April 25, 2019 - 15:29 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has renewed calls on her colleagues in federal government to formally recognize the the Armenian Genocide – and slammed the Turkish government's "tactics of denial" as "textbook", The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
April 24, 1915 is the day when a group of Armenian intellectuals was rounded up and assassinated in Constantinople by the Ottoman government. On April 24, Armenians worldwide commemorated the 104th anniversary of the Genocide which continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.
Speaking at an event commemorating the 104th anniversary of the Genocide, Berejiklian said such denial "allows genocidal states to commit these heinous crimes in the belief that they will escape the consequences. That’s why we can never forget."
Leaders of the Armenian community who spoke at the event had bitter words for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who despite previously calling it Genocide, sent a statement to event organizers acknowledging the tragedy which stopped short of using the term.
While 29 nations and two Australian states - NSW and South Australia - recognize the Ottoman Empire's extermination of about 1.5 million Armenians over the course of a decade from April 1915 as genocide, the federal government has not taken that step.
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, April 24, Morrison said despite using the word genocide "in the past as a private citizen", as Prime Minister "I represent the views of the country".
But Berejiklian, whose grandparents were orphaned in the atrocity, said she is "confident" that Australia will come to formally recognize it as genocide, as the state she leads does.
"I’m grateful that so many of our states around Australia, such as proudly here in NSW, and so many nations around the world, have recognized the Armenian Genocide. And of course, I look forward to the day our Australian government does the same."