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Parliament of NSW Legislative Council recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocide

May-11-2013 at 03:26 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Last edited on 05/29/2013 at 10:48 PM (UTC3 Nineveh, Assyria)
 
Parliament of NSW Legislative Council recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocide
by Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) - Australia Region. Press Release, May 8, 2013.

“The Assyrian people have fallen victim to the genocide against Christians in the Ottoman empire and its aftermaths, and today is facing state sponsored denial and truth distorting, re-writing of history by the Turkish authorities... This recognition will help our Assyrian nation and its organisations in their attempt to strengthen our national existence in the homeland as well as in the diaspora. It will help our nation to find its rightful place among the nations of the world and to creatively make its special contribution to the universal development of mankind.”

— Hermiz Shahen
Secretary General
Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA)

Archive: audio file

Archive: audio file

SYDNEY, Australia — Today, Wednesday 8 May 2013, in a historic move, The Hon Barry O’Farrell MP, Premier of NSW, rose in the NSW Parliament, Legislative Assembly (The Lower House) to move a motion calling for the recognition of the Assyrian, Armenian and Greek Genocides. The motion was passed unanimously.

The recognition came after a week when a similar motion tabled by the Hon. Fred Nile MLC, President of the Australian Christian Party was passed unanimously in the upper house. This was a result of combined efforts by the Assyrian Universal Alliance of Australia, the Armenian National Committee of Australia and the Australian Hellenic Council of NSW. The three organisations conducted a number of meetings in the past two years with members of parliament pursuing support for recognition of the Assyrian, Greek and Armenian Genocides.

Mr Hermiz Shahen, The Deputy secretary General of the Assyrian Universal Alliance said, “The Assyrian people have fallen victim to the genocide against Christians in the Ottoman empire and its aftermaths, and today is facing state sponsored denial and truth distorting, re-writing of history by the Turkish authorities..... This recognition will help our Assyrian nation and its organisations in their attempt to strengthen our national existence in the homeland as well as in the diaspora. It will help our nation to find its rightful place among the nations of the world and to creatively make its special contribution to the universal development of mankind.”

Mr Shahen also thanked The Hon Barry O”Farrell MP, Premier of NSW for tabling this motion, Mr John Robertson, MP, Leader of the Opposition for supporting the motion, and for all those esteemed members of NSW Legislative Assembly who backed the motion.

Let justice be done, souls consoled, broken hearts mended, nations reconciled, and honour given to all those who perished so needlessly during a dark hour in mankind’s recent history.

The motion was as follow:


Legislative Assembly
Notice of Motion

I give notice that this House:

  1. notes that on 17 April 1997 this House recognised and condemned the Genocide of the Armenians by the then Ottoman Government between 1915 and 1922 and designated 24 April of every year thereafter as a day of remembrance of the 1.5 million Armenians who fell victim to the first genocide of the twentieth century,
  2. recognises that Assyrians and Greeks were subjected to qualitatively similar genocides by the then Ottoman Government between 1915 and 1922,
  3. reaffirms its condemnation of the genocide of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks, and all other acts of genocide as the ultimate act of intolerance,
  4. recognises the importance of remembering and learning from such dark chapters in human history to ensure that such crimes against humanity are not allowed to be repeated,
  5. acknowledges and pays tribute to the contribution of the ANZAC servicemen who aided the survivors of the genocide, and
  6. acknowledges the significant humanitarian relief contribution made by the people of New South Wales to the victims and survivors of the genocide.

Lest we forget.

Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) - Australian Chapter
PO Box 34, Fairfield NSW 1860 Australia
E-mail: auaaustralia < a t> optusnet.com.au

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1. RE: Parliament of NSW Legislative Council recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocide

May-11-2013 at 03:27 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Parliament of NSW Legislative Council recognition of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek genocide
http://www.atour.com/government/docs/20130510b.html
http://www.atour.com/~aahgn/news/20130510a.html

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2. Ankara strongly condemns ‘genocides’ motion by New South Wales

May-12-2013 at 12:15 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Editors' Note: The following news article is provided here for reference purposes only and does not reflect this website's views.

Ankara strongly condemns ‘genocides’ motion by New South Wales
by Hurriet Daily News. May 08, 2013.

Recognition of the “Assyrian, Armenian and Greek genocides” by New South Wales’ Parliament has angered Ankara, prompting it to deliver a “strong condemnation” while noting the decision will have negative repercussions.

“We strongly condemn and reject this motion which is in no way compatible with historic facts. The fact that this motion has been passed through a fait accompli by a local politician, whose antagonism to Turkey in his attitude and behavior is well-known, during a session at the State Parliament attended by a small number of parliamentarians, shows how lightly and unsoundly such a sensitive issue is dealt with. It is evident that history will not be rewritten by such motions passed by petty political calculations under the influence of ethnic lobbies known for their excesses and prejudices,” the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement delivered today.

New South Wales’ legislature unanimously passed the motion on May 1 at the request of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, the Australian Hellenic Council and the Armenian National Committee.

Accordingly, the Parliament “joined the Assyrian, Armenian and Greek communities of New South Wales in honoring the memory of the innocent men, women and children who fell victims to the first modern genocides.”

“Although the solid friendly relations existing between the peoples of Turkey and Australia will not deteriorate because of this unilateral decision which is the fait accompli of a small group, its negative repercussions are nonetheless inevitable. In this context, the proponents of such initiatives aimed at dealing a blow to the very special relations that exist between our peoples will doubtlessly be deprived of the hospitality and friendship that we will never withhold from the people of Australia. These persons who try to damage the spirit of Çanakkale/Gallipoli will also not have their place in the Çanakkale ceremonies where we commemorate together our sons lying side by side in our soil,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“Necessary representations with Australian authorities have been made, stressing that our primary expectation from the Australian authorities for the sake of our relations that have developed so far on the basis of friendship, is that they be more attentive to unacceptable claims directed toward Turkey and the Turkish identity and that they take timely action against initiatives carrying anti-Turkish content and hate speech,” the ministry said.

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3. Response to the Turkish Consul General from The Hon Marie Ficarra MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, NSW

May-15-2013 at 12:07 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Response to the Turkish Consul General from The Hon Marie Ficarra MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, NSW. May 13, 2013. PDF 1MB
The Hounourable Marie Ficarra MLC
Member of the Legislative Council
Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier

13 May 2013

Mr Gulseren Celik
Consul General of the Republic of Turkey Sydney
66 Ocean Street
WOOLLAHRA NSW 2025

Dear Consul General

I refer to your correspondence forwarded on your behalf to all Members of the NSW Parliament by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, The Hon Shelley Hancock concerning the unanimous Resolution of the NSW Legislative Council in recognition of the Genocides of the indigenous Assyrian and Hellenic peoples of Anatolia, incorporating a reaffirmation of the 1997 recognition of the Genocide of the indigenous Armenian people.

You may also be aware that since the Resolution of the Legislative Council, the Premier of New South Wales, The Hon Barry O'Farrell MP, has moved a similar Motion which was passed unanimously by the Legislative Assembly.

As democratically elected representatives of the people of New South Wales, we are duty bound to respond to issues of concern to our constituents. Indeed, the issues raised in the unanimous Resolutions of both Houses are an effort to respond to those concerns and acknowledge the grieving.

I have read Turkey's No: 133, 7 May 2013, Press Release regarding the Motion Passed by the Legislative Council of the Parliament of the State of New South Wales in Australia. I can assure you that the statement "a session at the State Parliament attended by a small number of parliamentarians" is incorrect and the Minutes of proceedings indicate this. I must also reject and note that I find it offensive the comments "It is evident that history will not be rewritten by such motions passed with petty political calculations under the influence of ethnic lobbies known for their excesses and prejudices."

To politicise Gallipoli is also an unacceptable and irrational act and comments such as "not have their place in the Canakkale ceremonies where we commemorate together our sons lying side by side in our soil" only diminishes Turkey's credibility and reputation. I do not have respect for such excessive comments and actions.

I commend both the Hon the Rev Fred Nile MLC and the Premier, The Hon Barry O'Farrell MP on their initiative and care for many people in New South Wales who value such acknowledgement.

I also reject the incorrect assertion that the Resolutions of the Parliament are "hate speeches." I reiterate The Hon Fred Nile's statements that his Motion, and I know the Premier's similarly was not to attach or denigrate the modern State of Turkey but place on record the undeniable true history and properly acknowledge those who have suffered such disgraceful atrocities.

Yours sincerely

The Honourable Marie Ficarra MLC
Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier of NSW


Parliament House Macquarie Street Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Telephone: 02-9230-2894 Fax: 02-9230-2466 Email: marie.ficarra < a t> parliament.nsw.gov.au

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4. NSW Parliament formally recognises Assyrian genocide as Smithfield MP Andrew Rohan shares tale of parents' survival

May-15-2013 at 08:13 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Members of the Assyrian community, pictured here at the Assyrian Genocide Memorial on May 14, 2013 in Bonnyrigg, Sydney, Australia, reflect on those killed during the Assyrian genocide. Source: supplied.

NSW Parliament formally recognises Assyrian genocide as Smithfield MP Andrew Rohan shares tale of parents' survival
by Lauren McMah. Fairfield Advance, May 14, 2013.

SMITHFIELD state Liberal MP Andrew Rohan has paid tribute to the an Australian soldier who rescued his Assyrian parents from a massacre after the Assyrian genocide was formally recognised by the NSW Government.

On Wednesday, State Parliament unanimously passed a motion by Premier Barry O’Farrell calling for the official recognition of the Assyrian, Armenian and Greek genocides.

It is estimated 1.5 million Armenians, 750,000 Assyrians and 500,000 Greeks were massacred by Ottoman Empire forces between 1915 and 1922 during their attempts to eradicate the Christian minorities.

In a speech to Parliament last week, Mr Rohan said his parents were among the 90,000 Assyrian Christian refugees who fled their ancestral home to escape persecution by the Ottoman regime in 1918.

The refugees were protected by 28-year-old Australian Army Captain Stanley Savige.

“Reasoning that a Turkish commander would concentrate on killing him before harming the refugees, he strategically placed his command at the rear of the refugee procession and deliberately drew enemy fire,” Mr Rohan said.

“By offering his command as a target, even though he was outnumbered one hundred to one, Captain Savige managed to slow the enemy advance long enough for most of the refugees to flee.

“My parents survived the genocide because of the heroic actions of Sir Stanley George Savige.”

Captain Savige, who later rose to the military rank of Lieutenant General, was decorated with a Distinguished Service Order for his bravery.

For years local Assyrian, Armenian and Hellenic organisations campaigned to have genocides formally acknowledged by government.

“This recognition will help our Assyrian nation and its organisations in their attempt to strengthen our national existence in the homeland as well as in the diaspora,” Assyrian Universal Alliance deputy secretary-general Hermiz Shahen said.

“It will help our nation to find its rightful place among the nations of the world and to creatively make its special contribution to the universal development of mankind.”

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5. May 14, 2013 - Rev Nile’s Response to Turkish Consul General’s Letter of Condemnation for the Motion in Recognition of the Genocides of the Indigenous Assyrian, Hellenic and Armenian People

May-29-2013 at 09:21 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Rev. Hon. Fred Nile ED., L.Th., M.L.C.

Parliamentary Leader, Christian Democratic Party
Parliament House, Macquarie Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000

Telephone: (02) 9230 2478 | Facsimile: (02) 9230 2098
Email: f.nile < a t> parliament.nsw.gov.au

Media Release
Rev Nile’s Response to Turkish Consul General’s Letter of Condemnation for the Motion in Recognition of the Genocides of the Indigenous Assyrian, Hellenic and Armenian People.
14 May 2013

Dear Sir

As you noted in your correspondence of 6th May 2013, I moved a motion of recognition of the Genocides of the indigenous Assyrian and Hellenic peoples of Anatolia, incorporating a re-affirmation of the 1997 recognition of the Genocide of the indigenous Armenian people. The motion was tabled and carried unanimously, in accordance with Parliamentary procedure.

Similar motions of a commemorative nature are moved and carried by members of both Houses of the Parliament of New South Wales on a regular basis on a wide range of issues, particularly related to human rights and current affairs.

My intention in moving this motion was NOT to attack or denigrate the modern State of Turkey which was established by a great Turkish leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who I greatly admire.

These Genocides were carried out by the leaders of the Ottoman Empire, not the modern State of Turkey which has wonderful relations with Australia, in spite of the Gallipoli campaign.

In moving this motion, I have drawn on the conclusions reached by the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Scholars, and other national and international scholarly groups. The unanimous opinion is that the Assyrian, Armenian and Hellenic peoples were victims of genocide in the 1910s and 1920s.

As noted by Australian jurist Geoffrey Robertson QC in his 2009 study ‘Was there an Armenian Genocide?” (attached), Winston Churchill declared the events to be ‘an administrative holocaust … there is no reasonable doubt that this crime was planned and executed for political reasons.’

When commemorations and scholarly conferences on the Genocide of the Armenians are regularly held within the Republic of Turkey, and Turkish scholars and writers such as Taner Akcam and Orhan Pamuk call for recognition of the fact of the Genocides, I fail to understand how the NSW Legislative Council resolution constitutes ‘sowing the seeds of hatred’ in Australia?
Please visit for recent examples:
http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/2013/04/it-time-turkey-recognise-historical-fact-armenian-genocide
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/armenian-genocide-1915-turkey-defiant.html

The Genocide Recognition motion has a very strong focus on the Genocides as part of the Australian national story. As documented in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, ANZACs were captured and imprisoned as far south as the Sinai peninsula, as far east as Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) as well as across Anatolia. Visit http://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/stolenyears/ww1/turkey/ for more details.

The archives of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra have written and photographic evidence that ANZACs rescued Armenians and Assyrians in Persia (Iran) and Mesopotamia (Iraq), as well as during the Palestine Campaign. Many of these ANZACs later became involved in an international humanitarian relief effort on behalf of the survivors for over a decade.

The events of the Assyrian, Armenian, and Hellenic Genocides were documented by the Australian media from early 1914 (before World War One began), throughout the war and well into the 1920s. (http://trove.nla.gov.au/). I also refer you to a recent study by Dr John Williams of the University of Tasmania, published in the April 2013 issue of Quadrant magazine: http://www.quadrant.org.au/magazine/issue/2013/4/the-ethnic-cleansing-of-greeks-from-gallipoli-april-1915

As the Armenian National Archives were only formed in 1923, when the Genocides were almost over, a ‘joint commission of history’ between the Republics of Armenia and Turkey would have little to discuss. (http://www.armarchives.am/en/content/17/) The archives relevant to the Genocides of the Armenians, Assyrians and Hellenes are in Ankara, Constantinople (Istanbul) and Moscow.

In conclusion, for the Christian Democratic Party, as for the entire Parliament of New South Wales, recognition of the Genocides of the indigenous Assyrian, Armenian and Hellenic peoples of the Ottoman Empire is not simply a matter of history. As the effects of the Genocides continue to this day, it is an issue of international law and human rights and I will continue to advocate such issues at every opportunity.

“Let justice be done, souls consoled, broken hearts mended, nations reconciled and honour given to all those who perished so needlessly during a dark hour in mankind’s recent history”.

Yours sincerely,

Fred Nile

Authorised

For Media Interviews contact:
Rev Fred Nile (02) 9230 2478 or 0418 619 731?
Research Assistant: Belinda Dover (02) 9230 2978

Refer Hansard for Rev Nile's Question and Speech.
http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au

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6. May 28, 2013 - Rev Fred Nile replies to the criticism of the Turkish Consulate General

May-29-2013 at 09:30 PM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

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Last edited on 05/29/2013 at 11:32 PM (UTC3 Nineveh, Assyria)
 

Rev. Hon. Fred Nile ED., L.Th., M.L.C.

Parliamentary Leader, Christian Democratic Party
Parliament House, Macquarie Street, SYDNEY NSW 2000

Telephone: (02) 9230 2478 | Facsimile: (02) 9230 2098
Email: f.nile < a t> parliament.nsw.gov.au

Media Release
Rev Fred Nile replies to the criticism of the Turkish Consulate General
Tuesday 28 May 2013

In his speech to the NSW Parliament on Tuesday 21 May 2013, Mr Nile refers to the Turkish Consulate General criticism of his Genocide Motion

ARMENIAN, ASSYRIAN AND GREEK GENOCIDES

Reverend the Hon. FRED NILE <7.14 p.m.>: Tonight I wish to speak in response to the Turkish Consul General's letter of condemnation regarding the motion I moved in this House — which was passed unanimously — in recognition of the genocide of the indigenous Assyrian, Hellenic and Armenian people. The reply from the Turkish Consul General was sent to the Speaker in the other place and to the President who then distributed copies of the letter to the respective members of both Houses. In my reply I stated:

As you noted in your correspondence of 6 May 2013, I moved a motion of recognition of the Genocides of the indigenous Assyrian and Hellenic peoples of Anatolia, incorporating a reaffirmation of the 1997 recognition of the Genocide of the indigenous Armenian people. The motion was tabled and carried unanimously, in accordance with Parliamentary procedure.

Similar motions of a commemorative nature are moved and carried by members of both Houses of the Parliament of New South Wales on a regular basis on a wide range of issues, particularly related to human rights and current affairs.

Since writing this letter the motion has also been moved in the other place by the Premier and passed unanimously. My reply continued:

My intention in moving this motion was not to attack or denigrate the modern State of Turkey, which was established by a great Turkish leader, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who I greatly admire.

I have been reading his biography. It went on:

These Genocides were carried out by the leaders of the Ottoman Empire, not the modern State of Turkey which has wonderful relations with Australia, in spite of the failed Gallipoli campaign.

In moving this motion, I have drawn on conclusions reached by the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Scholars, and other national and international scholarly groups. The unanimous opinion is that the Assyrian, Armenian and Hellenic peoples were victims of genocide in the 1910s and 1920s.

As noted by the Australian jurist Geoffrey Robertson QC in his 2009 study, Was there an Armenian Genocide? —

and he proved that there was —

Winston Churchill declared the events to be, "An administrative holocaust … there is no reasonable doubt that this crime was planned and executed for political reasons".

When commemorations and scholarly conferences on the Genocide of the Armenians are regularly held within the Republic of Turkey, and Turkish scholars and writers such as Taner Akcam and Orhan Pamuk call for recognition of the fact of the Genocides, I fail to understand how the NSW Legislative Council resolution constitutes "sowing the seeds of hatred" in Australia.

Please study —

I attached a number of examples stating the historical fact of the genocides. My letter continued:

The Genocide Recognition motion has a strong focus on the Genocides as part of the Australian national story. As documented in the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Anzacs were captured and imprisoned as far south as the Sinai Peninsula, as far east as Mesopotamia — modern Iraq — as well as across Anatolia.

The archives of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra have written and photographic evidence that the Anzacs rescued Armenians and Assyrians in Persia — Iran — and Mesopotamia — Iraq — as well as during the Palestine Campaign. Many of these Anzacs later became involved in an international humanitarian relief effort on behalf of the survivors for over a decade.

The events of the Assyrian, Armenian and Hellenic Genocides were documented by the Australian media … before World War I began, throughout the war and well into the 1920s. I also refer you to a recent study by Dr John Williams of the University of Tasmania, published in the April 2013 issue of the Quadrant magazine.

As the Armenian National Archives were only formed in 1923, when the Genocides were almost over, a "joint commission of history" between the Republics of Armenia and Turkey would have little to discuss. The archives relevant to the Genocides of the Armenians, Assyrians and Hellenes are in Ankara — your capital — Constantinople — Istanbul — and Moscow.

In conclusion, for the Christian Democratic Party, as for the entire Parliament of New South Wales, recognition of the Genocides of the indigenous Assyrian, Armenian and Hellenic peoples of the Ottoman Empire is not simply a matter of history. As the effects of the Genocides continue to this day, it is an issue of international law and human rights and I will continue to advocate such issues at every opportunity.

"Let justice be done, souls consoled, broken hearts mended, nations reconciled and honour given to all those who perished so needlessly during a dark hour in mankind's recent history."

Fred Nile

Authorised

For Media Interviews contact:
Rev Fred Nile (02) 9230 2478 or 0418 619 731?
Research Assistant: Belinda Dover (02) 9230 2978

Refer Hansard for Rev Nile's Question and Speech.
http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/
http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LC20130521050


Australia: Rev Nile’s Responses to Turkish Consul General
http://www.atour.com/government/docs/20130529a.html

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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

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Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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