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Assyrian Genocide Conference

by Assyrian American Association of San Jose (AAASJ) at the 68th Assyrian American National Convention in San Jose, California USA. Friday, August 31, 2001.

Posted: Friday, August 31, 2001 at 09:30 AM UT


Assyrian Genocide Conference (2001: USA, California, San Jose)
Assyrian Genocide Conference
(2001: USA, California, San Jose)

Background

The year 1915 was the start of an eight year period during which the government of the Ottoman Empire, present-day Turkey, practiced systematic persecution and genocide against its own Christian Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek population.

A Message From The Chairperson

Dear Conference Attendee,

On behalf of the Assyrian American Association of San Jose and myself, I would like to welcome each and everyone of you to the Second Assyrian Genocide and Persecution Conference. It is indeed an honor for us to be the leading Assyrian organization that has ever gathered and presented such a qualified panel on the issue of "Assyrian Genocide" in United States.

I extend my deepest gratitude to the dedicated scholars and activists for sharing their vast knowledge and experience with us. We salute their dedication to revival of our history, and bringing world recognition to the atrocities of our past. We realize that in order to bring the world attention to our "Genocide", we must learn from similar experiences, and we welcome that opportunity.

A project of this magnitude would not be possible without the relentless devotion of the group of volunteers and your support. My sincere thanks to all of you, and, I hope that we will have a successful and memorable conference.

Jacklin BejanSincerely,

Jacklin Bejan
President, Assyrian American Association of San Jose


 

Why Genocide?

The world at large may ignore the events of 1915, but the Assyrian community throughout the world continues to keep alive the memory of the Assyrian Genocide. The Assyrians, together with the Armenians and the Greeks were one of the first victims of genocide. This fact must never be forgotten.

Almost every day we are exposed to the sad reality of the civilian victims of wars, regional or internal conflicts of a divided country, and the consequences of a racially and ethnically divided world. Religious divide further complicates the prevailing situation. In fact, the US Department of Defense has coined a new expression for these victims: "Collateral Damage."

The terms Massacre, Mass Murder or Regional Conflict are often used to describe such acts of inhumane brutality. Yet there is another type of crime that transcends even these conflicts in its scope of savage cruelty. "Genocide", a specific type of crime defined by the UN Convention on Genocide and Holocaust as a Crime against Humanity.

One must consider with horror that the Jewish Holocaust was neither the first nor the last act of Genocide. Indeed, the Twentieth Century was labeled as the "Age of Genocide", an observation that is essentially an understatement. The beginning of the last century witnessed the extermination of more than 750,000 Assyrians, over 1 million Armenians, and 300,000 Pontic Greeks by the Turkish government from 1915 to 1923. Sadly, this was only the beginning.

Great powers regularly demolish other peoples' claims to dignity and place, and sometimes, as history shows, the outcome is genocide. Two major factors continue to pave the way for future crimes of genocide: Lack of international willingness to punish the perpetrators of these crimes and ultimately, while remaining unpunished, allowing the perpetrators of these
crimes to victimize the victims once again by a stubborn and self-serving denial. Today, an alarming number of U.S. universities promote the political agenda of criminal states like Turkey and shore up the official claims of these criminal nation-states.

Then exiled Czech novelist M. Kundera wrote, "the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting". The world at large may ignore the events of 1915, but the Assyrian community throughout the world continues to keep alive the memory of the Assyrian Genocide. The Assyrians, together with the Armenians and the Greeks were one of the first victims of genocide. This fact must never be forgotten.

This conference is dedicated to that struggle, as well as to all Assyrian victims of the First Genocide of the Twentieth Century.


 

2001 Conference Program

Session I  
9:30 Registration / Coffee & Tea
10:00 Introduction and Welcome
Wilfred Alkhas, Zinda Magazine
10:15 Welcoming Remarks
Jacklin Bejan
Assyrian American Association of San Jose
10:25 A short prayer
10:30 Genocide of 1915
Dr. Racho Donef, Australia
11:25 The Armenian Genocide as a Prototype of
Modern Mass Killing and Denial
Prof. Richard Hovannisian
University of California, Los Angeles
12:20 Lunch Break
Session II  
1:30 Video Presentation: "In the Name of Christ"
2:15 From the Assyrian Genocide to the Lausanne Treaty: A
Struggle for Recognition
Dr. Gabriele Yonan
Free University of Berlin, Germany
3:10 Coffee & Tea Break
3:20 Q & A Directed at the Panel
4:15

Closing Remarks


 

Acknowledgments

The Assyrian American Association of San Jose wishes to thank the following sponsors for making this historic and unprecedented event possible.

Financial Contributors

  • Babylon Printing
  • Western Security Funding
  • WJ Printing
  • Zinda Magazine

Individual Efforts, Products and Services Donated by

  • Atour.com, Assyrian Information Management (AIM|atour.com)
  • Grafeex, Homer Younan
  • Fred Aprim
  • Rachelle Badal Daryoush
  • Yolanda Bebla
  • Emil Bebla
  • Wilfred Alkhas
  • Alphonse Odisho

And special thanks to the dedicated volunteers of
The Assyrian American Association of San Jose


 

Abstract of Dr. Donef's Presentation

The Christian genocide perpetrated by the Young Turks is one of the unresolved issues of the 20th century. The descendants of the perpetrators themselves have not accepted responsibility for the massacres, relying instead on a number of methods to deny that such
event took place at all. At the extreme end of this denialism it is even alleged that Turks were victims of genocide perpetrated by the Armenians and other Christians of the Ottoman Empire. Nonetheless, it is a well-researched and historical fact that Armenians, Greeks and
Assyrians were victims of a brutal and orchestrated campaign of annihilation.

In the Paris Peace Conference both Armenians and the Assyrians submitted their grievances against the Ottoman Empire detailing the massacres. Some discussions also took place in Sevres but none in Lausanne. Between 1919-22 the Greco-Turkish War overshadowed any claims of the genocide. In the ensuing years Armenians have been vocal and successful in publicizing the Armenian genocide, while until very recently the Assyrian genocide had remained largely unknown to the world. The Akbulut case in 2000 was a turning point, which provided an impetus for the publicization of the Assyrian genocide to the world.

The events that unfolded in 1915 have not only impacted on the victims - Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians. Kurds and Turks are still burdened by the scale of the atrocities their fathers have committed. The Turks have on the whole treated the issues as a taboo and discouraged discussions on it. However, in the last few years for the first some historians, journalists and political activists have emerged in Turkey who are willing to deviate from the official thesis and consider an alternative viewpoint. At this point, it is imperative that researchers document archival material as well as eyewitness accounts to further the case of the recognition of the Assyrian genocide by Turkey.


Dr. Racho Donef
Sydney, Australia

  • Bachelor of Arts
    University of New South Wales
    Majors: Spanish and Sociology
    Minor: French, 1982-85
  • Master of Arts
    University of New South Wales
    Sociology, 1986-87
  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Anthropology
    Macquarie University, 1990-98
    Topic: "Identities in the multicultural state: Four population groups from
    Turkey in Sweden and Australia: Greeks, Assyrians, Kurds and Armenians."

LANGUAGES

Greek, Turkish, Spanish, Swedish, French, Italian

SOCIAL INVOLVEMENT

  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal Policy Officer
  • Workers Education Association
    Greek Society & Culture", Winter term, 2000
    "Turkish Society & Culture", Summer term, 2000
  • Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission / Research & Policy
    Officer

PUBLICATIONS RELATED TO ASSYRIANS

[To be published] 'Ot Acouptoi crqv Toupxin',
[Assyrians in Turkey: Disappearance of a culture], AvaroA1, Athens.

[To be published] 'Ot Aocuptoi crnv 08collaVtKi] Auroxpuropto.', [Assyrians in the
Ottoman Empire], AvaroA1, Athens, March, 2001.

'Turkish National Security Council's report on the Assyrians', www.atour.com,
March 21, 2001.

'Assyrians in Turkey: Disappearance of a culture?', Assyrian Australian Academic
Journal,
2000.

'Three survivors of the Armenian Genocide', International Network on Holocaust and
Genocide
, Vo1.l4, No.1, 1999.

'The Assyrian community in Sydney', (In Turkishl'Avustralya'daki Asur Toplumu ile
ilgili bazi istatistikler'), Hujiidd, (Assyrian journal in Sweden), Vo1.l6, No.176,
February 1993.

Assyrian community profile, Department of Social Security, Sydney, 1991.

LECTURES RELATED TO ASSYRIANS

The Assyrians in Turkey: Disappearance of a culture?, Persecution of Syriac-
Speaking Christians Conference, Macquarie University, 2 July 2000

The Assyrians and Assyrian Identity in the Ottoman Empire, Inaugural Biennial
Conference: Portraits of Christian Asia Minor, Macquarie University, 18 September
1999

The Jews of Kurdistan, Sydney Jewish Centre on Ageing, 8 February 1999

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and Race Issues, Discourses on
Racism, Resistance & Identity 1, Newcastle University, 9 March 1995


 

Abstract of Dr. Hovannisian's Presentation

The Armenian Genocide as a Prototype of Modern Mass Killing and Denial

The Armenian Genocide during World War I, which in many regions also became an Assyrian Genocide, created the prototype of modern mass killing.

Nearly every other instance of genocide in the Twentieth century followed a similar pattern: perversion of the government by a political party; adoption of an exclusivist and chauvinist ideology marking some elements as undesirable, "the other" and justifying extreme violence to create a new regional order; vulnerability of the victim group already demonstrated as in the massacres of 1894-96; scape-goating of the intended victim group; creation of special paramilitary units to conduct and oversee the killings; use of secrecy and cover-up before, during, and after the genocide; positive and negative incentives by rewarding those who participate in the killings and punishing those who refuse to carry out the orders of the perpetrators; ascribing to the victims the very crimes to which they themselves were subjected, and so forth.

It has been said that denial is the final phase of genocide. Following the physical destruction of a people and its material culture, memory is all that is left and is targeted as the last victim to be eliminated. Complete annihilation of a people requires the banishment of recollection and the suffocation of remembrance. Falsification, deception, and half-truths reduce what was to what may have been or perhaps what was not at all. The history of Turkish state-sponsored denial of its genocidal activities have passed through several phases since the end of World War I in 1918. From total negation and diplomatic, political, and economic pressure to suppress any discussion of the crime, the denial has progressed into the phases of rationalization and relativization in order to make it seem more reasonable and to raise doubts about the intent to destroy an entire people.

The arguments and logic used by deniers and rationalizers of the Armenian Genocide are the very same as those put forward in denial of other genocides, except that in the Armenian case these have entered into the mainstream scholarship and teaching. This presentation will compare, with examples, the common arguments used by deniers in the stubborn attempt to avoid acknowledgement of and answerability for the crime of genocide. The concept of academic freedom has given license to deniers in many countries, but it is time to demand that academic freedom be matched equally by academic integrity and responsibility.


Prof. Richard G. Hovannisian
Armenian and Near Eastern History
Armenian Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Armenian History
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Academic Qualifications

B.A. and M.A. in History
University of California, Berkeley

Ph.D. in history from UCLA

Member of the UCLA faculty since 1962
Has organized undergraduate and graduate programs in Armenian history

Awards & Honors

  • Guggenheim Fellow
  • Founder and three-time president of the Society for Armenian Studies
  • Serves on the editorial boards of six journals
  • Serves on the Boards of Directors often scholarly and civic organizations
  • Listed in the WORLD WHO'S WHO, AMERICAN WHO'S WHO
  • In 1990, became the first social scientist living abroad to be elected to the
    Armenian National Academy of Sciences
  • Honorary doctorate degrees
    Yerevan State University (1994)
    Artsakh (Karabagh) State University (1997)
  • May 1998, on the occasion of the so" anniversary of the founding of the first Armenian republic
    awarded the Movses Khorenatsi Medal by the president of the current republic.

... many other honors for his scholarship, civic activities, and advancement of Armenian studies.

Publications

Armenia on the Road to Independence (1967)
The Republic of Armenia (1971-1996) - 4 Volumes
The Armenian Image in History and Literature (1981) - editor & contributor
The Armenian Genocide in Perspective (1986)
The Armenian Genocide: History, Politics, Ethics (1992)
Remembrance and Denial: The Case Of The Armenian Genocide (1998)
The Armenian People From Ancient to Modem Times, 2 Volumes (1997)
Armenian VaniVaspurakan (2000)

... and more than 50 scholarly articles on Armenian, Caucasian, and Near Eastern history.


 

Presentation of Dr. Gabriele Yonan

From the Assyrian Genocide to the Lausanne Treaty:
A Struggle for Recognition

Period of Genocides

The most devastating political acts and killing committed on the Assyrian people happened
during the decay of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire (19th century).

1) Genocide of 1895

The genocide of the Turkish-Ottoman against the Christian peoples (Assyrians, Greeks and
Armenians
) started on the 30th October 1895. This genocide lasted 6 months, and it started in Amid (Diyarbakir) and extended to Hasankeyf till Sivas. During this genocide, hundreds of thousands men, women, children, old people were cruelly assassinated. All their possessions, such as gold, silver, money and land were confiscated. The genocide extended to bigger cities like Urfa, Bitlis, Siverek, Bilecik, Malatya, etc. In Urfa alone 13,000 Assyrian were massacred. The Assyrian population of the Eastern part, mainly the area of Turkish-Persian border became also victim of those events. Many villages have been destroyed, the Assyrian population were killed or exiled to Persia.

2) "Seyfo" ("The Sword of Islam" - Genocide of 1915 - The Year of the Sword")

Although not many countries recognized it, all countries are well aware of the genocide of the Turkish-Ottoman leaders during World War I on the Assyrian, Greek and Armenian peoples. When the Christian peoples in the Balkan obtained their independence and when this Ottoman Empire also lost influence in Africa, the Arabs as well begun to revolt. During World War I the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire only ruled over Trachea, Anatolia, Armenia and Mesopotamia. Because the Turkish-Ottoman leaders feared to loose also these regions, their army started to put into practice genocide in the east of the Ottoman Empire. All inhabitant Christian peoples (Assyrians, Pontos Greeks, Armenians) were stigmatized as "traitors" and with a call for a "holy Islamic war" (the so-called Jihad) they started their cruel massacres. Already before, Sultan Abdulhamid had created the so-called Hamidiye-Murder commandos with the help of local Kurdish clans. The genocide of these groups together with the Turkish-Ottoman army against the Assyrians, the Pontos Greeks and the Armenians was the first genocide of human history. Between 1914 and 1918 about 500.000 Assyrians, hundreds of thousands of Pontos Greeks and 1,5 million Armenians were brutally killed. Hundreds of thousands Assyrians suffered afterwards from famine and disease. Tens of thousand men were deported to other regions or countries. Thousands of children and women were kidnapped by Turks and Kurds and were forced to convert to Islam. The Assyrian people lost two third (!) of their number during this genocide. It was the worst event in their history.

Assyrian in the Treaties of the 20th century

In the beginning of the 20th century, many treaties have been composed and signed between the allied powers. Those treaties determinate the future of the minorities in the Ottoman Empire. All those treaties discussed and tried to protect the national rights of the Assyrians who lived in a strategically important region. The following treaties determined the future of the Assyrians by the two world powers of that period, France and Great Britain.

1) Sykes-Picot Treaty

This treaty, written by the British and the French with the support of the Russians, planned the creation of a Christian country from Armenia till the Mediterranean See. The Christians in this region were Armenians and Assyrians.

2) French-British Treaty in November 1918

In this treaty, compiled by France and Britain, it was accepted that every nation, including the Assyrian, residing in the Turkish-Ottoman Empire, had the right of self- determination.

3) Peace conference of Paris, July 1919

The Assyrian delegation, consisting of 10 persons, that participated in the conference of Paris demanded an Assyrian State in the area of the Zab- Tigris river in the south up till Diyarbakir and the Armenian mountains in the north, that should be under the protection of a western powerful state. The American president Woodrow Wilson stated that every ethnic group living on Turkish territory and that is not Turkish should get the opportunity to develop a reasonable standard of living.

4) The Treaty of Sevres, August 10, 1920

In this treaty, in which the Turkish domination was acknowledged, article 62 dictated the
following: the protection of the Assyrian people should be guaranteed in Iraq or Turkey.

Moreover, in this treaty it was stipulated that in an autonomous Kurdistan in the north of
Mesopotamia the rights of the Assyrian people should be guaranteed and maintained.

Also it was stipulated that every inhabitant of Turkey, not being Turkish, has the right to return to his indigenous area and that a repayment should be paid for the damages they suffered.

5) The treaty of Lausanne, July 24, 1923

The political instability, caused among others by the development of the Soviet Union and the Turkish resistance against the Allied, that occurred after the First World War, lead to a new treaty.

Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Greece, Rumania, Serbia, Croatia-Slovenia and Turkey
developed a policy that finally leads to the current formation of Turkey. In the preliminary
meetings the representatives of the Assyrians were not allowed to participate: their destiny
depended on the agreements between the Turks and the allied forces.

The minority-commission discussed the position of the Assyrians during the preliminary meetings. In the many meetings that were held, the British representative Lord Curzon expressed his displeasure. He said: "I hope that the treaty is able to protect the rights of the minorities sufficiently. In the above-mentioned treaty, the national problem of the Assyrians was classified under the wide concept of "non-Muslim".

The treaty contains 8 clauses (37-44) concerning the protection of the non-Muslim minorities:

PROTECTION OF MINORITIES

ARTICLE 37.

Turkey undertakes that the stipulations contained in Articles 38 to 44 shall be recognised as
fundamental laws, and that no law, no regulation, nor official action shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation, nor official action prevail over them.

ARTICLE 38.

The Turkish Government undertakes to assure full and complete protection of life and liberty to all inhabitants of Turkey without distinction of birth, nationality, language, race or religion.

All inhabitants of Turkey shall be entitled to free exercise, whether in public or private, of any creed, religion or belief, the observance of which shall not be incompatible with public order and good morals.

Non-Moslem minorities will enjoy full freedom of movement and of emigration, subject to the measures applied, on the whole or on part of the territory, to all Turkish nationals, and which may be taken by the Turkish Government for national defence, or for the maintenance of public order.

ARTICLE 39.

Turkish nationals belonging to non-Moslem minorities will enjoy the same civil and political
rights as Moslems.

All the inhabitants of Turkey, without distinction of religion, shall be equal before the law.
Differences of religion, creed or confession shall not prejudice any Turkish national in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil or political rights, as, for instance, admission to public employments, functions and honours, or the exercise of professions and industries.

No restrictions shall be imposed on the free use by any Turkish national of any language in
private intercourse, in commerce, religion, in the press, or in publications of any kind or at
public meetings.

Notwithstanding the existence of the official language, adequate facilities shall be given to
Turkish nationals of non-Turkish speech for the oral use of their own language before the
Courts.

ARTICLE 40.

Turkish nationals belonging to non-Moslem minorities shall enjoy the same treatment and
security in law and in fact as other Turkish nationals. In particular, they shall have an equal
right to establish, manage and control at their own expense, any charitable, religious and
social institutions, any schools and other establishments for instruction and education, with the right to use their own language and to exercise their own religion freely therein.

ARTICLE 41.

As regards public instruction, the Turkish Government will grant in those towns and districts, where a considerable proportion of non-Moslem nationals are resident, adequate facilities for ensuring that in the primary schools the instruction shall be given to the children of such Turkish nationals through the medium of their own language. This provision will not prevent the Turkish Government from making the teaching of the Turkish language obligatory in the said schools.

In towns and districts where there is a considerable proportion of Turkish nationals belonging to non-Moslem minorities, these minorities shall be assured an equitable share in the enjoyment and application of the sums which may be provided out of public funds under the State, municipal or other budgets for educational, religious, or charitable purposes. The sums in question shall be paid to the qualified representatives of the establishments and institutions concerned.

ARTICLE 42.

The Turkish Government undertakes to take, as regards non-Moslem minorities, in so far as
concerns their family law or personal status, measures permitting the settlement of these
questions in accordance with the customs of those minorities.

These measures will be elaborated by special Commissions composed of representatives of
the Turkish Government and of representatives of each of the minorities concerned in equal number. In case of divergence, the Turkish Government and the Council of the League of
Nations will appoint in agreement an umpire chosen from amongst European lawyers.

The Turkish Government undertakes to grant full protection to the churches, synagogues,
cemeteries, and other religious establishments of the above-mentioned minorities. All facilities and authorisation will be granted to the pious foundations, and to the religious and charitable institutions of the said minorities at present existing in Turkey, and the Turkish Government will not refuse, for the formation of new religious and charitable institutions, any of the necessary facilities which are guaranteed to other private institutions of that nature.

ARTICLE 43.

Turkish nationals belonging to non-Moslem minorities shall not be compelled to perform any act which constitutes a violation of their faith or religious observances, and shall not be placed under any disability by reason of their refusal to attend Courts of Law or to perform any legal business on their weekly day of rest.

This provision, however, shall not exempt such Turkish nationals from such obligations as
shall be imposed upon all other Turkish nationals for the preservation of public order.

ARTICLE 44.

Turkey agrees that, in so far as the preceding Articles of this Section affect non-Moslem
nationals of Turkey, these provisions constitute obligations of international concern and shall be placed under the guarantee of the League of Nations. They shall not be modified without the assent of the majority of the Council of the League of Nations. The British Empire, France, Italy and Japan hereby agree not to withhold their assent to any modification in these Articles which is in due form assented to by a majority of the Council of the League of Nations.

Turkey agrees that any Member of the Council of the League of Nations shall have the right to bring to the attention of the Council any infraction or danger of infraction of any of these
obligations, and that the Council may thereupon take such action and give such directions as
it may deem proper and effective in the circumstances.

Turkey further agrees that any difference of opinion as to questions of law or of fact arising out of these Articles between the Turkish Government and anyone of the other Signatory Powers or any other Power, a member of the Council of the League of Nations, shall be held to be a dispute of an international character under Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. The Turkish Government hereby consents that any such dispute shall, if the other party thereto demands, be referred to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The decision of the Permanent Court shall be final and shall have the same force and effect as an award under Article 13 of the Covenant.

Turkey claims today that the above mentioned clauses are valid for all non-Muslims. The Greek, Armenians and Jews that live in Turkey made restricted use of these rights.

In spite of their Christian religion these rights were not granted to the Assyrians.

To prevent the Assyrians to claim these rights Turkey took measures:

  1. The Assyrians that lived in- and around Hakkari were attacked by the Turkish army in 1924. In this operation more then ten thousand Assyrians were killed, hundreds of villages destroyed and thousands of Assyrians expelled to the inland of Iraq. The whole province of Hakkari was disposed of Assyrians, except of a few villages. The Assyrians that fled to Iraq were attacked by the Iraqi army in 1933, over three thousand of them were massacred.
  2. The Syriac Orthodox patriarch Mar Ignatius IIyas Shakir was banned by the Turkish government in 1931. His banishment meant the end of the patriarchate of the Syriac-Orthodox church in Turkey. The Assyrians that were member of this church found themselves without a leader and this church got disorganized. The Syriac-Orthodox patriarchate settled with the help of the French in Syria.
  3. From the first of November 1928 all languages were forbidden to be spoken except for the Turkish language.
  4. On the third of November 1928 it was forbidden to use any other alphabet then the Turkish alphabet. The Syriac-alphabet that existed for thousands of years was from now on a forbidden alphabet.
  5. The geographical names of the Assyrians got new Turkish names, the old original names were forbidden to use.
  6. By the law of 21 st of June 1934 concerning the family names all traditional Assyrian family names were replaced by Turkish names.
  7. During the W.W " large taxes (the so-called "Varlik Vergisi") were imposed upon the Assyrians. These taxes lead to severe poverty and economical backwardness of the area where they lived.
  8. In 1979 the Islamic religion was obligatory for everyone. The Assyrians were forced to be educated in Islam.
  9. In the beginning of the eighties hundreds of thousands of Assyrians fled, due to this Turkish policy, to Europe, the USA and Australia. In the region of Tur Abdin alone more then 80 villages were wiped "clean" from Assyrians. Within a couple of years the provinces of Hakkari and Mardin were, except for a few thousand people, disposed of Assyrians. Special forces were launched against the few people that refused to leave. These units killed more than fifty Assyrian-Syriacs and caused destruction and terror. These killings caused a speed of the refuge of the Assyrian-Syriacs and an ethnical cleaning was the result.
  10. Up till 1980 the identity cards of the Assyrians mentioned "Syriac" and "Christian". After 1980 "Syriac" was no longer mentioned, and so it was impossible to distinguish a Christian ethnically. Legislation in 2000 made the indication "Christian" to disappear. This "Turkification policy" hides ethnical and religious differences within the population of Turkey.
  11. Legislation of 1997 prohibited the two oldest monasteries of the Christian World Culture, namely the St. Gabriel and the Deyr Za'faran, to teach in the Syriac (church) language.

The Assyrian people are an old nation. The countries that together with Turkey played a role in the realization of the treaty of Lausanne and therefore were responsible for the destiny of the Assyrians did nothing to prevent the Assyrians from being exterminated.


Dr. Gabriele Yonan
Free University of Berlin
Germany

Monographs / Works

ASSYRIANS TODAY
Culture, Language and National Movement of Aramaic speaking Christians in the
Middle East
Series: Pogrom, edited by "Society for threatened Peoples", Hamburg-Vienna 1978,
278 p.

 JOURNALISM AMONG ASSYRIANS
A Periodical Survey from the Beginning to the Present Time
Series: Gilgamesh, edited by the Federation of Assyrian Associations in Germany,
Berlin 1985, 200 p.

A FORGOTTEN HOLOCAUST
The Extermination of the Christian Assyrians in Turkey and Persia
Ed. "Society for Threatened Peoples" Series, Gottinqen 1989, 420 p. (Turkish
translation, Istanbul 1997)

English translation under print by Markus Wiener Publishers, Princeton (2001)

ASSYRIAN GENOCIDE: A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY

ASSYRIANS AND GERMAN DIPLOMACY - NEW LIGHT ON THE HOLOCAUST
Documents of the Foreign Office, 1897-1918

Monographs / Reports

Writing Series of the Central Documentation Office for Refugee Assistance (ZDWF)
Bonn

No. 32
Can Istanbul be an inland escape alternative for the Syrian Orthodox Christians from
Tur Abdin?
Bonn 1989, 51 p. + Supplement

No. 36
Report on Syria with special consideration of the Christian Assyrians' situation.
Bonn 1990, 133 p.

No. 50
Christian Minorities in Turkey: Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Arabs
Bonn 1992, 40 p. 2nd ed. 1994

Periodical: Pogrom (Publication of the Society for Threatened People)

Persecuted Christian nationalities in Turkey: Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and
Orthodox Arabs, Pogrom No.64, 1979, p.38-53

The unknown genocide of the Assyrians 1915-1918, Pogrom No. 72/73, 1980

The Copts in Egypt, Pogrom No.19, 1982

Assyrians, a national minority introduces itself, Pogrom No.98, 1983, p.49-51 (also
Leaflet of the Series "Fourth World" information of Society for Threatened People -
Texts about Nationalities and Minorities conflicts

Assyrians/Syrian Orthodox Christians as a politically persecuted minority in Turkey. A
review on the legal development of Asylum, Pogrom No. 102-103, 1983, p.22-24

Assyrians in Iraq, Pogrom No.122, 1988, p.27-29

Reports commissioned by the Society for Threatened People Gottingen-Germany

1. Turkey: The development of the political conditions in Turkey under the Ozal-
Government and the effects on the Syrian Orthodox Christians in Tur Abdin and in
Istanbul.
Berlin 1987,30 p.

2. Iran: The development of the political and social conditions in Iran after the Islamic
Revolution in 1979 and its consequences for the Christian Assyrians.
Berlin 1987, 53 p. + Suppl.

3. Iraq: Report on the situation of the Christian Assyrians in Iraq
Berlin 1987,22 p.+ 25 documents, ill.

Federation of the Assyrian Association in Germany (Editor)

Assyrian Music, past and present
In: Assyrian Youth in Schullandheim. Integration and meeting seminar for Assyrian
young people in Strassberg, Bavaria. Augsburg 1985, p. 42-47

Traditions of Assyrian food culture
In: Michael Abdallah, Assyrian food culture, Poznan-Berlin 1987, p.7-14, 35-37
Ed. by Assyrian Federation of Germany

Documentation: Assyrian Refugees in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Country of origin: Turkey
Series: Data on Assyrian political history, vol. 1 (Archive, G.Yonan), Augsburg 1986,
595 p.

Essays

Syrian Orthodox and Arab Orthodox in Turkey
In: Turkey. Politics, economy, culture. ed.by Eberhard Schmidt, Express Guide Book,
Publishing House Mundo, Leer 1991, p.176-178
Assyrians in West Europe
In: Ethnologia Polonia, Poznan, vo1.19, 1992, p.81-86

Articles

Syrian Orthodox Christians among Turkish foreign workers
In: Orient Service Information No. 47, Nov. 1977, Wiesbaden

The Syrian Orthodox Parish looks for church property
In: Berliner Sonntagsblatt, Berlin, Nov. 11, 1977

Emigration remains the last rescue. The fate of the Assyrians in Iran
In: Berliner Sonntagsblatt 1/4/1979

Assyrians, a forgotten minority
In: Periodical, Ethnic Group Rights NO.1 0, 1978, Information service for Ethnic
groups and minority issue, Bad Kissingen

Comparative rights of Assyrian asylum seekers in the Federal Republic of Germany
and in other West European States
In : Egartho 1/1980

Inclusion in UNESCO World Heritage list. An initiative for the preservation of the
ancient Christian culture in Tur Abdin (Turkey)
In: Tur Abdin Documentation 1994, ed. by SOlidaritatsgruppe Tur Abdin 1995, p.5-7

Lexica / Encyclopaedia

"Assyrian Church of the East" / "Chaldean Church"
Lexikon fur Theologie und Kirche vol. 5, 1997 publication

Published Lectures

Persecution for religious reasons: The Assyrians
In: Topical Talks, Special Issue No. 26, 1978

Minutes of Meeting: Christians from Turkey as asylum seekers in the Federal
Republic of Germany (19-21/11/1979): Paper "The situation of the Christians in
Turkey"
Editor: Evangelical Academy Bad Boll Material Service 2/1980

Two Lectures on the occasion of the 21st Orientalist Conference in Berlin, March
1980: 1) Revival trends of classical Syriac as the common literary language for the
Asssyrians and 2) On the development of the Nestorian Church of the East in the
Western Diaspora, since 1975 In: EGARTHO 3/4,1981

Naum Melo, Dust and Smoke. Report of an Assyrian Orthodox Christian from a
village in the South East of Turkey. Vienna, Europe Publication House 1983
In: EGARTHO 6 (3), 1983

Rudolf Macuch "History of the late Syriac and New Syriac Literature"
In: Qala Suryaya, Baghdad (Arabic), ed. by Syriac Academy 1979



Editors' Note: 
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Genocide Denial at Center of Mass. Judicial Nomination
Facing History, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Silence of the Lambs
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