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The Assyrian and Armenian Genocides of 1915

Oct. 17, 07
The Armenian Community (UK)

The genocide of Assyrians in Ottoman Turkey remains one of the darker pages in contemporary accounts of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. Despite the fact that Assyrian Christians were exterminated alongside Armenians, the world hears much less of the Assyrian factor. Some commentators even state that Ottoman Greeks and Kurds were also massacred in large numbers in 1915-16, though their massacres were more area-specific and were to be continued after the extermination of Armenian and Assyrians.

Ara Sarafian was the guest speaker to the Assyrian Academic Community of Chicago (29 October 2005) where he examined the 1916 British Parliamentary Blue Book, The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-16. This book has come into prominence in recent years because of the ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide by Turkish authorities, and the allegation that the 1916 report was a forgery. The Gomidas Institute has published two editions of the Blue Book, and publicly opposes the Turkish position.

"Despite the name of that work" Sarafian explained, "the 1916 blue book also reflected the experience of Assyrian Christians who were massacred in 1915." There is a whole chapter about the treatment of Assyrians by Turkish and Kurdish forces in Persia, and Assyrians are mentioned in passing elsewhere. Sarafian went on to discuss, based on his research, why Assyrians were not mentioned in the title of the Blue Book, and why Assyrians tended to be "understated" though not entirely ignored. The main reasons were the following:

1. Most of the key informants the British had when compiling the parliamentary blue book were United States Consuls (who were in communication to the outside world) and United States missionaries in the interior of Ottoman Turkey. Since there were no US consulates! in area s with high concentrations of Assyrians (Diyarbekir, Mosul and Hakiari), and since American missionaries in these areas were expelled in the early stages of the genocidal process ( e.g. from Mardin and Diyarbekir), there was a distinct lack of critical information about Assyrians from these 'core' areas.

2. Outside the main Assyrian inhabited areas, Assyrian Christians were vastly outnumbered by Armenian Christians and were as a consequence lumped alongside Armenians in descriptions of the genocidal process.

The fact that many Armenian academic and political activists have avoided to engage the Assyrian issue over the years, the fate of Assyrians (and Greeks) have not been redressed in our understanding of the genocides of 1915. However, not all Armenian academics deny the genocide of Assyrians. One recent excellent publication reflecting the Assyrian experience was published in a special edition of Revue d'histoire Arménienne contemporaine, "Mardin 1915: Anatomie pathologique d'une destruction" (Paris, 2002). According to Sarafian, the way to engage the Assyrian issue in a constructive way today is through scholarship. "That has to be the bedrock of our understanding" he added.

The ensuing discussion focused on various academic strategies for modern Assyrians to record and integrate their experience into mainstream academic debates. Sarafian stated that the Gomidas Institute could start an Assyrian publications series in the English language if there was serious interest. Others discussed the possibilities of cultivating new specialists and soliciting scholarly articles. "At the end of the day," Sarafian concluded, "the Assyrian experience is part of a broader common history, in the same mosaic of peoples in the region."

Garod House
42 Blythe Rd.
London W14 0HA
EasternStar News Agency








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Tishreen I = October

The Assyrian and Armenian Genocides of 1915 Oct. 17, 07

Islam's Peace Offensive Oct. 16, 07

Heroes behind an epic Oct. 16, 07

Oct. 16, 07

Margareta Viklund replies to Nemrod Baitos accusations
Oct. 15, 07

Imperiled Christian family abandons its cherished homeland Oct. 14, 07

Pope urges Iraqi priests' release Oct. 14, 07

Two Assyrian Priests abducted in Mosul Oct. 13, 07

Muslim scholars in call for peace with Christians Oct. 11, 07

Iraq's Ex-oil Chief Accuses Kurds of Suspect Contract
Oct. 11, 07

Palestinians Crucify the Holy Land Oct. 11, 07

Assyrians killed in Mosul and Baghdad Oct. 10, 07

About the two women killed in Baghdad Oct. 10, 07

Archbishop tells of 'harrowing’ suffering of Iraqi refugees
Oct. 9, 07

Devastating Last Thoughts on Iraq Oct. 7, 07

Music pearls of Beth - Nahrin Oct. 4, 07

In Basra, vigilantes wage deadly campaign against women
Oct. 4, 07

George Malki excels, in soccer and in school. Oct. 3, 07

Who Committed the Yezidi Massacre in North Iraq? Oct. 3, 07

Bishops fear for future of Iraqi Christians Oct. 3, 07

Arabs quitting Iraq's Kirkuk Oct. 3, 07

The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh
Oct. 2, 07

Ealool = September

Binding up the wounds of war Sept. 30, 07

Iraqi Christians Forced to Flee Homes or Risk Death
Sept. 30, 07

Grand Opening of the Banipal Library in Teikeep Sept. 29, 07

A frightful car bomb explosion shakes the Assyrian town of Baghdeda Sept. 29, 07

Video- Assyriaska the Assyrian Soccer Team in Sweden
Sept. 29, 07

ABC News invites Christians of Iraq to be part of a news segment on an Iraqi translator Sept. 27, 07

U.S. withdrawal debate ignores Iraq refugee crisis Sept. 27, 07

Abducted Assyrian girl released after ransom was paid
Sept. 26, 07

Assyrian suffering overlooked in Iraq Sept. 25, 07

Old Trade Losing Its Foothold in Moscow Sept. 25, 07

Why I want to keep fighting in Iraq Sept. 25, 07

Muslim Intimidation Could Make 'Land of Jesus' Barren in 15 Years Sept. 23, 07

New artifacts discovered in al-Hasaka (Syria) from the neo Assyrian period Sept. 23, 07

Panelist Insults Assyrian Christians of Iraq! Sept. 23, 07

Elephants: the way to beat looters Sept. 23, 07

Armed gunmen loot Assyrian homes in Dora-Baghdad
Sept. 22, 07

Ethnic violence forces more Arabs to flee Iraq’s Kirkuk
Sept. 22, 07

Video - Iraqi Christians Search for Safe Haven Sept. 22, 07

CWS presses U.S. government to speed resettlement of Iraqi refugees Sept. 20, 07

Fleeing Saddam's Impending War Sept. 21, 07

Assyrians in Gen. Patraeus Testimony Before U.S. Senate
Sept. 19, 07

Sweden Offers Safe Haven to Iraqi Refugees Sept. 19, 07

Yonadem Kanna's Speech in Alqush Sept. 17, 07

UN adopts landmark resolution on rights of indigenous people
Sept. 15, 07

Time For The Truth! Who Speaks for Assyrians? Sept. 15, 07

Canada Broadcasting Company report About Assyrian refugee in Sweden Sept. 13, 07

Petreaus, Crocker Support Christian Assyrians in Iraq!
Sept. 13, 07

US Must Take Action on Iraq's Threatened Minorities
Sept. 12, 07

Iraqi Christians greet Muslims before Ramadan Sept. 12, 07

Islamic Terrorists Posing As Christians: Abusing Faith, Churches Sept. 12, 07

US Withdrawl may cause Slaughter of Iraqi Christians
Sept. 11, 07

U.S. Authorizes Funds for Refugees Sept. 11, 07

Rally this Friday and, Ashur TV Interview Sept. 11, 07

Iraqi Forces in Ninewah Province Continue Progress Sept.10, 07

Christians of Nineveh; A documentary Sept. 9, 07

Islam: a Plan for World Domination? Sept. 06, 07

USCIRF to Rice: US Must Address Threats to Religious Minorities in Iraq Sept. 06, 07

US Must Take Action on Iraq's Threatened Minorities
Sept. 06, 07

Wedding celebration in Iraq has a lot in common with American event Sept. 06, 07

Local Iraqis mourn demise of Christian churches in Iraq
Sept. 06, 07

The Assyrian Democratic Organization Celebrates its 50th Anniversary in Sweden Sept. 05, 07

Festival Offers Taste of Assyrian Culture Sept. 05, 07

Bush Sees Hope for Iraq's Future Sept. 04, 07

Mr. Bush Has Forsaken Iraq's Minorities Sept. 03, 07

Assessing the Wounds of an Ancient Assyrian Ruler
Sept. 02, 07

North Iraq fears pullout Sept. 02, 07

Defend the Persecuted Christian Minority in Iraq Sept. 2, 07

Tabokh = August

Under Siege: Iraq's Christians August 31, 07

The Iraqi refugees in Beirut who don’t officially exist
August 31, 07

Swedish Uproar After Turkish Threats to silence dialogue about the Assyrian Genocide August 29, 07

Iraq's Minorities Lose Out in Classroom August 29, 07

Tensions on Iraq-Turkey border send residents packing
August 29, 07

Iraq's Endangered Minorities August 27, 07

Mosul Christians in dire danger August 27, 07

U.S. Troops Must Not Withdraw, Say Iraqis August 26, 07

Just the Facts, in Words and Pictures August 24, 07

Kurdistan's Twin Towers: The Massacre of the Yazidi August 24, 07

UAT Instructor Creates Cuneiform and Hieroglyphic Translator August 24, 07

The Tale of Gilgamesh at The Ashby Stage August 24, 07

Iran: It Can Be Tough to Say Goodbye August 23, 07

Threats to Iraq’s Communities of Antiquity August 22, 07

The Plight of the Cristians in the Middle East August 21, 07

Crushing Iraq's human mosaic August 21, 07

Iraq's minorities face a rising threat August 20, 07

The situation in my country is tragic,” the man continued.
August 18, 07

Kirkuk poll seen unlikely on time August 18, 07

Wanton killing in Nineveh plains August 18, 07

Iraqi boy brought here for lifesaving surgery August 17, 07

Turkey's Dam will destroy Hasankeyf's unique heritage
August 16, 07

Video of beheading used to threaten Christians August 16, 07

Four suicide bombings kill 175 in Iraq August 14, 07

Controversy over a Mardin Assyrian monastery August 11, 07

Kurds Arrest Iraqis for Raising Iraqi Flag August 11, 07

Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis betrays his Anti
Assyrian Bias
August 10, 07

Jordan to Let 50,000 Iraqi Children Into Its Schools August 10, 07

Iraqi Kurdistan Faces Trouble on Two Fronts August 10, 07

Prayers for the suffering Assyrians in Iraq August 10, 07

NEWS ALERT: Withdrawal US Troops Could Lead To
"Extermination Iraqi Christians", Group Warns
August 9, 07

Gunmen in total control of major Baghdad district August 9, 07

Mosul Christian Community Dwindles August 7, 07

IRAQ Mosul, "focal point" of Wahabi extremism in Iraq August 5, 07

Solidarity, Commitment by the Austrian Ruling Party for
Recognition of the Assyrian Genocide
August 5, 07

Helping Iraqi refugees should be part and parcel | of fighting
August 3, 07

A deadly day in Baghdad August 3, 07

EWTN - Special television program on Christian of Iraq
August 3, 07

Iraqi Christians flee ancient roots for uncertain future in Beirut suburbs August 2, 07

Report on the International Association of Genocide Scholars Conference August 2, 07

Assyrian wins Sweden journalist award two years in a row August 1, 07

An Eastern Christian in the Capital of the Islamic Revolution
August 1, 07


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December 06 - January 07

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