Remembering the Armenian Genocide

7 years ago Triangle 0
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Armenian Genocide

Nathan Ecarma

     April 24, 2016 will be the 101st anniversary of Armenian Genocide of 1915 which is illegal to discuss in modern Turkey. The traditional historical stance on the happenings of 1915 is considered to be the Armenian Genocide. The United Human Rights Council acknowledges this fact; however, Turkey denies such an occurrence. Furthermore, U.S. President Barack Obama stated in 2008: “as president I will recognize the Armenian Genocide,” yet, he continues to refuse defining the actions of Turkey as such.

      Last Wednesday, April 20, Fact Check Armenia, an organization dedicated to refuting the genocide, published a full-page advertisement on the Wall Street Journal, along with several other billboards for the 101st Anniversary of the tragedies. The traditional understanding of 1915 was a crime committed against the professing Christian group, the Armenians, by the Young Turks. Ottoman Empire’s Turkish nationalist group, avowed Muslims, were a powerful political reform movement of the twentieth-century, who favored absolute monarchy of the Ottoman Empire; they were later officially known as the Committee of Union and Progress.

     The Armenian Genocide, based on religion and nationalism demonstrated the depravity of human beings, beginning with its denial, but more specifically, the events leading up to, during, and the after the genocide.

     Prior to the genocide, Armenians and Turks Armenians went on large-scale riots as a result of new laws set against the Armenians by the sultan Abdul Hamid II, and in response to these protests hundreds of thousands of Christian Armenians were killed at the hand of the Turkey military between 1894 and 1896. The Turks use of unnecessary force to stop their riots illustrates the nature of man. Turkey entered the First World War, and at the same time entered Jihad, holy war, against all Christians.

     Marvin Olasky of World uses this missionary’s letter in his article saying: “The less horrible outrages were some of the following: bayoneting the men … outraging women and then dispatching them with bayonets or swords; ripping up pregnant women; impaling infants and children on the bayonet.” Military leaders began to discuss the threat of the Armenian people and if the Armenians would help the war effort in order to escape persecution. As the war continued, the war effort from the Christian Armenian people assisted the enemies of the Young Turks by aiding the Russian military. All these events lead up to the Armenian Genocide.

Throughout the genocide millions suffered due to wickedness of humankind. At the beginning of the genocide, thousands of Armenian intellectuals were executed without any justifiable reason. Any who were not considered an immediate threat were forced to march. These systematic deportations to remote areas usually ended in death, by starvation, dehydration, or those who attempted to rest were shot dead, even if they survived and arrived to the remote locations, some were forced into primitive gas chambers.

     The Turks massacres possessed tactics that the Nazi Regime would later use. Adolf Hitler even used the example of the Armenian Genocide to justify his actions on the Polish. Furthermore, many Christian children were adopted by Turkish families and were converted to Islam, while the women were sold as slaves, raped, or murdered, which showed the depravity of man because even the innocent (those not involved in the war) of the Armenians suffered greatly, due to religion and nationalism.

     The Genocide caused one and a half million Armenian lives to end or radically change because of the sinful core of man, more so, Olasky estimates two hundred thousand Assyrian Christians were also massacred. Before this event took place over two million Armenians resided in Turkey; afterwards, only four-hundred thousand remained in Turkey. The Armenian people are now spread thin throughout the Middle East due to deportations and fleeing from the religious persecution. In 1918, the Young Turks fled to Germany in effort to escape trial for the crimes they committed. The German government agreed not to prosecute them for their crimes.

     This tragic event shows the truly corrupted nature of humanity, especially through the events that led up to, during, and after the Armenian Genocide. Statistics have shown that nearly one and a half million lives were ended. The genocide continued. Many refugees attempted to return to Cilicia in Southern Turkey in 1921, but were then eradicated in 1922, by the Nationalist forces of the Young Turks. The surviving refugees spread around the world and finally settled in several dozen countries all over the globe.

The Turkish government created a new policy, dismissing the charges of genocide and denying the accusations that the deportations were just another way of eradicating the Armenian people. On the contrary, according to Olasky in a recent article, Germany, along with many other countries now recognize the tragedies of 1915 as genocide.

     Finally, the Christian worldview is better able to understand this gratuitous evil, as the corruption of man is a prominent theme throughout the Bible. Genesis 6:5 (ESV) stated: “The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

      Sinful corruption plagues all humans, and the genocide of 1915 addresses this vividly. Tragically, this genocide is lesser known in modern culture and in 1939, Adolf Hitler stated: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” Is today’s individual falling prey to such an allegation? The answer is clear.