A 100 Years of Denial.

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In 1915 as a result of the Genocide over a million Armenians lost their homes in Turkey. During 1915 and 1918 they were subjected to forced deportation, torture, and starvation. Women were enslaved, raped, tortured, and elderly and men were hanged and shot, babies were…

piling living babies on top of each other and setting fire to them…”

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Thousands of people were sent to Syrian Desert where they died of deliberate dehydration and starvation. Till these days this brutally planned atrocity is not recognized as genocide by Turkish government.

On www.cnn.com Jethro Mullen wrote that “Turkey officially denies that a genocide took place, saying hundreds of thousands of Armenian Christians and Turkish Muslims died in intercommunal violence around the bloody battlefields of World War I.”

On April 12th, Pope Francis risked to call Armenian Genocide as “the first genocide of the 20th century”. That specific term “genocide” and Pope’s comment sparked an aggressive reaction of Turkey government.

“The Vatican will come out as the biggest loser if we are all giving account for past sufferings and pain caused,” Mehmet Gormez, head of the Religious Affairs Directorate, the highest religious authority in largely Muslim Turkey, told Reuters in an interview.

The term “genocide” did not exist before 1944. But this fact doesn’t diminish the supremely violent effect of massacres against Armenians. Genocide refers to violent crimes against groups with the organized intent to  destroy the existence of the group.

The Armenians were seen as alien and a major obstacle to the fulfillment of the … goals of creating a homogenous Turkish society,”said Alejandro Baer, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan agrees that Armenians were killed, but denies that this could be accounted as genocide. “It is out of the question for there to be a stain, a shadow called ‘genocide’, on Turkey.”

By rejecting the truth and remaining ignorant Turkey is thickening the veil of the shadow. They could have acknowledge Armenian genocide years ago and strive to establish closest friend and Allies relationship with Armenia. But instead of “dealing with genocide”, they think that it is almost a crime to mention it.

Germany is a great example. This country transformed their identity after World War II and people were able to recover their culture. Now they live with the mission to prevent anything similar to Holocaust happening ever again.

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A St. Sahag Church in St. Paul Minnesota is working hard on raising awareness about the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. You may see remembrance billboards in St. Paul and Bloomington that were sponsored by this small church.

In his interview with pioneerpress.com father Tadeos, pastor of St Sahag Church has shared; “Our purpose is not to condemn somebody. It’s not to blame somebody. It’s to tell our story. If you cannot remember what happened in the past, we cannot deal with the issues that are facing the world today.”

A century should be enough time for people to come to terms with the past.  But time does NOT heal the wounds. How people deal with time and what they do with time that HEALS.

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