ON THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE,
ONCE MORE, WE CONDEMN THOSE RESPONSIBLE!
HISTORY WILL NOT ALLOW THEM ESCAPE FROM BEING TRIED!
On 24th April 1915 the Ottoman government massacred one and a half million Armenians. 24th April 2015 is the 100th Anniversary of this genocide. This genocide committed a century ago has been systematically denied by the Turkish state, which is a continuation of the Ottoman government. All the efforts and exertions of the Turkish state were not enough to erase this genocide from the memory of humanity within the past century. Human history has never forgotten this genocide. The greatest fear of the Turkish state is: with the acceptance of the genocide, being tried at an international court, to pay remuneration and to return the assets, usurped from Armenians, to their descendants. It is no longer possible for the Turkish state that has been trying for a century to rid itself of this issue and to hide the Armenian genocide. Confronted with this truth, the Turkish state started its efforts to reverse this, to soften the genocide and claim that this crime was committed by the Ottomans.
These efforts were to exempt the Turkish state from any responsibility. In fact the president of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated in a statement he made on 24th April 2014, that: “The events that took place during the first world war are our common pain (…) We hope the Armenians who lost their lives in the conditions of early 20th century rest in peace and we extend our condolence to their descendants”. In saying this, a year before the centennial of the genocide, he is attempting to soften this crime against humanity, by passing on the responsibility, the so-called sharing in the pain of the Armenians. The fact that this was a lie was known from the statement issued by Erdoğan in 2011. In the statement issued on April 24th 2011 Erdoğan stated; “We reject the claim of genocide, because our ancestors could not have committed genocide (…) Turkey is sensitive to this issue (…) will not allow its honor to be insulted.’’ With this statement he stressed that such a thing as the Armenian massacre never happened and rejected the genocide.
The historical background of the Armenian genocide
Armenians who gained national structures were subjected to the oppression and domination by the feudal- conquestive and Ummahist Ottoman Empire which was founded in the middle ages. With the reality of the process of social nation building and forming into heterogeneous societies by the communities in the territory conquered by the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, formed a historical contradictions and this situation has led the Ottoman State to unbridled repression and onslaught against the Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians in Asia Minor as in the Balkans. On the other hand, increasing the repression on Kurds and Arabs. The Pan-Islamism doctrine that was raised during the periond of Abdulhamit II. With the addition of the Pan-Turkism by the Committee of Union and Progress has pushed them to create a new nation and this new doctrine, foresaw the destruction of nations and minorities in in their territory.
With these internal conditions the imperialism stage of capitalism has exasperated the international market competitions and brought the First Redivision War to the agenda. Led by Union and Progress the Ottoman empire allied with Germany, Austria/Hungary and took part in the First Redivions War, playing a catalyst role in the Armenian genocide. Thus the Armenian genocide took place under such historical conditions of Armenians being caugth between the Ottoman State and the Tsarist Russia.
A few hours after the Ottoman Empire and Germany secretly signed a political and military alliance on August 2nd 1914, the Unionists declared general mobilications, following this Armenians were quickly drafted. 300 hundred thousand Armenians were drafted. The drafted Armenians were first disarmed within the army, they were put to work in Labour Batalions which soon after was followed by their mass massacre in 1915.
With the start of the war, the Ottoman army suffered major losses against the Russian army. The Ottoman state attributed this loss to the Armenian support to Russia and this lead to Armenians becoming targets. Prior to the genocide, the Ottomans launched a large campaign. Everywhere Armenians were targeted. Starting in 1915, this campaign aimed at isolation and to break the resistance points. The Ottoman government decided on the massacre of Armenians and in order to prevent this becoming public to the world, the Armenian intellectuals were liquidated. On 24th April 1915 the Ottomans gathered 1000 of all the Armenian intellectuals and massacred them. The second stage of the genocide was to swiftly draft Armenians into the army to prevent an armed resistance. 300 thousand Armenians were drafted. These Armenians were initially disarmed in the Ottoman army, then put to work in the Army and then they were massacre. At the third stage of the genocide, the remaining Armenians were forced to leave their lands and sent into exile to the Der Zor desert in Syria. Hungry and thirsty women, children and elderly were forced to walk for days into exile. Everywhere they passed, they were assaulted by the accompanying Ottoman soldiers, gangs and some feudal Kurdish feudal lords, sheihks and tribal leaders. None of the Armenians reached their destination and a million and a half Armenians were massacred through genocide. Some Armenians who fled and survived the genocide fled from Van, Erzurum and Erzincan and sought refuge in Russian Armenia.
The primary aim behind the policy of forced displacement and genocidal policies towards the Armenians and the other oppressed nations and minorities was; the intention to Turkify the capital in the country. The Armenians and Greek generally engaged in trade and commerce, and held a significant part of the capital of the country during the late Ottoman period. The Armenian and Greeks were large capital holders, had become the agents for the imperialist capital in the Ottoman Empire. The means of production and wealth belonged to the Armenians, Greeks and non-Muslim nations and communities. This was not only in cities such as Istanbul or Izmir, but also in many cities, towns or villages of Anatolia and Mesopotamia inhabited by oppressed nations and minorities. For the Turkification to be successful it was expected that all this capital should be in the hands of the economically weak Turkish bourgeoisie.
The responsibility of the German imperialism in the Armenian genocide
Today, the support of the German imperialism to the Ottoman Empire is being more and more exposed. Germany’s policy to expand to the Far East through the Ottoman Empire has always strengthened the relations between Germany and the Ottoman Empire. The task of reconstruction of the Ottoman army after the loss of the Balkan wars – the Ottoman Empire being the semi-colony of Germany – was undertaken by German imperialism.
When the first imperialist world war broke out, all important posts in the Ottoman army were held by German officers. For the administration of the Ottoman military, the German army Colonel Bronsart Von Schellendorf was appointed. Over time, the entire Ottoman army was controlled by Germany with the administration fully passing to German officers. Germany was aware that the Ottoman Empire was going to massacre the Armenians. In fact when a priest, Johannes Pepsis held a press conference in Berlin to inform the public on the genocide against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, the German government of the time censored this news, because he exposed the involvement and responsibility of Germany. Many German soldiers in the Ottoman army took part in the massacre. The Armenians who fled the massacre in 1915 and took refuge in the Musa Mountains were besieged by soldiers under command of a German officers. Likewise in Urfa, breaking the Armenian resistance, the Ottoman officers were assisted by the German officer, Von Reischenberg. At the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Germany must accept this responsibility.
When German imperialism lost the first imperialist war, the Ottomans were also considered having lost the war. With the defeat of the war, some members of the Committee of Union and Progress fled abroad. The remaining Committee of Union and Progress members organized themselves around Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk) in order to build a new nation-state. The first thing the Kemalists did was to end the work of the courts investigating the Armenian genocide. All officers and Ottoman administrators were acquitted. All the land and property of Armenians were given to the new Turkish bourgeoisie. Thus, the current Turkish state being the continuation of the Kemalist proponents of the Armenian genocide is liable for the genocide.
The Turkish state still continues its hostility towards the Armenians. The fact that the murder of the chief editor of the Agos Newspaper, Hrant Dink, on 19th January 2007, by the counter insurgency gangs organized within the government has not yet been solved, is a clear expression of this. The Turkish state does not recognize the rights of any nation or minorities living in Turkey. The existence of millions of Kurds living in Turkey-Kurdistan was denied until recently. The Turkish state was forced to accept the existence of the Kurds, as a result of the tremendous struggle of the Kurdish national movement and it has still not recognized many democratic rights of the Kurds foremost the right of education in native tongue. Besides the Armenians the discriminatory policies of the Turkish state is still ongoing against the Laz, the Circassiaian, Greek and other minorities.
ON ITS 100TH ANNIVERSARY WE HAVE NOT AND WILL NOT FORGET THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE!
THE TURKISH STATE MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE GENOCIDE COMMITTED!
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