Church of Armenia
The Church of Armenia, sometimes called the Armenian Apostolic Church or the Armenian Orthodox Church is one of the Oriental Orthodox churches. It separated from the Eastern Orthodox Church in AD 506, after the Council of Chalcedon (AD 451).
Liturgically, the Church has much in common with the Roman Catholic Church. For example, their bishops wear vestments almost identical to those of Western bishops. The Armenian Apostolic Church should not, however, be confused with the Armenian Catholic Church, which is in union with the Roman Catholic Church. They also typically do not use a full iconostasis, but rather a curtain.
|Armenia | Alexandria | Ethiopia | Antioch | India | Eritrea|
|Armenia: Cilicia | Jerusalem | Constantinople|
Alexandria: Britain | Antioch: Jacobite Indian
Christianity in Armenia
Tradition tells us that the Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew first brought Christianity to the land of the Armenians in the first century. However, it would not be for about 200 more years that Armenia would become the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion, in AD 301, when St. Gregory the Illuminator, a missionary from Caesarea, converted the king of Armenia, Trdat IV, to Christianity. In time, St. Gregory was sent back to Caesarea to be elevated to the episcopate and returned to Armenia as the first Catholicos (or "universal" bishop of an area). Gregory's son, Aristakes, attended the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea in AD 325.
In addition to the obvious spiritual benefits which resulted from the "baptism" of Armenia, this conversion aided in unifying various ethnic groups into a cohesive Armenian identity. The Armenian Church was instrumental in the early missions to neighboring Georgia and Caucasian Albania.
The Council of Chalcedon
Historically, the Armenian church has been labeled monophysite because it (just as the Coptic Orthodox Church) rejected the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon, which condemned monophysitism. The Armenian Church officially severed ties with the West in 554, during the second Council of Dvin where the dyophysite formula of the Council of Chalcedon was rejected.
However, the Armenian Orthodox Church argues that this is a wrong description of its position, as it considers Monophysitism, as taught by Eutyches and condemned at Chalcedon, a heresy and only disagrees with the formula defined by that council. The Armenian church instead adheres to the doctrine defined by Cyril of Alexandria, considered as a saint by the Chalcedonian churches as well, who described Christ as being of one incarnate nature, where both divine and human nature are united. To distinguish this from Eutychian and other versions of Monophysitism this position is called miaphysitism.
In recent times, both Chalcedonian and anti-Chalcedonian churches have developed a deeper understanding for each other's positions, recognizing the substantial agreement while maintaining their respective theological language. Hence, the Monophysite label is avoided when describing the Armenians' or Copts' belief regarding the Nature of Christ. It should be noted that the Armenian Church was not represented by its Supreme Patriarch - the Catholicos during the Council of Chalcedon, because the country was in war at the time, so instead a delegation of clergymen was sent.
The Armenian Genocide (Template:Lang-hy ("Hayoc' c'ejaspanut'iwn"), Template:Lang-tr) — also known as the Armenian Holocaust, Great Calamity (Մեծ Եղեռն "Mec Ejer'n" ) or the Armenian Massacre — was the forcible deportation and massacre of hundreds of thousands to over 1.5 million Armenians during the government of the Young Turks from 1915 to 1917 in the Ottoman Empire.
It is widely acknowledged to have been one of the first modern, systematic genocides, as many Western sources point to the sheer scale of the death toll as evidence for a systematic, organized plan to eliminate the Armenians. The event is also said to be the second-most studied case of genocide after the Nazi Holocaust. To date twenty-two countries have officially recognized it as genocide. The government of the Republic of Turkey rejects the characterization of the events as genocide.
The status of the Ottoman Armenians
Template:See also Under the millet system of Ottoman law, Armenians (as dhimmis, along with Greeks, Jews and other ethnic and religious minorities) were subject to laws different from those applied to Muslims. They had separate legal courts, although disputes involving a Muslim fell under sharia-based law. Armenians were exempt from serving in the military and were instead made to pay an exemption tax, the jizya; their testimony in Islamic courts was inadmissible against Muslims; they were not allowed to bear arms, and they had to pay a higher tax, despite being one of the largest minorities in the Ottoman Empire.
In 1914, there were an estimated two million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. While the Armenian population in Eastern Anatolia was large and clustered, there were many Armenians in the western part of the Ottoman Empire, particularly in and around Constantinople. It was nearly two decades earlier, though, that the first massacres against Armenians in Anatolia had started; The New York Times quoted a Turkish embassy gazette in 1896 that stated: "It wasn't the Porte that caused the massacres in Armenia, but the Christian propaganda in Asia Minor where their cry, "Down with Islam," initiated the war of the crescent against the cross." 
Before the war
Abdul Hamid II's reign, 1876-1909
Sultan Abdul Hamid II suspended the constitution early in his reign, assuming dictatorial powers. As the Ottoman Empire declined, Armenian political resistance stiffened, resulting in several massacres of Armenians throughout Abdul Hamid's reign. By the last years of the 19th century, after a series of massacres in 1894 and 1895, the New York Times noted an apparent "policy of extermination directed against the Christians of Asia Minor".
In 1908, the Ottoman Empire came under the control of the Young Turks, a secular movement aiming to restore constitutional and parliamentary rule. The movement was welcomed by religious minorities throughout the Empire. In 1909, as the authority of the nascent Young Turk government splintered, Abdul Hamid II briefly regained his sultanate with a populist appeal to Islamism. 30,000 Armenians perished in the subsequent Adana Massacre. When two U.S.-born missionaries were killed in the 1909 massacres, Ottoman authorities attributed the killings to "Armenians" who killed them as they "were helping to put out a fire in the house of a Turkish widow." This report was later contradicted by an American priest who witnessed the killings, who suggested that the missionaries were killed by "Moslems".
Young Turk leadership
The Young Turk leadership recovered from the Sultan's 1909 countercoup. By this time, however, the Young Turk revolutionaries were already hardened in their distrust and resentment of Ottoman Christians. According to Erik Jan Zürcher of the University of Leiden,
Implementation of the Genocide
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers. İsmail Enver, Minister of War, launched an unsuccessful military campaign against Russian forces in the Caucasus in hopes of capturing the city of Baku. His forces were routed at the Battle of Sarikamis, and many more of his men froze to death in the retreat.
Returning to Istanbul, Enver largely blamed the Armenians living in the region for actively siding with the Russians. By 1914, Ottoman authorities had already begun a propaganda drive to present Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire as a threat to the country's security. An Ottoman naval officer in the War Office described the planning:
Legislation, May 29
In May 1915, Mehmed Talat Pasha requested that the cabinet and grand vizier legalize the deportations of the Armenians of Anatolia. On 29 May 1915, the CUP Central Committee passed the Temporary Law of Deportation (Tehcir Law), giving the Ottoman government and military authorization to deport anyone it "sensed" as a threat to national security. Several months later, the Temporary Law of Expropriation and Confiscation was passed, stating that all property, including land, livestock, and homes belonging to Armenians, was to be confiscated by the authorities. Ottoman parliamentary representative Ahmed Riza protested the legislation:
The confiscation of Armenian property and the slaughter of Armenians that ensued upon the law's enactment outraged much of the western world. While the Ottoman Empire's wartime allies offered little protest, a wealth of German and Austrian historical documents has since come to attest to the witnesses' horror at the killings and mass starvation of Armenians. In the United States, The New York Times reported almost daily on the mass murder of the Armenian people, describing the process as "systematic", "authorized" and "organized by the government." Theodore Roosevelt would later characterize this as "the greatest crime of the war."
With the passage of Tehcir Law, Enver ordered that all Armenians in the Ottoman forces be disarmed, demobilized and assigned to labor battalions (Turkish: amele taburlari). Many of the Armenian recruits were executed by Ottoman squads known as chetes. Some of the Armenian recruits were utilized as laborers (hamals), though they too would ultimately be executed.
The Special Organization (Teşkilat-ı Mahsusa)
While there was an official 'special organization' founded in December 1911 by the Ottoman government, a second organization that participated in what led to the destruction of the Ottoman Armenian community was founded by the lttihad ve Terraki. This organization adopted its name in 1913 and functioned like a special forces outfit.
Later in 1914, the Ottoman government influenced the direction the special organization was to take by releasing criminals from central prisons to be the central elements of this newly formed special organization. According to the Mazhar commissions attached to the tribunal as soon as November 1914, 124 criminals were released from Pimian prison. Many other releases followed; in Ankara a few months later, 49 criminals were released from its central prison.citation needed Little by little from the end of 1914 to the beginning of 1915, hundreds, then thousands of prisoners were freed to form the members of this organization. Later, they were charged to escort the convoys of Armenian deportees. Vehib, commander of the Ottoman Third Army, called those members of the special organization, the “butchers of the human species.” 
Process and camps of deportationDeir ez-Zor and the surrounding desert. A good deal of evidence suggests that the Ottoman government did not provide any facilities or supplies to sustain the Armenians during their deportation, nor when they arrived. By August 1915, The New York Times reported that "the roads and the Euphrates are strewn with corpses of exiles, and those who survive are doomed to certain death. It is a plan to exterminate the whole Armenian people."
Ottoman troops escorting the Armenians not only allowed others to rob, kill, and rape the Armenians, but often participated in these activities themselves. Deprived of their belongings and marched into the desert, hundreds of thousands of Armenians perished.
Template:ImageStackRight It is believed that 25 major concentration camps existed, under the command of Şükrü Kaya, one of the right hands of Talat Pasha. The majority of the camps were situated near modern Iraqi and Syrian frontiers, and some were only temporary transit camps. Others, such as Radjo, Katma, and Azaz, are said to have been used only temporarily, for mass graves; these sites were vacated by Fall 1915. Some authors also maintain that the camps Lale, Tefridje, Dipsi, Del-El, and Ra's al-'Ain were built specifically for those who had a life expectancy of a few days.
Though nearly all the camps, including the primary sites, were open air, the remainder of the mass killing in minor camps was not limited to direct killings, but also to mass burning, poisoning and drowning.
Foreign corroboration and reaction
Hundreds of eyewitnesses, including the neutral United States and the Ottoman Empire's own allies, Germany and Austria-Hungary, recorded and documented numerous acts of state-sponsored massacres. Many foreign officials offered to intervene on behalf of the Armenians, including Pope Benedict XV, only to be turned away by Ottoman government officials who claimed they were "retaliating against a pro-Russian fifth column." On May 24, 1915, the Triple Entente warned the Ottoman Empire that "In view of these new crimes of Turkey against humanity and civilization, the Allied Governments announce publicly to the Sublime Porte that they will hold personally responsible for these crimes all members of the Ottoman Government, as well as those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres."
The American Committee for Relief in the Near East (ACRNE, or "Near East Relief") was a charitable organization established to relieve the suffering of the peoples of the Near East. The organization was championed by Henry Morgenthau, Sr., American ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. Morgenthau's eyewitness accounts of the mass slaughter of Armenians galvanized much support for ACRNE.
The U.S. mission in the Ottoman Empire
The United States had several consulates throughout the Ottoman Empire, including locations in Edirne, Elazığ, Samsun, İzmir, Trabzon, Van, Constantinople, and another in the Syrian town of Aleppo. The United States was officially a neutral party until it joined the Allies in 1917. As the orders for deportations and massacres were enacted, many consular officials reported back to the ambassador on what they were witnessing. One such report came in September 1915 from the American consul in Kharput, Leslie Davis, who described his discovery of the bodies of nearly 10,000 Armenians dumped into several ravines near Lake Göeljuk, later referring to it as the "slaughterhouse province".
Template:ImageStackRight Similar reports began to reach Morgenthau from Aleppo and Van, prompting him to raise the issue with Talaat and Enver in person. As he quoted to them the testimonies of the consulate officials, both justified the deportations as necessary to the conduct of the war, suggesting that the complicity of the Armenians of Van with the Russian forces that had overtaken the city justified the persecution of all ethnic Armenians. In his memoirs, Morgenthau later suggested that, "When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact…"
In addition to the consulates, there were also several Protestant missionary compounds established in Armenian-populated regions, including Van and Kharput. Many missionaries vividly described the brutal methods used by Ottoman forces and documented numerous instances of atrocities committed against the Christian minority.
The events were reported daily in newspapers and literary journals around the world. Many Americans spoke out against the Genocide, including former president Theodore Roosevelt, rabbi Stephen Wise, William Jennings Bryan, and Alice Stone Blackwell. The American Near East Relief Committee helped donate over $110 million to the Armenians. In the United States and Great Britain, children were regularly reminded to clean their plates while eating and to "remember the starving Armenians".
Allied forces in the Middle East
On the Middle Eastern front, the British military engaged Ottoman forces in southern Syria and Mesopotamia. British diplomat Gertrude Bell filed the following report after hearing the account of a captured Ottoman soldier:
Reacting to numerous eyewitness accounts, British politician Viscount Bryce and historian Arnold J. Toynbee compiled statements from survivors and eyewitnesses from other countries including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland, who similarly attested to the systematized massacring of innocent Armenians by Ottoman government forces. In 1916, they published The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916. Although the book has since been criticized as British wartime propaganda to build up sentiment against the Central Powers, Bryce had submitted the work to scholars for verification prior to its publication. University of Oxford Regius Professor Gilbert Murray stated of the tome, "…the evidence of these letters and reports will bear any scrutiny and overpower any skepticism. Their genuineness is established beyond question." Other professors, including Herbert Fisher of Sheffield University and former American Bar Association president Moorfield Storey, affirmed the same conclusion.
Winston Churchill described the massacres as an "administrative holocaust" and noted that "the clearance of race from Asia Minor was about as complete as such an act could be… There is no reason to doubt that this crime was planned and executed for political reasons. The opportunity presented itself for clearing Turkish soil of a Christian race opposed to all Turkish ambitions."
The joint Austrian and German mission
As allies during the war, the Imperial German mission in the Ottoman Empire included both military and civilian components. Germany had brokered a deal with the Sublime Porte to commission the building of a railroad stretching from Berlin to the Middle East, called the Baghdad Railway.
Among the most famous persons to document the massacres was German military medic Armin T. Wegner. Wegner defied state censorship in taking hundreds of photographs of Armenians being deported and subsequently starving in northern Syrian camps.
German officers stationed in eastern Turkey disputed the government's assertion that Armenian revolts had broken out, suggesting that the areas were "quiet until the deportations began."
Germany's diplomatic mission was lead by Ambassador Baron Hans Freiherr von Wangenheim (and later Count Paul Wolff Metternich). Like Morgenthau, von Wagenheim received many disturbing messages from consul officials around the Ottoman Empire. From the province of Adana, Consul Eugene Buge reported that the CUP chief had sworn to kill and massacre any Armenians who survived the deportation marches. In June 1915, von Wagenheim sent a cable to Berlin reporting that Talat had admitted the deportations were not "being carried out because of 'military considerations alone.'" One month later, he came to the conclusion that there "no longer was doubt that the Porte was trying to exterminate the Armenian race in the Turkish Empire."
When Wolff-Metternich succeeded von Wagenheim, he continued to dispatch similar cables: "The Committee [CUP] demands the extirpation of the last remnants of the Armenians and the government must yield…. A Committee representative is assigned to each of the provincial administrations…. Turkification means license to expel, to kill or destroy everything that is not Turkish."
German engineers and laborers involved in building the railway also witnessed Armenians being crammed into cattle cars and shipped along the railroad line. Franz Gunther, a representative for Deutsche Bank which was funding the construction of the Baghdad Railway, forwarded photographs to his directors and expressed his frustration at having to remain silent amid such "bestial cruelty". Major General Otto von Lossow, acting military attaché and head of the German Military Plenipotentiary in the Ottoman Empire, spoke to Ottoman intentions in a conference held in Batum in 1918:
Similarly, Major General Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein noted that "The Turkish policy of causing starvation is an all too obvious proof… for the Turkish resolve to destroy the Armenians." Another notable figure in the German military camp was Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter, who documented various massacres of Armenians. He sent fifteen reports regarding "deportations and mass killings" to Germany's chancellor in Berlin. His final report noted that fewer than 100,000 Armenians were left alive in the Ottoman Empire; the rest had been exterminated (Template:Lang-de). Scheubner-Richter also detailed the methods of the Ottoman government, noting its use of the Special Organization and other bureaucratized instruments of genocide.
Some Germans openly supported the Ottoman policy against the Armenians, as the German naval attaché in Constantinople said to U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau;
In a genocide conference in 2001, professor Wolfgang Wipperman of the Free University of Berlin introduced documents evidencing that the German High Command was aware of the mass killings at the time but chose not to interfere or speak out.
The Russian Empire's response to the bombardment of its Black Sea naval ports was primarily a land campaign through the Caucasus. Early victories against the Ottoman Empire from the winter of 1914 to the spring 1915 saw significant gains of territory, including relieving the Armenian bastion resisting in the city of Van in May 1915. The Russians also reported encountering the bodies of unarmed civilian Armenians in the areas they advanced through. In March 1916, the scenes they saw in the city of Erzerum led the Russians to retaliate against the Ottoman IIIrd Army whom they held responsible for the massacres, destroying it in its entirety.
1919–1920 Military tribunals
Domestic courts-martial began on 23 November 1918. These courts were designed by Sultan Mehmed VI to punish the Committee of Union and Progress for the Empire's ill-conceived involvement in World War I. The Armenian issue was used as a tool to punish the leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress. Most of the documents generated in these courts were later moved to international trials. By January 1919, a report to Sultan Mehmed VI accused over 130 suspects, most of whom were high officials. Mehmed Talat Pasha and Ismail Enver had fled prior to 1919, anticipating the Sultan's wrath. The term Three Pashas generally refers to this prominent triumvirate held accountable for Ottoman Empire involvement in World War I.
The courts-martial officially disbanded the Committee of Union and Progress, which had actively ruled the Ottoman Empire for ten years. All the assets of the organization were transferred to the treasury, and the assets of those found guilty were moved to "teceddüt firkasi". According to verdicts handed down by the court, all members except for the Three Pashas were transferred to jails in Bekiraga, then moved to Malta. The Three Pashas were found guilty in absentia. The courts-martial blamed the members of Ittihat Terakki for pursuing a war that did not fit into the notion of Millet.
These Ottoman politicians, generals, and intellectuals were deported to Malta, where they were held for some three years, while searches were made of archives in Istanbul, London, Paris and Washington to investigate their actions.
Following the Armistice of Mudros in January 1919, the preliminary Peace Conference in Paris established "The Commission on Responsibilities and Sanctions" which was chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Lansing. Following the commission's work, several articles were added to the Treaty of Sèvres, and the acting government of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Mehmed VI and Damat Adil Ferit Pasha, were summoned to trial. The Treaty of Sèvres recognized the Democratic Republic of Armenia and planned a trial to determine those responsible for the "barbarous and illegitimate methods of warfare… [including] offenses against the laws and customs of war and the principles of humanity".
Article 230 of the Treaty of Sèvres required the Ottoman Empire "hand over to the Allied Powers the persons whose surrender may be required by the latter as being responsible for the massacres committed during the continuance of the state of war on territory which formed part of the Ottoman Empire on August 1, 1914."
At the trials in Istanbul in 1919 many of those responsible for the genocide were sentenced to death in absentia, after having escaped trial in 1918. The military court established the will of the Committee of Union and Progress to eliminate the Armenians physically, via its special organization. The 1919 pronouncement reads as follows:
"Operation Nemesis" was the Armenian Revolutionary Federation codename for the covert operation in the 1920s to assassinate the masterminds of the Armenian Genocide. It is named after the Greek goddess of divine retribution, Nemesis.
Armenian deaths, 1914 to 1918
While there is no consensus as to how many Armenians lost their lives during the Armenian Genocide, there is general agreement among western scholars that over 500,000 Armenians perished between 1914 and 1918. Estimates vary between 300,000 (per the modern Turkish state) to 1,500,000 (per modern Armenia, Argentina, and other states). Encyclopædia Britannica references the research of Arnold J. Toynbee, an intelligence officer of the British Foreign Office, who estimated that 600,000 Armenians "died or were massacred during deportation" in the years 1915-1916 alone.
Influence of the Armenian Genocide on Adolf Hitler
The Armenian Genocide is often speculated to have influenced Adolf Hitler, owing to his various references to the Ottoman killings of Armenians. The extent of Hitler's knowledge of the Armenian Genocide is unclear, though he did refer to their destruction several times. The most notable quote attributed to Hitler on the Armenians is excerpted from an August 1939 military conference, prior to the invasion of Poland:
There are numerous accounts of Hitler speaking in regards to the Armenians, with at least two similar versions of the 1939 speech coming from the German High Command archives. In 1931, for example, two years prior to his ascension as Germany's leader, Hitler noted in an interview that "everywhere people are awaiting a new world order. We intend to introduce a great resettlement policy… remember the extermination of the Armenians." In 1943, during the height of his attempts to exterminate the Jews in Europe, Hitler demanded of Hungarian regent Admiral Miklós Horthy that he deport the Jews from the country: "Nations which did not get rid of the Jews perished. One of the most famous examples of this was the downfall of a people who were so proud — the Persians, who now lead a pitiful existence as Armenians."
Hebrew University scholar Yehuda Bauer suggests of the Armenian Genocide, "This is the closest parallel to the Holocaust." He nonetheless distinguishes several key differences between the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide, particularly in regards to motivation:
Bauer has also suggested that the Armenian Genocide is best understood, not as having begun in 1915, but rather as "an ongoing genocide, from 1896, through 1908/9, through World War I and right up to 1923." Lucy Dawidowicz also alludes to these earlier massacres as at least as significant as WWI era events:
Law professor Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term "genocide" in 1943, has stated that he did so "because it happened so many times… First to the Armenians, then after the Armenians, Hitler took action." Several international organizations have conducted studies of the events, each in turn determining that the term "genocide" aptly describes "the Ottoman massacre of Armenians in 1915-1916." Among the organizations affirming this conclusion are the International Center for Transitional Justice, the International Association of Genocide Scholars, and the United Nations' Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities. In 2007, The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity produced a letter signed by 53 Nobel Laureates re-affirming the Genocide Scholars' conclusion that the 1915 killings of Armenians constituted genocide.
While some consider denial to be a form of hate speech or politically-minded historical revisionism, a small minority of western academics in the field of Ottoman history have expressed doubts as to the genocidal character of the events. While these dissenting opinions are far more common among residents of modern Turkey, some academics have established reputations for having adopted the viewpoint of the Turkish state. Justin A. McCarthy of the University of Louisville, for instance, has regularly contended that the events do not constitute genocide; in 1998, the government of Turkey awarded him with the Order of Merit for his efforts.
The most important counterpoint may be that of British scholar Bernard Lewis. While he had once written of "the terrible holocaust of 1915, when a million and a half Armenians perished", he later came to believe that the term "genocide" was distinctly inaccurate, because the "tremendous massacres" were not "a deliberate preconceived decision of the Turkish government." This opinion has been joined by Guenter Lewy.
While academic opinions within the modern Republic of Turkey often seem to be at odds with international consensus, this may stem from the fact that it remains illegal to speak of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. Nobel Prize-winning Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk faced harassment and criminal prosecution for stating that "a million Armenians were killed in these lands".
Similarly, Hrant Dink, the ethnic Armenian chief editor of the Agos newspaper in Turkey, was prosecuted by the Turkish state three times for "denigrating Turkishness", for his having criticized the Turkish state's denial of the Armenian Genocide. In 2007, he was gunned down by a Turkish nationalist. Leaked photographs of the assassin apparently being revered as a national hero while in police custody, posing in front of the Turkish flag with grinning policemen, gave the academic community still more pause in regards to engaging the Armenian issue.
According to the scholarship of Bat Ye'or, "The genocide of the Armenians was a jihad." Ye'or contends that the Islamic concepts of dhimmitude and jihad were among the "principles and values" that led to the Armenian Genocide.
The Republic of Turkey and the Armenian Genocide
Template:Main The Republic of Turkey's formal stance is that the deaths of Armenians during the "relocation" or "deportation" cannot aptly be deemed "genocide." This point has been contended with a plethora of diverging justifications: that the killings were not deliberate or were not governmentally orchestrated, that the killings were justified because Armenians posed a Russian-sympathizing threat as a cultural group, that Armenians merely starved, or any of various characterizations recalling marauding "Armenian gangs." Some suggestions seek to invalidate the genocide on semantic or anachronistic grounds (the word "genocide" was not coined until 1943).
Turkish World War I casualty figures are often cited to mitigate the effect of the number of Armenian dead. The website of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey currently features a section entitled Archive Documents about the Atrocities and Genocide Inflicted upon Turks by Armenians, suggesting that the Turks of Anatolia experienced a genocide at the hands of the Armenians.
The website of the Turkish General Staff also offers many of its own publications intended to bolster denial of the Armenian Genocide. One such example defines the Armenians as "an incapable, parasite and greedy nation that can live only at another nation's expense."
Turkish governmental sources have asserted that the historically-demonstrated "tolerance of Turkish people" itself renders the Armenian Genocide an impossibility. One military document leverages 11th century history to disprove the Armenian Genocide: "It was the Seljuk Turks who saved the Armenians that came under the Turkish domination in 1071 from the Byzantine persecution and granted them the right to live as a man should." A Der Spiegel article addressed this modern Turkish conception of history thus:
Public prosecutors have utilized Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code prohibiting "insulting Turkishness" to silence some Turkish intellectuals who spoke of atrocities endured by Armenians in the last days of the Ottoman Empire. Turkish state officials say that no one is currently incarcerated for expressing their ideas, and that the law may soon be amended. The modern Turkish government continues to protest the formal recognition of the genocide by other countries.
Open University of Israel scholar Yair Auron, in his The Banality of Denial, has addressed the various means employed by the Turkish government to obscure the reality of the Armenian Genocide:
Recognition of the Armenian Genocide
Responding to Turkish state denials of the Armenian Genocide, many activists among Armenian Diaspora communities have pushed for formal recognition from various governments around the world. Twenty-two countries, the Welsh Assembly, and 40 of the U.S. states, have adopted formal resolutions acknowledging the Armenian Genocide as a bona fide historical event.
In 2006 the French parliament has adopted a bill making it a crime to deny the Armenian genocide .
Turkish-Armenian intellectual Hrant Dink (who recognized the Genocide) was often critical of these recognition campaigns as being unhelpful.citation needed
In March 2007, Condoleezza Rice and Robert M. Gates signed an open letter to Congress, warning that formally recognizing the Armenian Genocide “could harm American troops in the field” by "antagonizing" Turkey.
On October 10, 2007, prior to a vote by the United States House of Representatives that would condemn the events formally as genocide, Rice was joined by the other eight living U.S. Secretaries of State in calling for the measure to be defeated, in order to protect American regional interests and maintain basing rights in Turkey for American efforts in Iraq. Turkey recalled its ambassador to the United States, in an apparent reaction to the upcoming vote in the House of Representatives.
However the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs approved a bill that categorised and condemned the Ottoman Empire for the Genocide, on October 10, 2007, by a 27-21 vote. "While that may have been a long time ago, genocide is taking place now in Darfur, it did within recent memory in Rwanda, so as long as there is genocide there is need to speak out against it," said the speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi .
The memorial at Tsitsernakaberd
Template:Main In 1965, the 50th anniversary of the genocide, a 24-hour mass protest was initiated in Yerevan demanding recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Soviet authorities. The memorial was completed two years later, at Tsitsernakaberd above the Hrazdan gorge in Yerevan. The 44 meter stele symbolizes the national rebirth of Armenians. 12 slabs are positioned in a circle, representing 12 lost provinces in present day Turkey. At the center of the circle there is an eternal flame.
Each April 24th, hundreds of thousands of people walk to the genocide monument and lay flowers around the eternal flame.
The earliest example of the Armenian genocide on art was a medal issued in St. Petersburg, signifying Russian sympathy for Armenian suffering. It was struck in 1915, as the massacres and deportations were still raging. Since then, dozens of medals in different countries have been commissioned to commemorate the event.
Several eyewitness accounts of the events were published, notably those of Swedish missionary Alma Johansson and U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Sr. German medic Armin Wegner wrote several books about the events he witnessed while stationed in the Ottoman Empire. Years later, having returned to Germany, Wegner was imprisoned for opposing Nazism, and his books were subjected to Nazi book burnings. Nonetheless, the most famous piece of literature concerning the Armenian Genocide is Franz Werfel's The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. Published in 1933, Werfel's work became a best-seller.
Kurt Vonnegut's 1988 novel Bluebeard features the Armenian Genocide as an underlying theme. Other novels incorporating the Armenian Genocide include Louis de Berniéres' Birds without Wings, Edgar Hilsenrath's German-language The Fairytale of the Last Thought, and Stefan Żeromski's 1925 The Spring to Come. A story in Edward Saint-Ivan's 2006 anthology "The Black Knight's God" includes a fictional survivor of the Armenian Genocide.
The first film about the Armenian Genocide appeared in 1919, a Hollywood production entitled Ravished Armenia. It resonated with acclaimed director Atom Egoyan, influencing his 2002 Ararat. There are also references in Elia Kazan's America, America or Henri Verneuil's Mayrig. At the Berlin Film Festival of 2007 Italian directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani presented another film about the events, based on Antonia Arslan's book, La Masseria Delle Allodole (The Farm of the Larks). Richard Kalinoski's play, Beast on the Moon, is about two Armenian Genocide survivors.
The works of Arshile Gorky, an Armenian expatriate whose mother starved to death in the genocide, were often speculated to have been informed by the suffering and loss of the period. Gorky was a seminal figure of Abstract Expressionism.
American composer and singer Daniel Decker has achieved critical acclaim for his collaborations with Armenian composer Ara Gevorgian. The song "Adana", named for the province of a 1909 pogrom of the Armenian people, tells the story of the Armenian Genocide. "Adana" has been translated into 17 languages and recorded by singers around the world.
In late 2003, Diamanda Galás released the album "Defixiones, Will and Testament: Orders from the Dead," an 80-minute memorial tribute to the Armenian, Greek, Assyrian and Hellenic victims of the genocide in Turkey. "The performance is an angry meditation on genocide and the politically cooperative denial of it, in particular the Turkish and American denial of the Armenian, Assyrian, and Anatolian Greek genocides from 1914 to 1923".
- 1975 - The Forgotten Genocide (dir. J. Michael Hagopian)
- 1983 - Assignment Berlin (dir. Hrayr Toukhanian)
- 1988 - Tillbaka till Ararat (Back to Ararat, dir. Jim Downing, Göran Gunér)
- 1988 - An Armenian Journey (dir. Theodore Bogosian)
- 1990 - General Andranik (director: Levon Mkrtchyan)
- 2000 - I Will Not Be Sad in This World (dir. Karina Epperlein)
- 2003 - Germany and the Secret Genocide (dir. J. Michael Hagopian)
- 2003 - Voices From the Lake: A Film About the Secret Genocide (dir. J. Michael Hagopian)
- 2003 - Desecration (dir. Hrair "Hawk" Khatcherian)
- 2003 - The Armenian Genocide: A Look Through Our Eyes (dir. Vatche Arabian)
- 2005 - Hovhannes Shiraz (dir. Levon Mkrtchyan)
- 2006 - The Armenian Genocide (dir. Andrew Goldberg)
- 2006 - Armenian Revolt (dir. Marty Callaghan)
- 2006 - Screamers (dir. Carla Garapedian)
- Armenian-Turkish relations
- Denial of the Armenian Genocide
- Recognition of the Armenian Genocide
- Fall of the Ottoman Empire
- Armenian diaspora
- Armenians in the Ottoman Empire
- Operation Nemesis
- Ararat, a film by Atom Egoyan
- The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, a novel by Franz Werfel
- Assyrian Genocide
- Pontic Greek Genocide
- Armenian Genocide on the Armeniapedia.org website (Wegner photos)
- Armenian National Institute (photos)
- The Armenian Genocide, at www.theforgotten.org, has videos of interviews with survivors
- Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, at University of Minnesota
- Akçam, Taner, From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide, Zed Books, 2004
- Akçam, Taner. A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility. Metropolitan Books, 2006
- Balakian, Peter. The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response. New York: Perennial, 2003
- Bartov, Omer, Mirrors of Destruction: War, Genocide and Modern Identity, Oxford Univ. Press, 2000
- Dadrian, Vahakn, N. The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus Berghahn Books, 1995
- Dündar, Fuat, Ittihat ve Terakki'nin Müslümanlari Iskan Politikasi (1913-18), Iletisim, 2001
- Fisk, Robert, The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East London: Alfred Knopf, 2005
- Gaunt, David. Massacres, Resistance, Protectors: Muslim-Christian Relations in Eastern Anatolia During World War I Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2006. ISBN 1-59333-301-3.
- Gust, Wolfgang, Der Völkermord an den Armeniern, Zu Klampen, 2005
- Lepsius, Johannes. Deutschland und Armenien 1914–1918, Sammlung diplomatischer Aktenstücke. Donat & Temmen Verlag, 1986
- Melson, Robert, Revolution and Genocide. On the Origins of the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust, The University of Chicago Press, 1996
- Power, Samantha. "A Problem from Hell": America and the Age of Genocide. Harper, 2003
- Wallimann, Isidor (ed.): Genocide and the Modern Age: Etiology and Case Studies of Mass Death, Syracuse Univ. Press, 2000
- Graber, G.S. Caravans to Oblivion: The Armenian Genocide 1915. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1996
- Template:Cite web
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- Walker, Christopher J. Armenia: The Survival of a Nation, Revised Second Edition. New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1990. 476 pp.
Template:Armenian topics Template:World War Iaf:Armeense volksmoordbs:Armenski genocidca:Genocidi armeni cs:Arménská genocida da:Det armenske folkedrab de:Völkermord an den Armenierneo:Armena genocido fa:نسلکشی ارمنیهاgl:Xenocidio armenio ko:아르메니아인 학살 사건 hy:Հայոց Ցեղասպանություն hr:Armenski genocid id:Genosida Armeniahe:שואת הארמנים ka:სომხების გენოციდი ku:Komkujiya Ermeniyan lv:Armēņu genocīds lt:Armėnų genocidas hu:Örmény holokausztms:Genosid Armenia nl:Armeense genocide ja:アルメニア人虐殺問題 no:Folkemordet på armenerne pl:Rzeź Ormiansq:Gjenocidi Armen simple:Armenian Genocide sl:Armenski genocidsh:Armenski genocid fi:Armenialaisten kansanmurha sv:Armeniska folkmordet tr:Ermeni soykırımı iddialarızh:亚美尼亚种族大屠杀
The hierarch of the Armenian Church is the Catholicos of Armenia. The current Catholicos is Garegin II, who resides in the city of Echmiadzin, west of Yerevan. However, a minority of the church has recognized instead the Catholicos of Cilicia, who resides in Antilyas in Lebanon, as a result of a dispute that emerged while Armenia was under Communist rule.
Armenian Christianity Outside of Armenia
Today there are large Armenian Orthodox congreations in many middle-eastern countries outside Armenia. Of particular importance is the Armenian Apostolic Church of Iran, where Armenians are the largest Christian ethnic minority. The Armenian Church also is one of the churches (together with the Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Copts, Ethiopians and Syrians) which cooperates in the use and administration of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem).
In America, the Armenian Church maintains St. Vartan Cathedral in New York City, and St. Nersess Seminary in New Rochelle, NY. The latter cooperates very closely with St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood, New York).
- Frequently Asked Questions About the Armenian Church by Fr. Krikor Maksoudian
- Feasts and Saints of the Armenian Chuch by Patriarch Torkom Koushagian
- Portions of this article have been taken, with modifications, from Wikipedia:Armenian Apostolic Church
- The Armenian Apostolic Church in America
- The Armenian Church - The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
- Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America
- Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America
- St. Nersess Armenian Seminary
- St. Vartan Bookstore
- Eastern Christian Churches: Armenian Apostolic Church by Ronald Roberson, a Roman Catholic priest and scholar
- Armeniapedia - Armenian Apostolic Church
- Wikipedia:Armenian Apostolic Church
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