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Letter To the Hellenic Parliament:

To the Hellenic Parliament:

Sano Halo's personal account of a death march in Turkey that took the lives of her family -- as recounted by her daughter, Thea, in "Not Even My Name" -- bears witness to the greatest crime humanity can perpetrate against itself: genocide.

The Turkish state's elimination of its Armenian, Greek and Assyrian populations was part and parcel of the same effort to obliterate Turkey's Christian minorities. All were perpetrated during the same time frame, by the same governments, and using the same methods - namely, massacres, labor camps and death marches under the guise of deportations.

New York State's governor George Pataki and the Armenian National Committee have recently added their voices to a growing community of individuals and organizations of conscience that have recognized the genocide of Asia Minor' s Greeks by the modern Turkish state.

Now Greece, which has wrestled with its own turbulent history to evolve into a champion of democratic ideals, human rights and the rule of law, is poised to betray these very principles by denying the historical reality of a genocide that was perpetrated against its own people.

In April 1998, over 150 of the world's most respected thinkers, scholars and authors --including Yehuda Bauer, Israel Charny, Seamus Heaney, Deborah Lipstadt, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, John Updike and Kurt Vonnegut -- took a stand against Turkey's multi-million-dollar campaign of genocide denial by signing a petition that affirmed:

"The Denial of Genocide is a form of aggression. It continues the process of genocide. It strives to reshape history in order to rehabilitate the perpetrators and demonize the victims. It prevents healing of the wounds inflicted by genocide. Denying genocide is the final stage of genocide-it murders the dignity of the survivors and destroys the remembrance of the crime."

As with the Armenian Genocide, those opposing the recognition of the Greek Genocide of Asia Minor attempt to shift focus away from the unfathomable reality of the historical event itself by portraying the issue as one of nationalism and ethnic conflict rather than of healing and remembrance. Yet, as noted by Professor Peter Balakian, prominent U.S. scholar and author of "Black Dog of Fate", the driving force behind the renewed awareness of Turkey's Greek holocaust transcends nationality and ideology: "this is not about ethnic conflict, Greek vs. Turk or Armenian vs. Turk, this is about universal moral issues and universal human rights issues . . . Clearly, denying genocide paves the way for future genocide, for it suggests to the world that governments can commit mass murder with impunity."

This chilling postulate was already put into practice just twenty years after Turkey's eradication of its Christian minorities. Eight days before unleashing his exterminationist campaign in Europe, on August 22, 1939 Hitler defended his orders "to kill without pity or mercy all men, women and children" by declaring "who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"

By yielding to, and thus further encouraging, Turkey's efforts to deny the Greek Genocide of Asia Minor, the Greek government becomes an accomplice to the systematic pattern of violence and intimidation that the Turkish government has used to silence those who have spoken up against genocide.

Hebrew University professor Stanley Cohen's statement regarding the Turkish government's aggressive campaign of denial vis-à-vis the Armenian Genocide applies equally to its denial of the genocide of Asia Minor's Greeks:

"The nearest successful example [of 'collective denial'] in the modern era is the 80 years of official denial by successive Turkish governments of the 1915-17 genocide against the Armenians in which some 1.5 million people lost their lives. This denial has been sustained by deliberate propaganda, lying and coverups, forging documents, suppression of archives, and bribing scholars. The West, especially the United States, has colluded by not referring to the massacres in the United Nations, ignoring memorial ceremonies, and surrendering to Turkish pressure in NATO and other strategic arenas of cooperation" (Law and Social Inquiry, Winter 1995).

According to a groundbreaking expose by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Microsoft's electronic encyclopedia "Encarta" pressured contributing scholars Helen Fein, Executive Director of The Institute for The Study of Genocide, and Ronald Suny, a political scientist at the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan, to incorporate strategies of denial when referring to the Armenian Genocide because "the Turkish government had threatened to arrest local Microsoft officials and ban Microsoft products". Any familiarity with Turkey's record on free speech would demonstrate that these were not idle threats.

A Turkish writer for Encyclopedia Britannica was imprisoned for using the word "Armenia" in a map of ancient Anatolia.

Last year, Turkey imprisoned Assyrian priest Yusuf Akbulut for "telling reporters that his Christian minority had been the victim of genocide" (The New York Times, 12/12/00).

Ankara's Public Prosecutor's Office is now seeking a six-year prison term for Turkish human rights activist Akin Birdal for saying "everybody knows what was done to the Armenians" during a panel discussion in Germany. In 1998, Birdal survived multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and legs by two extremists linked to the Turkish military.

In October, Turkey successfully blackmailed the U.S. House of Representatives to withdraw a majority-supported resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide by threatening economic, military and diplomatic sanctions.

Incredibly, in a not-so-veiled threat Ankara warned that Americans in Turkey would be in danger should the resolution pass, prompting Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ) to remark "what kind of ally threatens American lives if it doesn't get its way? With friends like that, who needs enemies."

In sharp contrast, France's parliament passed its recognition of the Armenian Genocide into law, braving fanatical reactions in Turkey which included potentially billions of dollars in costly trade sanctions, the recalling of Turkey's ambassador to France, nationwide boycotts, flag-burnings, street violence, and a shooting at the French consulate.

Ironically, in 1996 the Greek Parliament designated April 24th as a day of remembrance for the Armenian Genocide. Yet while Armenians have assumed their responsibility to memorialize their own near-extermination, those in the Greek government opposed to the recognition of the Greek Genocide of Asia Minor have instead looked backwards to a shameful pattern of acquiescence to the erasing of historical memory.

The downplaying of the genocide of Asia Minor's Greek population became official state policy following the collective shame that gripped Greece as a result of its catastrophic attempt to emancipate Asia Minor's indigenous Greek population, and as a result of Greece's ensuing detente with Turkey. This detente was interrupted in 1955 by a decade of anti-Greek pogroms that drove out the remaining remnants of Asia Minor's ancient Greek community, and which in turn were followed by the ethnic cleansing of northern Cyprus' Greek and Armenian populations during Turkey's infamous 1974 invasion of that island-nation.

The Greek government now has the opportunity to rehabilitate its past enabling of the denial of genocide by unequivocally recognizing that what befell the Greek populations of Asia Minor was genocide as defined by the 1948 United Nations Convention on The Prevention And Punishment of The Crime of Genocide.

Hellas must forge a destiny that embraces progress and civilization, not regression and repression. Despite their ongoing victimization by Turkey in places like Cyprus and Istanbul, in fact because of it, Greeks must meet this destiny and become a major democratizing force for Turkey itself.

By surrendering to Turkish and related pressures on vital moral issues, the Greek government is ensuring the perpetuation of a morally damaged neighbor with an outmoded nationalist ideology who will continue to threaten territorial conquest and sap Greece's full economic and human potential. Moreover, Greece's policy of appeasement will not only lock Turkey in an anachronistic holding pattern while the rest of developing Europe busies itself with genuine reform and democratization, but will also perpetuate the cycle of fear that lies at the heart of regressive elements within Greece itself.

People of good conscience implore the government of the Hellenic Republic not to remove the word "genocide" from a law recognizing the Genocide of Hellenism in Asia Minor.

With great concern,

Paskalini Savopoulos

MP3 Gala 'd Garna - Anna Athuraya by Shemon    MP3 Resha D' Khiqa Lubillah by Shemon


Who are the Christians of Iraq? 

November = Tishrin II 

Letter To the Hellenic Parliament  Nov. 20, 05 

My Grandmother Heranus  Nov. 19, 05

Books About the Assyrians Nov. 17, 05  

A Moslem discovers the praise of Christian and Jewish scriptures in the Koran  Nov. 17, 05

Iran is behind the Badr Brigade who are accused of jailing and torturing the Sunnies Nov. 17, 05 

Democracy, the Kurdish Style.  Nov. 17, 05

Talabani Promises Pope Equality and Respect for All Religions Nov.16, 05

Assyrian Wedding Comes to Australian TV Nov. 15, 05

In Jordan, Chaldean Catholics help Iraqis Nov. 15. 05

Are you a Christian in the Middle East?  Nov. 14, 05

The Assyrian General Conference Election Platform for Iraq Nov. 12, 05

Old hotel may become home for Hurricane Katrina victims Nov. 12, 05

Iraqi leader affirms Christians' rights Nov. 11, 11, 05

Egypt's Christian-Muslim divide 11, 11, 05

Assyrian Family Attacked in Tikrit Nov. 11, 05

Ancinet Assyrian Style Citadel in Los Angeles Nov. 11, 05

Priests say Iraqi Christians now victims of extortion Nov. 08, 05

Iraq; International Religious Freedom Report 2005 Nov. 08, 05

Chaldean Synod to focus on Iraq and Liturgy Nov. 08, 05

Assyrian Killed in Kirkuk's Car Bombing Nov. 05, 05

Funeral of Grace Mgr. J. Y. Cicek Nov. 05, 05 

Witnesses Describe Ballot Fraud in Nineveh Nov. 04, 05

Chaldean synod should tackle Christian migration and evangelicals' proselytism,  11. 04, 05 

Unexpected Death of His Eminence Mor Julius Yeshu Çiçek Shocks Assyrians & the Syrian Orthodox Church Nov. 03, 05  

Three Christian schoolgirls beheaded in Indonesia Nov. 03, 05

On the trail of stolen Iraqi art Nov. 03, 05

Lost in the Sunni Triangle Leaders of Baghdad church presumed dead.  Nov. 03, 05

Who is Killing the Iraqi's and the Americans?   Nov. 02, 05

What Next in Iraq?  Nov. 02, 05

An American's View of Iraq's Assyrians  Nov. 01, 05

October = Tishrin I

New Coalitions Emerge for Parliamentary Elections in Iraq10, 31, 05

Should the U.S. Withdraw? Let the Iraqi People Decide 10, 31, 05

Those Who Voted Against Constitution Are Terrorists: Iraqi President 10, 30, 05

An Assyrian Engineer Killed by the Kurds in Kirkuk 10, 30, 05

Kurds Reclaiming Prized Territory In Northern Iraq 10, 30, 05

Dwyer: Most Iraqis want a constitution - and want U.S. troops to leave 10, 30, 05

The oldest lense 10, 28, 05

Westminster Hall debate on Iraqi Kurdistan  i.e. northern Iraq 10, 25, 05

Iraq constitution approved  10, 25, 05 

Assyrian and Babylonian medicine was surprisingly advanced 10, 24, 05 

What's in a Name? 10, 12, 05 

Draft constitution denies equal rights, say Iraq's Christians  10, 22, 05

Rejection of Iraqi Referendum Possible as Nineveh Vote Fraud Reviewed 10, 21, 05 

Rosie Malek-Yonan's Schedule of The Crimson Field Book Tour 10, 20, 05

TURKEY DECRIES the Assyro-Chaldean MONUMENT IN FRANCE 10, 20, 05

Vote Figures for Crucial Ninveh Province Don't Add Up 10, 19, 05

Iraq Constitution: Bad news for Christians  10, 19. 05

Assyrian students unite 10, 19, 05

Iraq bishops ready to seek help from Pope  10, 19, 05

Charter vote resonates with Valley Iraqis Likely passage gives many hope 10. 18. 05  

Dividing the Chaldeans from the Assyrians by the Iraqi Constitution  10, 18, 05

A monument in France dedicated to the Remembrance of Assyro-Chaldean massacres by the Ottoman Turks. 10, 17, 05

Swing state' of Nineveh may be moving in favour of constitution 10, 15, 05 

Iraq votes for the Constitution and for its future 10, 14, 05

Forgotten victims - Iraqi Christians who speak the language of Jesus  10, 14, 05

Mgr Sako: people in Kirkuk have not read the constitution but will vote  10,13, 05

Terrorism strikes all Iraqis, says Patriarch 10, 13, 05

Assyriska a national football team without a country  10, 12, 05

Referendum: 'Yes' in Kurdistan and Southern cities and 'No' in Kirkuk, al Anbar and Diala 10, 12, 05

Chaos depriving Towns from Voting - The Minorities Fear the Domination of Islamic Parties10, 12, 05 

Bas-reliefs of winged goddesses discovered in western Iran 10, 12, 05

Immigration of Iraqi Chaldeans Abroad Passes through Jordan 10, 12, 05

Baghdadis tell their stories  10, 12, 05

Assyrialogist Henry Saggs Dies at 84 10, 10, 05

Letter by Ms. Jacqueline Zomaya The Assyrian representative to the Iraqi National Assembly 10, 10, 05

The Kurds are "cleansing" their domain ­ and provoking a civil war in Iraq  10, 09, 05

Nestorian label "imposed unjustly upon the Assyrians"  10, 08, 05

Iran's Assyrian MP-Felicitation to the Supreme Leader  10, 8, 05

Syriac Manuscripts from the Vatican Library: Volume 1 10, 08, 05

Sunnis Threaten Referendum Boycott if Rules Not Changed  10, 05, 05

Helping the Iraqi refugees in Jordan  10, 04, 05

Final Draft of Iraqi Constitution  10, 03, 05

Two More Assyrian Children Orphaned  10, 02, 05

Discoveries of the Assyrian antiquities in Syria 10, 01, 05 

Sectarian Strife tears apart Baghdad's Neighborhoods 10, 01, 05

September = Eilool

POLITICS-IRAQ: Kurd's Voting Shenanigans Cloud Key Province 9, 28, 05 

Church in Iraq Helps Rebuild New Orleans Parish; U.S. Relief Agency Bridges Partnership 9, 28, 05

The Armenian Genocide And The Assyrian Factor 9, 28, 05

Interview with the Writer and the Historian Rosie Malek-Younan 9, 28, 05

Assyrian Cultural Festival in Ceres CA. 9, 27, 05

Swedish Radio's Decision to End Turkish Language Broadcasts 9, 27, 05

Assyrian Refugees Face Harsh Discrimination in Greece 9, 26, 05

A cry of help by the Assyrians 9, 26, 05

samples of songs by various Eastern and Western Assyiran singers. 9, 24, 05

USAID: Iraq Reconstruction and Humanitarian Relief  9, 24, 05

4 Assyrians Killed in Assassination Attempt on Former Iraq Assyrian Minister  9, 23, 05 

Seminar in Stokholm About Seyfo ( world war one massacres)  9, 22, 05

Iraq chaos threatens ancient faith 9, 22, 05 

The Crimson Field Previews 9, 17, 05  

Treatment of Horses" by the Assyrian scientist of the 13th century Faraj  9, 21, 05 

A New Satellite T.V. Program From San Jose 9, 20, 05

English translation of the ancient Mesopotamian tablets  9, 20, 05

First Nestorian [Church of the East] search engine goes online 9, 19, 05

Download Assyrian ReeMon 9, 18, 05 

Letter from the 'Save the Assyrian Campaign'. 9, 16, 05 

Growing Opposition to Dividing the Assyrians 9, 16, 05

Books by Assyrian writers 9, 15, 05

English cardinal warns of Iraqi constitution  9, 14, 05

Brutality Against Christians in Iraq Continues 9, 13, 05

John Kanno for Congress  9, 12, 05

Reply to Culomnist Ken Rudin   9, 12, 05

Assyrians: Wine-producing season starts in Midyat 9, 11, 05

Iraqi Christians cautious about new constitution 9, 11, 05

Assyrian Human Rights Documentation Project Launched in Canada 9, 6, 05

Fire Consumes Over 500 Assyrian Shops in Baghdad Suburb 9, 6, 05 

Education in Armenia for Assyrians and other Minorities 9, 6, 05

Capital of Musasir gov't in northwest Iran Discovered  9, 5, 05

The Assyrian Democratic Organization Rejects Iraq's Constitution 9, 4, 05

The Ordeal of the Christians in Arab countries 9, 3, 05

August = Tubbakh

"Arab Christians"? Not in My View  8, 31, 05

Emotional Funeral for Assyrian Murdered By Kurds in Iraq 8, 31, 05 

Risking it all for a song 8, 31, 05

Iraq's draft constitution and the ChaldoAssyrians 8, 30, 05

Kurdish Reprisal Attacks Against Assyrian Christians in Iraq  8, 27, 05

For Basra's Christians, Hussein era the good old days 8, 28, 05

Assyrian Restuarant in Chicago Reminds Iraqis of Home 8, 28. 05

Assyrians in Northern Iraq terrorized by the Kurdish Mlitia 8, 27, 05

Iraq's Proposed constitution could lead to fragmented state. 8, 27, 05

Conflicts between Kurds and the Shabak 8, 26, 05

New Iraq constitution may throw women's rights into Stone Age  8, 26, 05

Assyrians of Telesqof demonstrate against being divided in the Constitution 8, 25. 05

Assyrian Demonstrators Voice their Concern about the New Iraqi Constitution 8, 24, 05

A letter from the Rep.of Shabak in the National Assermbly  8, 24, 05

New Iraq constitution must protect Christians 8, 22, 05 

The text of the latest Proposed Iraq Constitution  8, 22, 05

Outside View: Who lost Iraq?  8, 22, 05

Iraq's Religious Minorities Concerned About Islamic Constitution 8, 22, 05  

Iraq TV's 'Cops' breaks new ground  8, 21, 05  

Young Catholics Gather in Baghdad  8, 20 05

Iraqis Squeezed Out By Kurdish Expansion, Muslim-Centric Constitution 8, 20, 05

A Memoradum from the Christians of Iraq to the Drafters of the Constitution. 8, 20, 05

Shafting Nineveh: The Fate of Iraqi Christians 8, 20, 05

Plea for Assyrian Christians and Iraqi minorities 8, 18, 05

Undemocratic aspects of the new Iraqi constitution draft 8, 17, 05

Iraqis vent rage on call-in TV after bombs kill 43 8, 17, 05

Iraq's Non-Muslims' Constitution Fears  8, 17, 05

Kurdish Gunmen Open Fire on Demonstrators in North Iraq 8, 16, 05

Their suffering continues 8, 14, 05

IRAQ: Focus on constitutional concerns 8, 14, 05

Photos form homeland  8, 14, 05

Despite Turmoil, Christians Place Faith in New Iraq 8, 13, 05 

Iraqi-American Translators: The Untold Story 8, 12, 05

Life in Ankawa 8, 12, 05

Why Torah's Hebrew script was Changed to the square Assyrian script 8, 11, 05

Assyrian Restaurant in Chicago  8, 10, 05

Speech at the Commonwealth Club of California By Fred Aprim 8, 10, 05


72nd Assyrian American National Convention   8, 09, 05

Unresolved Iraqi Constitutional Points  8, 09, 05

Information wanted for Upcoming Documentary about Iraqi women 8, 09, 05

Assyrian Objection to the Nationality Law 8, 06, 05

Iraqi Christians Remember Church Bombings One Year Later 8, 05 05

Looted history  8, 05, 05 

Book Release: Rosie Malek-Yonan's "The Crimson Field" 8, 05, 05 

Iraq Must Avoid a Rollback of Rights 8, 04, 05 

Nina Shea: Rule of law, rule of Islam  8, 4, 05

Iraqis in U.S. Won't Vote on Constitution 8, 03, 05

Bush's Global War on Christians 8, 01, 05

An Open Letter to Patriarch Mar Ignatius Zakka I  8, 01, 05 

Democracy could struggle in Islamic Iraq  7, 30, 05

Assyrian Granny Shimmes's Contribution to Rendezvous of Civilizations 7, 29, 05

House amends funding bill to help Iraqi Christians 7, 29, 05

Iraq draft constitution fails to protect religious, human rights, USCIRF says  7, 29, 05


















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