The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Turkish genocide are themselves victims today.
April 24 marks the centennial of the Armenian genocide – or more precisely, the 100th anniversary of a particular point in the unfolding of the Armenian genocide. On that day in 1915, hundreds of Armenian intellectuals were rounded-up and deported from Istanbul, beginning a campaign of ethnic cleansing which would ultimately reduce the Armenian population in Turkey from over 2 million to under 400,000. Hundreds of thousands were killed outright by what we today have come to call death squads; a million more died of starvation and the rigors of a forced exodus to Syria and Russia.
In his Sunday sermon on April 12, “Pope Francis referred to the 1915 Turkish mass killings of Armenians as the ‘first genocide of the 20th century.’”
This papal declaration instantly flared into a diplomatic uproar. It absolutely infuriated Turkey’s Islamist President Tayyip Erdogan, who “warned” the Pope against repeating his “mistaken” statement.
World leaders including Russia’s Vladimir Putin and France’s François Hollande paid their respects. More than one million people are expected to gather in the landlocked nation’s capital on Friday to commemorate the estimated 1.5 million Armenians who were slaughtered as the Ottoman Empire crumbled in 1915.
As the world continues to look on in dismay at the barbaric atrocities committed against Christian minorities by the Islamic State—the self-proclaimed new “caliphate”—today, April 24, marks the genocide of Armenian and other Christian minorities by Turkey’s Islamic Ottoman Empire—the last caliphate.
The Young Turks came to power in the Ottoman Empire in a coup d'état on 24 July 1908, effectively deposing Sultan Abdul-Hamid II. Once they seized power, they proceeded to systematically replace old Ottoman bureaucrats with young Muslims, fired with the passion to create Turan -- a Turkic state stretching from the Adriatic to the Great Wall of China.
Egyptian Military Attacks and Kills Peaceful Coptic Demonstrators
Coptic Solidarity strongly and unequivocally condemns the Egyptian army’s unprovoked attack and massacre of unarmed Copts that occurred on Sunday, October 09, 2011—an attack which reflects the deeply disturbing actions by Egypt’s military rulers to prevent the establishment of a free and democratic Egypt, and to avoid its duty to protect Egyptians, including the Coptic Christians.
The demonstration itself, in which Copts and other Egyptians participated, was a direct result of repeated attacks over the past months, especially the recent destruction of yet another church in Edfu, in which Copts were repeatedly attacked by Islamists without any perpetrator being brought to justice, a pattern that suggests complicity by the ruling Junta.
The unwarranted use of force by the military included opening live fire on demonstrators and even chasing after and intentionally running over Copts with armored vehicles and tanks (military equipment that was most likely provided by the U.S. military aid). Authorities put the death toll of protesters at 25, though other sources offer significantly higher numbers. The wounded are reportedly in the hundreds. Scores of Copts have been randomly arrested.
Dr Emad Gad, a senior political analyst at the Al-Ahram Center for Strategic Studies, and an eyewitness of the events, said on El-Nile government TV station that the peaceful demonstrators were attacked by unprovoked military in such a way that amounts to “war crime” and “crime against humanity” putting the responsibility squarely on Tantawi’s shoulders. He was quickly shut up by the anchor.
Dr Mohamed Mounir Megahed, a well respected activist and participant in the demonstration, attested that it was, similar to previous demonstrations, very peaceful with no sign that demonstrators had the means or intention to use violence.
Nawara Nigm, a Muslim activist and a first hand witness, confirmed that the demonstration which included many women was peaceful, and that security forces shot live ammunition on unarmed people. She saw a soldier beating a young man after seeing that his arm was tattooed with a cross.
The Alliance of Revolutionary Youth accused the SCAF and the government of utter failure in handling the situation and the state-run TV of inciting sedition between the country’s communities.
During the events, military officials shut down two independent media, including US-funded Alhurra TV, apparently to prevent them from providing live coverage of the protests.
Such brutality comes days after nearly 20 members of the army’s military police were clandestinely videotaped beating, dragging, and kicking a Coptic protester—all while shouting anti-Christian slogans, such as “You infidel son of a bitch.”
Coptic Solidarity demands that, in the same way Mubarak is being tried for his responsibility in ordering attacks against civilians before his ouster, Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, chief of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and Lt. General Hamdy Badeen, commander of the Military Police, be investigated to determine their responsibility for committing crimes against humanity and against the Egyptian people.
Coptic Solidarity strongly urges that the international community, through the United Nations, lead an independent international investigation in the attack similar to what the UN ordered after an Israeli attack on Gaza.
Coptic Solidarity (www.copticsolidarity.org)
P.O. Box 1450 Centreville, VA 20122, USA
21 bis rue du Simplon 75018 Paris, France
For further information:
USA: Halim Meawad (1-240-644-5153), Caroline Doss (201-418-9090)
Magdi Khalil (1-202-725-3091)
Canada: Maher Rizkalla (1-905-399-4147)
Europe Adel Guindy (+33-1-4701-2600), Helmy Guirguis (+44-7775-800-929),
Sobhy Gress (+33-6-3129-4779)
Australia Ayad Grace (+61-2-9899-5740)
Coptic Solidarity 2015 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 11-13, 2015.