July 28, 2014

The Aremenian Genocide

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Caution, the pictures on this site are graphic and disturbing. Unknown to many, the Armenian Genocide is considered the first genocide (preceding Hitler and Stalin) of the modern age. The term "genocide" was created to describe this crime. … [Read more...]

Faith to Faith: Russian Patriarch ending landmark Armenia visit

Patriarch Kirill and Catholicos Karekin II laying flowers at the Genocide Memorial.

ArmeniaNow.com Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill is completing today his three-day visit to Armenia during which he and his Armenian counterpart accentuated the strong bonds between the two churches and peoples. As part of the visit staged at the invitation of the Catholicos of All Armenians, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church took part in several events, including a visit to Russian soldiers’ memorial, a meeting with Armenia’s Orthodox faithful and honoring the 1915 Armenian Genocide victims at Tsitsernakaberd. His Holiness Karekin II, and Patriarch Kirill signed an agreement for relationship and cooperation between the two cities of Vagarshapat (Etchmiadzin), Armenia, and Sergiyev Posad, Russia. The cities have been declared sister cities under the two patriarchs’ auspices. Speaking about the spirit of Christian brotherhood and cooperation present in relations between the two churches, Catholicos Karekin II stressed the warm feelings of gratitude of … [Read more...]

Obama Waffling on Armenian Genocide Declaration?

The Los Angeles Times reports that the Obama administration "is hesitating on a promised presidential declaration that Armenians were the victims of genocide in the early 20th century, fearful of alienating Turkey when U.S. officials badly want its help." The L. A. Times, in "Obama wavers on pledge to declare Armenian genocide," says Obama and "other top administration officials" were to officially designate the 1915 killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks as genocide. But the administration also has been soliciting Ankara's help on Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and other security issues amid Turkish warnings that an official U.S. statement would imperil Turkey's assistance. Administration officials are considering postponing a presidential statement, citing progress toward a thaw in relations between Turkey and neighboring Armenia. Further signs of warming -- such as talk of reopening border crossings -- would strengthen arguments that a U.S. statement could imperil the … [Read more...]

Mor Gabriel, Halki and Obama

A very timely story yesterday in the Wall Street Journal by Andrew Higgins about a land dispute between Syriac Orthodox monastery Mor Gabriel and Turkish authorities. Also yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, during a stop in Ankara, announced that President Obama will be visiting Turkey "in a month or so." She said this toward the end of her public remarks: I reiterate the Obama Administration’s support for Turkey’s membership in the European Union. The United States believes it will strengthen Turkey, Europe, and our transatlantic partnership. The United States continues to support the UN-sponsored talks now taking place to achieve a settlement of the Cyprus conflict based on reunification of the island as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. We talked about Turkey’s democracy, its multiethnic heritage, and in that context, I raised the importance that we place on reopening the Halki Seminary and efforts to reach out to all of Turkey’s communities. For … [Read more...]

Ataturk: Immortal Leader and Unrivaled Hero?

In "Turkey Shocked by Chain Smoking, Raki-Swilling Atatürk," Spiegel Online reporter Daniel Steinvorth reports on the controversy over a new film released to mark the 70th anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. ... Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül showed that the seven-decade anniversary can also be celebrated in another way -- one perhaps more to the liking of the Kemalist Thought Association. At a ceremony at the Turkish embassy in Brussels, he gave a lecture on the difficult formation of the Turkish State and the expulsion of Greeks and Armenians, a fact which Gönül described as a "very important step." At the end of the day, he said, modern Turkey would not be as we know it, "if Greeks still lived on the Aegean and Armenians still lived in different parts of Turkey today." In other words: the historical expulsion, deportation and extermination of the two population groups, as the thinking goes, are to be welcomed. Between 1.5 and 2 million Anatolian … [Read more...]