Yerevan (AINA) -- The Armenian National Assembly voted today to recognize the genocide of Assyrians and Greeks that was committed by Ottoman Turks during World War One, between 1915 and 1923. The genocide claimed the lives of 750,000 Assyrians (75%), 500,000 Greeks and 1.5 million Armenians.
The genocide recognition bill, sponsored by the Republican Party, received 117 yay votes and 14 abstentions. There were no nay votes. The formal title of the bill is "On the Genocide of the Greeks and Assyrians Perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey between 1915 and 1923." The bill was authored by Eduard Sharmazanov, Armen Rustamyan, Hovhannes Sahakyan, Edmon Marukyan, Arpine Hovhannisyan, Tevan Poghosyan, Gurgen Arsenyan, Heghine Bisharyan, Alexander Arzumanyan, Vahram Baghdasaryan, Hermine Naghdalyan, Margarit Yesayan, Lyudmila Sargsyan.
Eduard Sharmazanov, the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, said:
We have chosen to adopt a declaration because the National Assembly of Armenia adopts declarations in very important cases. In this case, we proposed, discussed and came to the conclusion that the adoption of a declaration would be more appropriate because it's not every day that the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia adopts a declaration. In this sense, by submitting the draft as a declaration on condemnation, we want to show society and our Greek and Assyrian brothers and sisters and the international community that the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia and all the political forces attach importance to condemnation of the genocide perpetrated against the Greeks and Assyrians.
In 2007 the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) recognized the Assyrian and Greek genocides (AINA 2007-12-15). In 2010 Sweden recognized the Assyrian, Greek and Armenian Genocide (AINA 2010-03-12).
Sabri Atman, director of the Assyrian Genocide Research Center, said:
The systematic genocide the Ottoman State and its Kurdish allies committed against Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks during World War 1 is no longer a gain for Turkey and we will never allow it to be as such. We salute the Republic of Armenia for its decision to recognize the Assyrian and Greek Genocide. This encourages us and gives us strength to be recognized internationally.
Turkey cannot take its place among the civilized nations of the world if it does not take full responsibility for the horrific crime of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocide.
Turkey should stop its denial mentality and should stop its support to criminal and barbaric organization, such as ISIS, that are now continuing to commit genocide against our people in Iraq and Syria.
Turkey should know that the descendants of the survivors of the "forgotten Genocide" will never stop demanding recognition.
While the Armenian genocide is widely known and recognized, the Assyrian and Greek genocides are lesser known. But these genocides cannot be separated from the Armenian genocide, as they were perpetrated at the same time and by the same policy. The genocide of the Assyrians, Greeks and Armenians is one and the same. It was a genocide against Christians.
Assyrians have worked with Greeks and Armenians to pressure Turkey to recognize the genocide of World War One.
To date, Assyrians have erected genocide monuments in 9 cities around the world (story).