On this day, the Armenian, Greek, and Assyrian communities commemorate the genocide that began in 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish Government aided by its collaborators. Millions of Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians were systematically massacred or expelled in the course of several years.
The Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek Genocide of 1915 stands as an important reminder that crimes against humanity must not go without recognition, condemnation, and resolution. Stopping the cycle of genocide begins by confronting the past and speaking truthfully about past crimes and genocides. Recognition acknowledges the gravity of the offenses perpetrated against these communities, initiates the healing process, and promotes reconciliation.
Genocide denial is the final stage of genocide—it fuels ongoing genocidal violence and emboldens those who would commit future atrocities. Despite overwhelming documentation by historians and condemnations by scores of countries around the world, Turkey has failed to acknowledge the genocide and has yet to be held accountable for its crimes. Turkish authorities continue to obstruct research and efforts promoting awareness and recognition.
We urge the United States to join nations around the world in formally recognizing the events of 1915 as genocide. U.S. officials must also pressure Turkey to confront its past and accept responsibility for the Armenian, Assyrian, Greek Genocide. Proper recognition of the atrocities committed in 1915 and compensation for the victims is a critical step toward building a foundation for a more just and tolerant future.
As we remember and honor the memory of all those who tragically lost their lives, we recognize the resilience of the Assyrian people who continue to suffer through cycles of genocide more than a century later and renew our pledge to support Assyrians as they struggle to maintain their rights in the lands they have inhabited for thousands of years.