Nalbandian: Racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance grossly violate human dignity and give rise to tensions within and between societies. That is why the fight against them became one of the main priorities of our chairmanship.
by Marianna Mkrtchyan
Armenians in Syria persecuted by Islamic rebels have to leave the country, writes Robert Fisk, the Independent correspondent in his item "Nearly a century after the Armenian genocide, these people are still being slaughtered in Syria."
"The Armenian death toll in Syria is a mere 65; but I suppose we might make that 1,500,065. More than a hundred Armenians have been kidnapped. The Armenians, of course, like many other Christians in Syria, do not support the revolution against the Assad regime - although they could hardly be called Assad supporters...And the descendants of the Armenian Christian survivors who found sanctuary in the old Syrian lands have been forced to flee again - to Lebanon, to Europe, to America," the correspondent writes.
"...Two years from now, they will commemorate the 100th anniversary of their Holocaust. I have met many survivors, all now dead. But the Turkish state, supporting the present revolution in Syria, will be memorialising its victory at Gallipoli that same year, a heroic battle in which Mustafa Kemal Ataturk saved his country from Allied occupation. Armenians also fought in that battle - in the uniform of the Turkish army, of course - but I will wager as many dollars as you want that they will not be remembered in 2015 by the Turkish state which was so soon to destroy their families," Fisk writes.
Fisk tells that just over 30 years ago, he dug the bones and skulls of Armenian genocide victims out of a hillside above the Khabur River in Syria. "They were young people - the teeth were not decayed - and they were just a few of the million-and-a-half Armenian Christians slaughtered in the first Holocaust of the 20th century, the deliberate, planned mass destruction of a people by the Ottoman Turks in 1915.
It was difficult to find these bones because the Khabur River - north of the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zour - had changed. So many were the bodies heaped in its flow that the waters moved to the east. The very river had altered its course. But Armenian friends who were with me took the remains and placed them in the crypt of the great Armenian church at Deir ez-Zour, which is dedicated to the memory of those Armenians who were killed - and shame upon the "modern" Turkish state which still denies this Holocaust - in that industrial mass murder," he writes.