(AINA) -- An open letter addressed to Turkish president Erdogan, and signed by 22 Assyrian, Kurdish and Turkish organizations, calls on the president to recognize the genocide of Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks which occurred during World War One.
See Assyrian Genocide 100 for more on the genocide. [http://www.aina.org/genocide100.html]
The letter says "In a democracy, to establish harmony in society and to heal past wounds, making peace with the past and accepting the truth is an expected behavior -- no matter how painful" and "We, the undersigned are hereby demanding an end to the Turkish government's adamant denial of the 1915 Genocide in the regions ruled under the Ottoman Empire and formerly called Anatolia and Mesopotamia. We demand the recognition of the 1915 Genocide and the restitution of the rights of its survivors.
Here is the full text of the letter:
The political movement in the Ottoman Empire called Ittihat ve Terraki Cemiyeti (the Committee of Union and Progress), with the help of some Kurdish forces, committed the premeditated, systematic and deliberate murder of the Christian population living in what was known as the Anatolia and Mesopotamia. Between 1915 and 1923, one and half million Armenians, over 500,000 Assyrians and over 350,000 Greeks were killed in the first genocide of the 20th century. Children and women, young and old, were ruthlessly slaughtered. The perpetrators of these heinous crimes forcibly occupied the victims' properties and land. The 1915 Genocide was a well-executed plan to take possession of these land areas.
In a democracy, to establish harmony in society and to heal past wounds, making peace with the past and accepting the truth is an expected behavior -- no matter how painful. Justice and human values should always take precedence over Politics. Instead, the Turkish government has chosen to deny and hide the truth about the 1915 Genocide and continues to defend the perpetrators.
One hundred years later Turkey's stance on the Genocide leaves the wounds of the past open, passing down generations of the Armenians, Assyrians and Pontic Greeks. The Turkish government's politics of denial are the main cause behind this country's full development into a truly enlightened and democratic country.
The people of Anatolia and Mesopotamia, in the last hundred years, have endured so much death and suffering. The worse of these was undoubtedly the Genocide that ended in the loss of millions of Armenians, Assyrians and Pontiac Greeks. Millions more were expelled from their ancestral lands. These displaced populations risk extinction of their culture entirely due to the Genocide of a hundred year ago. Therefore, it is imperative that the Turkish government would guarantee the safety of these ethnicities within its borders.
No single country should bear the heavy burden of genocide, yet to lessen this burden and to prevent new genocides from occurring in Anatolia, the Turkish government and the descendants of the perpetrators must express regret for the crimes committed against their Christian citizens and their relatives in the last century. The rights of the survivors of the Genocide must be recognized and their plights remedied. The government in Ankara must also open the Ottoman Archives for research and public inquiry.A
We, the undersigned are hereby demanding an end to the Turkish government's adamant denial of the 1915 Genocide in the regions ruled under the Ottoman Empire and formerly called Anatolia and Mesopotamia. We demand the recognition of the 1915 Genocide and the restitution of the rights of its survivors.
Assyrian Genocide Research Center (Seyfo)
Assyrian Youth Association in Sweden (AUF)
Assyrian Women's Association in Sweden (AKF)
Armenian Associations in Sweden
Pontiac Greeks Unions Association in Sweden
Assyrian Association of Europe (ZAVD)
Assyrian Democratic Organization (ADO)
Mezopotamiens Organization in the US
St. James Syrian Orthodox Cathedral in S?dert?lje
Alevi Federation of Sweden
Swedish-Turkish Solidarity Association in Stockholm
Mezopotamiens People's Congress
EuroKurd - Center for Human Rights
Mezopotamiens Democratic Change Party (MDDP)
Meopotamiens solidarity Association
Kurdish Council in Sweden
Kurdish Institute in Stockholm
Kurdish Institute in Brussels
Syrian Orthodox Church in Hallonbergen
Assyrian Youth district in Stockholm
Assyrian Association of cultur in Botkyrka