Today, April 24, is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, marking 106 years since the start of the Armenian Genocide, when the Ottoman Turks massacred approximately 1.5 million Armenians during World War I.
Most objective historians who have examined the topic unequivocally agree that it was a deliberate, calculated genocide. According to the Genocide Education Project:
More than one million Armenians perished as the result of execution, starvation, disease, the harsh environment, and physical abuse. A people who lived in eastern Turkey for nearly 3,000 years [more than double the amount of time the invading Islamic Turks had occupied Anatolia, now known as “Turkey”] lost its homeland and was profoundly decimated in the first large-scale genocide of the twentieth century. At the beginning of 1915 there were some two million Armenians within Turkey; today there are fewer than 60,000….
Despite the vast amount of evidence that points to the historical reality of the Armenian Genocide, eyewitness accounts, official archives, photographic evidence, the reports of diplomats, and the testimony of survivors, denial of the Armenian Genocide by successive regimes in Turkey has gone on from 1915 to the present.
Not only has Turkey repeatedly denied culpability for the Armenian Genocide; it appears intent on reigniting it, most recently by helping Azerbaijan wage war on Armenia in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, which again erupted in late 2020.
As Nikol Pashinyan, Armenia’s prime minister, observed in October 2020: “Why has Turkey returned to the South Caucasus 100 years [after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire]? To continue the Armenian Genocide.”
During this recent conflict that did not concern it, Turkey funded and funneled sharia-enforcing “jihadist groups,” in the words of French president Macron, that had been operating in Syria and Libya—including the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Hamza Division, which kept naked, sex slave women in prison—to terrorize and slaughter Armenians.
Among other ISIS-like behavior, these mercenaries and their Azerbaijani partners “tortured beyond recognition” an intellectually disabled 58-year-old Armenian woman by hacking off her ears, hands, and feet, before murdering her. Her family was only able to identify her by her clothes.
“Armenians,” according to a December 2020 report, “are being brutalized” and have “lost territory to their jihadist neighbors before agreeing to a cease-fire enforced by Russia…. Prior to violating the so-called peace agreement, the Turkish Muslims of Azerbaijan did as Muhammad commanded in beheading Christians.”
The report linked to a video of soldiers in camouflage overpowering a struggling, elderly Armenian man to the ground, before casually carving at his throat with a knife.
“Azerbaijan has accused Armenia of violating the peace deal first,” the report continues, “but observers note the only provocation Muslims need to attack Armenians is their continued existence.”
Anti-infidel rhetoric underscores this view. A captured terrorist confessed that he was “promised a monthly 2000 dollar payment for fighting against ‘kafirs’ in Artsakh, and an extra 100 dollar for each beheaded ‘kafir.’” (Kafir, often translated as “infidel,” is Arabic for non-Muslims who fail to submit to Islamic authority, which by default makes them enemies worthy of slavery or death.)
Similarly, Armenian churches that came under Azerbaijani control have been desecrated—despite promises from the authorities to protect them. In one instance, a soldier—unclear whether an Azeri or a jihadi mercenary from Syria or Iraq—was videotaped standing atop a church chapel, where the cross had been broken off, and triumphantly shouting “Allahu Akbar!” Azerbaijani forces also shelled and destroyed Holy Savior, an iconic Armenian cathedral which was “consecrated in 1888 but was damaged during the March 1920 massacre of Armenians of the city by Azerbaijanis and experienced a decades-long decline.”
More recently, according to a March 29, 2021 report, over the course of just two weeks, at least three Armenian churches in the Nagorno-Karabakh region were recently vandalized or destroyed by Azerbaijani forces—even though ceasefire was declared in November. Video footage of the desecration of one of these churches shows Azerbaijani troops entering the Christian place of worship, and then laughing, mocking, kicking, and defacing Christian items inside it, including a fresco of the Last Supper. Turkey’s flag appears on the Azerbaijani servicemen’s uniform, further implicating the Erdogan government of involvement. As they approach, one of the Muslim soldiers says, “Let’s now enter their church, where I will perform namaz.” (Namaz is a reference to Muslim prayers; when Muslims pray inside non-Muslim temples, they immediately become mosques.) In response to this video, Arman Tatoyan, an Armenian human rights activist, issued a statement:
The President of Azerbaijan and the country’s authorities have been implementing a policy of hatred, enmity, ethnic cleansing and genocide against Armenia, citizens of Armenia and the Armenian people for years. The Turkish authorities have done the same or have openly encouraged the same policy.
By way of example, he said that Azerbaijan’s President Aliyev proudly stated in early March that “the younger generation has grown up with hatred toward the enemy,” meaning Armenians.
Such hate, which is a precursor to genocide, seems evident everywhere. One need only listen to a Turkish man rant in a video about how all Armenians are “dogs,” and that any found in Turkey should be slaughtered for an idea of the impetus fueling this hate:
What is an Armenian doing in my country? Either the state expels them or we kill them. Why do we let them live?… We will slaughter them when the time comes…. This is Turkish soil. How are we Ottoman grandchildren?…. The people of Turkey who have honor, dignity, and Allah must cut the heads of the Armenians in Turkey. It is dishonorable for anyone to meet and not kill an Armenian… If we are human, let us do this—let us do it for Allah…. Everyone listening, if you love Allah, please spread this video of me to everyone…
Similarly, in response to a question being asked to random passersby on the streets of Turkey—“If you could get away with one thing, what would you do?”—a woman recently replied on video: “What would I do? Behead 20 Armenians.” She then looked directly at the camera, and smiled while nodding her head.
Much of this genocidal hate is unsurprising, considering that Turkish public school textbooks continue demonizing Armenians—in fact, Christians in general, and Jews—as a recent study found.
If Turks, who are not affected by the Armenian/Azerbaijani conflict, feel this way, it should be unsurprising that any number of Azerbaijanis do too. Thus, for Nurlan Ibrahimov, head of the press service of Qarabag football club of Azerbaijan, “We [Azerbaijanis] must kill all Armenians—children, women, the elderly. [We] need to kill [them] without [making a] distinction. No regrets, no compassion.”
Accordingly, today, on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, it is well to remember not only what happened then, but what is clearly being primed to happen again.