Recognize Armenian genocide

The symbolic recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the House Foreign Relations Committee was long overdue. Like the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide – in which more than a million people were liquidated – is a well-documented event by scholars of history. The Turkish state and its operatives vehemently deny and distort the events, but if we counted on governments to provide us the truth we wouldn’t need history departments in academic institutions.

The schizophrenic reaction of the Turkish status quo is an example of how much the truth hurts. The atrocities against the Armenians were perpetrated by Ottoman Turks before the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923.

Just like we don’t blame today’s Germany for what the Nazis did against the Jews and other people in the tragic period of World War II, we will not blame modern day Turkey for the events of 1915. The key difference is that Germans admit to the Holocaust while Turks turn their heads away from the overwhelming historical facts that substantiate the tragic events.

In a spring visit to our campus, Turkish scholar Taner Ak‡am – who has studied the events extensively – argued that Turkey needs to recognize the Armenian Genocide in order to prevent similar events from happening again. Until then, it is crucial that the rest of the world recognizes it. I hope that our congressmen will pass the symbolic measure when it reaches the floor of the House.

Konstantinos Yfantis

University employee