Dutch Parliament Officially Recognises The Genocide Of Armenians, Greeks And Syriacs By The Ottoman Empire

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Dutch Parliament Officially Recognises The Genocide Of Armenians, Greeks And Syriacs By The Ottoman Empire

The Dutch parliament has stated that it officially recognises the mass killing of Greeks, Armenians and Syriacs by the Ottoman Empire at the start of the 20th century as 'genocide'.

The mass killings which took place from 1915 onwards, in regions controlled by the Ottoman Empire, targeted ethnic minorities and resulted in millions of deaths. It is estimated that in the years that followed, 1.5 million Armenians, 300,000 Pontiac Greeks, and 700,000 Syriacs (Assyrians-Chaldeans-Arameans) were killed as part of an intentional campaign of ethnic cleansing.

The resolution went on to state:

"There is more urgency than ever for countries to clearly speak out about the past in order to advance reconciliation and prevent repetition in the future."

The Armenian population lived throughout modern day Turkey, the centre of the Ottoman Empire, and in the region that is now the nation-state of Armenia. Pontiac Greeks were individuals of Greek ethnic origin who lived mostly in the areas that are now eastern-Turkey and in the Black Sea region. Indeed, the very first settlers of the Black Sea region were Ionian Greeks who flourished during the Byzantine Empire, centred upon the ancient city of Miletus. While hundreds of thousands of Greeks were killed in pogroms backed by the Ottoman Empire, many more Greeks in the decades that followed were forced out of their ancestral homelands and became refugees who settled in the Greek state.

The Armenian genocide is widely considered, along with the Holocaust committed by the Nazis, and the Rwandan genocide of the 1990s, as one of the worst genocides of the 20th century. To this day, the modern Turkish state, which emerged following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, has refused to recognise the Armenian genocide or accept that the mass killings ever took place.

On hearing the news that the Netherlands had accepted the existence of the genocides, the Turkish government reacted by claiming that this was a 're-writing' of history. Turkish foreign ministry spokesperson, Hami Aksoy, told reporters:

"Councils are not venues to write history and trial it. Those who agree with this decision, instead of looking for what actually happened in 1915, are after votes as a populist."

He went on to say that the current Dutch government should instead focus on tackling racism and Islamophobia in their own country.

The modern Turkish state under Recep Erdogan is widely regarded by the international community as being authoritarian and expansionist.

[h/t: Greek Reporter]

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Thinking Humanity: Dutch Parliament Officially Recognises The Genocide Of Armenians, Greeks And Syriacs By The Ottoman Empire
Dutch Parliament Officially Recognises The Genocide Of Armenians, Greeks And Syriacs By The Ottoman Empire
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