The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Tuesday, April 23, 2002  


Why is the Armenian genocide unrecognized? asks Jackie Abramian in today’s Boston Globe.

“On April 24 Armenians worldwide will commemorate the 87th anniversary of the Armenian genocide of 1915 -- and once again wonder why most world powers and the Turkish government continue to deny the first fully documented and least recognized genocide of the 20th century,” she writes.

For readers not familiar with the matter, the Ottoman Empire in April 1915 began an ethnic cleansing and extermination program aimed at 1.5 million Armenians, a gruesome campaign for which Turkey not only has not apologized, but which it has failed even to acknowledge.

The Ottomans’ ethnic cleansing established the standard that continued throughout the 20th century. Numerous killing methods, families separated, women and children raped and mutilated, and innocent people used for medical experimentation, among other horrors.

The political clout of Turkey and Israel prevents the U.S. from according the Armenian genocide the recognition it deserves.

“In his recent visit to Turkey, Shimon Peres rejected comparisons between the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide, saying ‘what the Armenians went through is a tragedy but not a genocide,’” writes Abramian.

Apparently Peres neglected to delineate the difference between the two terms. We have two questions: When does a tragedy become genocide? When does genocide become a tragedy?

The Turkish government explodes with rage when other governments appear to be taking steps to officially recognize the Armenian genocide. Turkey, using its NATO membership as a bargaining chip, has threatened the U.S., among others, that actions against its interests in Turkey would be taken if the truth were confirmed.

“On the 87th anniversary the world owes to itself, to humanity, and to the forgotten 1.5 million Armenian victims to demand recognition from Turkey for its crimes against humanity, to demand acceptance of responsibility by the ‘silent’ witnesses who allowed Turkey's actions to continue and to serve as precedents in subsequent wars, and to issue a challenge to all supporters of truth and justice to make the 88th anniversary of the Armenian genocide one of universal recognition,” Abramian concludes.

We agree.

To learn more about the Armenian genocide, visit the Armenian National Institute; Human Rights Action: The Armenian Genocide; Armenian Genocide; and Turkey: Denying the Genocide of Armenians.

The Rittenhouse Review | Copyright 2002-2006 | PERMALINK |