calls to formally recognize the mass slayings as genocide or apologize.

For the descendants of survivors of what has been called the Armenian Holocaust, the crimes committed by the Turks a century ago remain closely felt.

“May God bless all victims who did not even have a gravestone,” said Emre Can Daglioglu, 31, an Orthodox Christian from Antakya, in southern Turkey, on the Syrian border.

“We have to apologize for what’s happened in the Ottoman Empire, not only in 1915 but at the end of the 19th century,” he said. “I am trying to pay my debt in that sense to the Armenians.”

Photo. T&G staff/Eric Cinclair
The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres and deportations, involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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