August 13, 2013 - 15:46 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The American Mesopotamian Organization and Iraqi Christian Relief Organization sent a letter to Masoud Barzani, the President of the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq, offering him “a noble challenge to issue a formal apology to the Armenian and Assyrian descendants of the survivors of the genocides committed by the Kurdish allies of the Ottoman Turks against the indigenous Christian populations of the region, during and subsequent to WWI,” according to Assyria Times.
“In the past several months, your regional government has been successful in convincing several European governments to formally recognize the “Kurdish genocide” committed by Saddam’s regime. We can certainly empathize with and affirm the suffering of the Kurdish people of Iraq, particularly since the Assyrian Christians, too, suffered loss of life and property during the same period. This provided a missed opportunity for you to make an attempt to amend the troubled and strained relations between our two nations by including the sufferings of the Assyrians within your efforts to seek recognition of the “Kurdish Genocide”.
The last few hundred years of Assyrian-Kurdish relations have been mired with massacres, forced deportations and the deforcement of land and personal possessions of Assyrians by Kurds. As a direct result of these heinous acts, the Assyrian presence has dwindled significantly in Northern Iraq, South Eastern Turkey, and North Western Iran. Additional adverse consequences of these atrocities have been the marginalization of the political and human rights of the indigenous Assyrians by the Kurds. Today’s expansion of the Kurdish population is a direct benefactor of the massacres perpetrated by their not so distant ancestors. This rise in population has not only resulted in the renaming of historical Assyria as Western, Eastern, Northern and Southern “Kurdistan”, but it has also resulted in the renaming of the Assyrian regions and cities and replacing them with Kurdish names,” the letter says.
“In light of your ambitious efforts for the world to consider you as a legitimate, duly elected representative government of all Kurds in Iraq; hence, as their spokesperson, we request you to issue apologies for past atrocities committed by Kurdish tribes and warlords against the indigenous Christian populations of the region, including Assyrians and Armenians, while allied with the Ottoman Turks.As you are no doubt aware, there is clear and convincing evidence, consisting of extensive corpus of academic research, documents, and archival material, which prove Genocide, was perpetrated against the entire Christian population of the former Ottoman Empire during and following the First World War. The nascent, Young-Turk government systematically executed a policy of extermination against its own Christian citizens through massacres, death marches and forced deportations. As a consequence of these barbaric acts, several millions of Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks lost their lives and those that survived lost everything they owned from personal belongings to their homes and agricultural lands,” it says.
“Now, we are challenging you to issue a formal announcement, apologizing for the suffering and genocide of the Assyrians and Armenians, and acknowledging the direct involvement and active participation of the Kurdish tribes. Although it would behoove you to rise to the occasion, you will simply ignore our challenge and demand for justice. Be reminded that you must stand on the very high moral grounds you expect and demand of your oppressors. Take responsibility for the past atrocities as you expect the same from the Iraqi government,” the letter concludes.