International Genocide Scholars Association Officially Recognizes Assyrian, Greek Genocides

In a groundbreaking move, the International Association of Genocide
Scholars (IAGS) has voted overwhelmingly to recognize as genocides the
massacres of Assyrian and Greek populations of the Ottoman Empire between
1914 and 1923.

The resolution passed with the support of 83 percent of IAGS members
who voted. The resolution declares that “it is the conviction of the
International Association of Genocide Scholars that the Ottoman campaign
against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted
a genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks.”
It “calls upon the government of Turkey to acknowledge the genocides against
these populations, to issue a formal apology, and to take prompt and
meaningful steps toward restitution.”

In 1997, the IAGS officially recognized the Armenian genocide. The
current resolution notes that while activist and scholarly efforts have
resulted in widespread acceptance of the Armenian genocide, there has been
“little recognition of the qualitatively similar genocides against other
Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire.” Assyrians, along with Pontian
and Anatolian Greeks, were killed on a scale equivalent in per capita terms
to the catastrophe inflicted on the Armenian population of the empire–and
by much the same methods, including mass executions, death marches, and
starvation.
IAGS member Adam Jones drafted the resolution, and lobbied for it
along with fellow member Thea Halo, whose mother Sano survived the Pontian
Greek genocide. In an address to the membership at the IAGS conference in
Sarajevo, Bosnia, in July 2007, Jones paid tribute to the efforts of
“representatives of the Greek and Assyrian communities…to publicize and
call on the present Turkish government to acknowledge the genocides
inflicted on their populations,” which had made Asia Minor their home for
millennia. The umbrella term “Assyrians” includes Chaldeans, Nestorians,
Syriacs, Aramaens, Eastern Orthodox Syrians, and Jacobites.
        “The overwhelming backing given to this resolution by the world’s
leading genocide scholars organization will help to raise consciousness
about the Assyrian and Greek genocides,” Jones said on December 15. “It will
also act as a powerful counter to those, especially in present-day Turkey,
who still ignore or deny outright the genocides of the Ottoman Christian
minorities.”
The resolution also states “the denial of genocide is widely
recognized as the final stage of genocide, enshrining impunity for the
perpetrators of genocide, and demonstrably paving the way for future
genocides.” The Assyrian population of Iraq, for example, remains highly
vulnerable to genocidal attack. Since 2003, Iraqi Assyrians have been
exposed to severe persecution and “ethnic cleansing”; it is believed that up
to half the Assyrian population has fled the country.

Extensive supporting documentation for the Assyrian and Greek
genocides was circulated to IAGS members in the months prior to the vote,
and is available at
http://www.genocidetext.net/iags_resolution_supporting_documentation.htm

IAGS President Gregory Stanton may be contacted at iagspresident@aol.com.
Full Text of The IAGS Resolution:

WHEREAS the denial of genocide is widely recognized as the final stage of
genocide, enshrining impunity for the perpetrators of genocide, and
demonstrably paving the way for future genocides;

WHEREAS the Ottoman genocide against minority populations during and
following the First World War is usually depicted as a genocide against
Armenians alone, with little recognition of the qualitatively similar
genocides against other Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire;

BE IT RESOLVED that it is the conviction of the International Association of
Genocide Scholars that the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of
the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted a genocide against Armenians,
Assyrians, and Pontian and Anatolian Greeks.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Association calls upon the government of
Turkey to acknowledge the genocides against these populations, to issue a
formal apology, and to take prompt and meaningful steps toward restitution.
 

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