There is, unfortunately, a terrible historical precedent. In the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first three decades of the twentieth, the Turkish government enforced policies that brought about the killing of about a million and a half Armenian Christians, one million Greek Orthodox Christians, and 275,000 Assyrian Christians. To this day, the Turkish government refuses to acknowledge this atrocity as a genocide, saying that it was simply a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims.
As we continue to see our own Mother Church of Constantinople suffering from religious persecution, we remember the victims of those genocides, and pray that these horrors never recur in Turkey or anywhere else.
“Turkey Ranks Among Top 10 Countries With Probability of Committing Genocide,” by Harut Sassounian, The Armenian Weekly, January 15, 2019:
According to the Early Warning Project of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Turkey is ranked 8th among countries with the highest risk of committing mass killings. Azerbaijan is wrongly ranked much lower at 87th, and Armenia is correctly ranked even lower at 102nd. Turkey is assessed as having 11.2 percent or a one in nine chance of new mass killings during 2019.
The Early Warning Project stated that “genocides are never spontaneous. They are always preceded by a range of early warning signs. If these signs are detected, their causes can be addressed, preventing the potential for catastrophic progression.”
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s founding charter, written by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, states that “only a conscious, concerted attempt to learn from past errors can prevent recurrence to any racial, religious, ethnic or national group. A memorial unresponsive to the future would also violate the memory of the past.”
Turkey’s high risk of committing genocide once again is based on its past and present actions. The Turkish government has not only committed genocide against Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks a century ago, but continues to commit mass killings against its minority Kurdish population. Even more concerning is the fact that Turkish leaders deny their history of mass murders and shamefully remain unapologetic, which leads to the commission of new crimes against humanity!
Turkey’s genocidal risk assessment is understated as the study only includes mass killings within a country, excluding the victims of interstate conflict. As Turkey has been involved in large-scale military attacks against Kurds in Syria and Iraq and threatens to expand its military actions in Northern Syria, the risk of its commitment of mass crimes is much higher than the study indicates….