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A century of violence: From the Turkish Massacres of Armenians to the Taksim Demonstrations

A century of violence: From the Turkish Massacres of Armenians to the Taksim Demonstrations

A century of violence: From the Turkish Massacres of Armenians to the Taksim Demonstrations

Al-Bawabah News, Egypt

Aug 17 2013

By Karam Saeed

In an unprecedented move, Cairo has announced the signing of the
Convention which condemns the Armenian genocide committed by the
Turks (the Ottoman Empire) on April 24, 1915. This action from
official Cairo comes in accordance with its policy first to uphold
human rights, and second in response to the Turkish interference in
and continuous attempt to internationalize Egyptian affairs.

The systematic violence and gruesome massacres committed by the
Ottoman Empire against the Armenians during and after World War I was
not the first; it was preceded by a long series of oppressive
practices against the people of the Vilayets of the Ottoman Empire at
the time.

Concerning modern Turkey, it has not yet cleansed itself from the
rotten repression that still has a hold on the official organs and
politicians in that country; the excessive force used to break up a
peaceful demonstration in Taksim Square in Istanbul only reveals not
only the decline in the popularity of the ruling Justice & Development
Party but also the corruption which the Party tries to conceal
sometimes by interfering in the affairs of neighboring countries, and
other times, by promoting alleged agreements in internal chronic
disputes, such as the Kurdish issue.

However, the widely recognized holocaust of the Armenians is
considered to be the first crime of genocide in modern history – and
the second largest cause of massacres after the Jewish Holocaust –
which has exterminated nearly one & a half million people, in addition
to the forced deportation of a number of other residents.

Interestingly, the plan to exterminate the Armenians was prepared in
advance, especially after the then Ottoman Empire signed a secret
treaty with Germany, which devised to change the eastern border of the
Empire to include a corridor to the ethnic Muslims in Russia and this
would essentially require the uprooting of the Armenians from that

To justify the Turkish plans, the Ottoman Empire claimed that Russia
was inciting the Russian-Armenians living near the Russian-Ottoman
border, and supplying them with  money and weapons, as well as
training them and helping them to form armed groups such as the
Henchak, Tashnak and others. In addition, Turkey also spread rumors
that the British also played a role in supporting these organizations
because the British wanted to break up the Ottoman Empire that stood
equally strong during the First World War.

The horrors of the Armenian massacres still cause nightmares to
Turkey, which so far has refused to recognize the massacres, but
instead denies these massacres committed by its ancestors; however,
the United Nations, the European organizations, and those concerned
with human rights have succeeded in restoring the momentum of the
Armenian question, as twenty countries have officially recognized
these massacres as Genocide..

Hence comes the Egyptian move to recognize the massacres of the
Armenians, to do justice to this human rights issue that international
powers have been trading off with Ankara, while others are turning a
deaf ear and ignoring human values that are based on humankind’s right
to live with respect.


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