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85 Years after the genocide against the Suryoye people

85 Years have passed by now since that bitter catastrophe of the great genocide against the Suryoye people took place in Asia Minor, thethen Ottoman Empire, in 1915 and during the following years of WWI. The wounds however inflicted in thosetimes which mark one of the darkest epochs of ourhistory and all the pains caused by this have beenpassed on from generation to generation and are to befelt and soaring still today. But, although thegenocide of 1915 and following had such a deep impacton the Suryoye people as to shake it in itsfundaments this tragic fate and these terrible factshave remained largely unknown to the world publichitherto.

In a phase of globalization when boundaries anddifferences between people and between countries arelifted past and present genocides have come forth intothe sphere of responsibility of all mankind. This applies especially today as the European Union (EU) has extended its boundaries, has widely opened thedoors for Turkey and has intensively addressed theNear and the Middle East. Against this background thegenocide of 1915 and following which constitutes acrime against humanity has meanwhile become also anEuropean problem.

Today as we are approaching the 21st century there isevery where talk of peace among individual human beingsas well as among peoples and nations. In this spiritmany powers and forces which have committed and arestill committing crimes against humanity and whichpose a danger to global peace are held accountable for their deeds. In the first months of the year 2000 the Holocaust against the Jews was once again set on theagenda of social and political dealings. In this connection many European states have apologised andasked forgiveness according to their guilt and activeinvolvement in those terrible crimes.

However the genocide perpetrated against the Suryoye people remained unaddressed and/orsimply forgotten. On this issue there is only deadsilence. But in order to reveal and to clear up alsothis genocide states, international institutions and bodies as well as the world public have to open theireyes and to responsibly fulfil the task resting upontheir shoulders. We demand the recognition of that genocide of 1915 and following during which more than 500,000 innocent people – i.e. TWO THIRD of the Suryoye people – were barbarously murdered,and that there shall be justice done by condemning theresponsible Ottoman Turks and the feudal Kurds and furthermore by calling Turkey - being the legalsuccessor of the Ottoman Empire - to account.

Against that background we appeal to the world publicto show solidarity with the Suryoye peopleand its just existence struggle for national survivaland to come in active support for our demands below:

Under the guidance of the United Nations (UN) and theEuropean Union (EU) the said genocide of 1915 andfollowing shall be brought onto international platforms for which purpose special conferences are tobe set up.Recognition of the national identity of the Suryoye people Recognition of the national, social and culturalrights of the Suryoye people irrespective ofits place of residence.The recognition of the genocide of 1915 and following against our people by today’s Turkey as the legalsuccessor of the Ottoman Empire and the fullassumption by Turkey of her moral, conscientious,political, social and economic responsibility for allthose crimes which were then perpetrated against the Suryoye as well as for all those crimes which she has been committing against our people untiltoday.The immediate stop of the national, social andcultural oppression against us, stop of the policy ofannihilation against our Suryoye people andstop of the policy of denial of our national existenceas well as the international support for fightingthose intolerable abuses and injustices.

With shock, anger and resentment we condemn the perpetrators of the genocide 1915 and following whichhas left a great bleeding wound in the heart of the Suryoye people. Further more we appeal toevery individual invoking peace, humanity and justiceto condemn this genocide and to support the just struggle of the Suryoye people.

Co-ordination Committee for National Issues of the Suryoye people
April 08, 2000

Suryoyo Online
Webmaster: Gabriel Rabo
Updated: 15.05.2000