It’s About Time

Here are news from the Biden administration and some information on the same subject that reaches back into the late 19th century.

Biden recognizes Armenian genocide: Turkish officials criticize statement” was the headline in the Springfield Sunday Republican over an Associated Press report, one of several AP versions, in this morning’s papers. HERE it is on the website of the Florida TV station WESH. 

Just below is an entry in the 2000 edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. (Things in upper case indicate that they have separate entries in the encyclopedia.)

Armenian massacres  GENOCIDE of Turkish Armenians by the Ottomans under ABDÜLHAMID II in 1894-96 and by the YOUNG TURK government in 1915-16. In 1894, when the Armenians began agitating for territorial autonomy and protesting against high taxes, Turkish troops and Kurdish tribesmen killed thousands. In 1896, hoping to call attention to their plight, Armenian revolutionaries seized the Ottoman Bank in Istanbul. Mobs of Muslim Turks, abetted by elements of the government, killed more than 50,000 Armenians in response. Sporadic killings occurred over the decades. In 1915, in response to the formation of anti-Turk Armenian battalions, the Turkish government deported 1.75 million Armenians south to Syria and Mesopotamia, in the course of which 600,000 Armenians were killed or died of starvation.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comment in the AP story on President Biden’s action is worth highlighting because it applies to other matters as well: “The truth of these heinous crimes has too often been denied, [their] monstrosity minimized. … History teaches us that if we ignore its darkest chapters, we are destined to witness the horrors of the past be repeated.

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