Los Angeles (AINA) -- "We have made a clean sweep of the Armenians and Assyrians of Azerbaijan" -- Those were the words of Djevdet Bey, the governor of Van Province in Ottoman Turkey, who on April 24, 1915 lead 20,000 Turkish soldiers and 10,000 Kurdish irregulars in the opening act of the genocide of Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks.
Between 1915 and 1918 750,000 Assyrians (75%), 1000,000 Greeks and 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks and Kurds in a genocide that aimed at and nearly succeeded in destroying the Christian communities in the Ottoman Empire.
Related: The Assyrian Genocide
A genocide commemoration was held yesterday in Los Angeles, home to a large population of Assyrians and Armenians. Participants included Mr. Sabri Atman, the director of the Assyrian Genocide Research Center, US Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, California State Senator Anthony Portantino, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorrian, Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Adam Bennett Schiff, the U.S. Representative for California's 28th district.
Thousands of Armenians and Assyrians gathered in city of Montebello in California for a community wide Commemoration of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocide, at Bicknell Park where the Armenian Genocide Monument was unveiled in April, 1968.
Mr. Atman urged president Trump to recognize the genocide. Here is the text of his speech:
Over One hundred years ago, unknown to most, three quarters of the Assyrian population was massacred by Ottoman Turks. While the Assyrian, Armenian and Greek genocide is a historical fact; Turkey still denies that it took place.
This genocide is an event that the survivors will never forget. The wounds of this genocide are not healed yet. Turkey and its allies from the Kurdish tribes must not only acknowledge the crime they committed, but also compensate the survivors for the pain and losses suffered at their hands. Instead of acknowledging the wrongs of the past, Turkey strongly advocates and lobbies the world to "forget about it" and "just move on."
Yet, with generations displaced and a future destroyed, the people, our people, cannot simply "forget." Our cause is just, and we stand defiant and declare that to the world that what Turkey did is a crime against humanity, and we will never forget it.
Turkey has not learned from it's past and is still governed by Erdogan, a president who became a dictator and, who repeatedly says "It's not possible for a Muslim to commit genocide." This statement flies in the face of the reality that Turkey is still denying -- that is the killing of millions of Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks.
The President of Turkey, Mr. Erdogan, and other deniers do not want to understand, and do not want to hear our voice. They are poisoned with a blind ideology, which is denial. They don't want to face their history as a civilized country.
But how about the rest of the world? How about The United States of America?
There are politicians who promise things, which is good. But it is much better when we see politicians who keep their promises. We don't want the truth to become victim of realpolitik.
We urge the President of The United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump, to recognize the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocide. We want to hear the "G" word and saying yes, it was genocide. We want to be understood by the entire world. We want our wounds to be healed. This is what we are asking for and this is possible only when we get justice.
Until this happens, Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks will never give up and we will never forget the Assyrian, Armenian and Greek Genocide.