On Oct. 29, the U.S. House of Representatives recognized the Armenian Genocide, with a vote of 405–11. “The Turkish government has long denied the term genocide to describe the slaughter and has waged a lobbying campaign in the US and around the world to discourage the use of that word in reference to the killings,” said Lauren Gambino on the Gaurdian in the article titled “US House overwhelmingly votes to recognize Armenian genocide.”
The Armenian genocide was a genocide where over 1.5 million Armenians died from “forced exodus, starvation and killings by Ottoman Turk soldiers and the police,” said Catie Edmondson and Rick Gladstone from the New York Times.
Armenians, along with Kurds, lived in the Eastern part of Turkey. During the Ottoman Empire, Armenians and many ethnic groups lived in peace for centuries until the late 19th and 20th century — when hate crimes against Armenian civilians started to occur.
In 1894, an alleged count of 10,000 Armenians were murdered by Ottoman troops and Kurdish tribesmen due to Armenians in the Sasun region refusing to pay illegal taxes. Thousands of Armenians were killed in these brutal attacks up to the date of 1915, the Armenian genocide.
“The government imprisoned 250 Armenian community leaders and intellectuals of Constantinople in April 1915. After the Tehcir law was passed on May 29, 1915, some Armenian leaders were deported while others were assassinated,” Wordatlas wrote on their article titled “What was the Armenian genocide.”
Despite denial of the Armenian genocide, especially by the Turkish government, it needs to be acknowledged as one. Nobody can deny the deaths of over 1.5 million Armenians as an “accident”— to do so is inhumane.
The Armenian Genocide Memorial Day in Armenia is April 24th. Many Armenians and people come together on this day to remember the millions of innocent civilians murdered or displaced from their homes. It is important for humans to recognize and participate in vigils to show that we are united and will not be separated.
Though the Armenian genocide is officially recognized by our American congress, it is now time for it to be recognized by the Turkish government. But in order for this to happen, they must gain democracy.
The Turkish government has violated many human rights policies and the laws overall, with the incarceration of innocent mothers, fathers, women, elders and children. They have displaced many people from their villages and homes and have been behind the deaths of many who try to flee.
A proper remembrance day for those who died during the Armenian genocide must be organized in Turkey. Because in the words of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “If we ignore history, then we are destined to witness the mistakes of the past be repeated.”