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Donnerstag, 29. April 2010

In Memorian

Each year on 24 April, the world lights a candle for the Armenian martyrs of the Ottoman Genocide, while most people seem to have forgotten the hundreds of thousands of Greek and Aramean victims.

But not this year. After 95 years, Sweden is the first nation to break the silence. On 11 March 2010, the Swedish Parliament officially recognized the mass murder against these three Christian nations as ‘Genocide’ under the auspices of the Ottoman Government.

The European Parliament and more than 20 countries, including 11 of Turkey’s NATO allies, have officially acknowledged the Armenian Genocide. It is to be hoped and expected, for the sake of truth and justice, that these countries and the rest of the world will follow Sweden’s courageous decision by also honoring the forgotten Greek and Aramean men, women and children that perished.

The oft-cited Henry Morgenthau, U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire (1913-16), was clear about this. He wrote among others: “The Armenians are not the only subject people in Turkey which have suffered from this policy of making Turkey exclusively the country of the Turks. The story which I have told about the Armenians I could also tell with certain modifications about the Greeks and the Syrians [Arameans]. Indeed the Greeks were the first victims of this nationalizing idea.”

The time has come for these three ancient nations to set the example by remembering, first of all, each other’s victims. The Christian Arameans have memorized the killings of their forefathers in Southeast-Turkey as i shato du Sayfo, which is Aramaic for “the year [1915] of the sword.”

But this weekend, the Syriac Universal Alliance (SUA), its Member Federations and the Aramean people stand together with their Armenian brothers and sisters who lost approximately 1,5 million souls. Tomorrow a SUA delegation will attend the commemoration at Times Square (New York). Today our Federations will participate in the Genocide Commemorations organized by Armenians, such as in Germany and Holland, and our organizations in Sweden have organized events in different places to pay honor to the Armenian, Greek and Aramean victims of the Ottoman Genocide.

Turkish society increasingly discovers the historical truth which can no longer be hidden or denied. Many great Turkish intellectuals are standing up for the truth and justice. We believe that the time has come for Turkey to accept its Ottoman legacy and the moral responsibility of putting things right.

Yours respectfully,

Johny Messo 
President Syriac Universal Alliance