The other side of the story (2)

Read / lees in : Nederlands

Genocide monument / Yerevan / Armenia
I could barely reach the top of the stack.

As promised I was going to ask around in Armenia what’s true of the (alleged) genocide committed by Armenians in Quba/Azerbaijan. My Armenian friends however never even heard about that incident. Of course that’s not so strange if the Armenians really did cause that bloodbath it lies within reason that it would’ve been erased from the history books in Armenia. But they spontaneously came up with the same argument that I had thought of myself. Namely that they didn’t have time for that in that period of time. The Armenians at that moment were still very busy with saving themselves from the genocide the Turks were committing on them.

That genocide, by the way, is being classified by the Azerbaijanis as a big lie. They held a genocide denial conference in Baku, on the very day it is remembered, the 24th of April! Basically you’ve heard enough if people deny the Armenian genocide took place, after that you can’t believe anything else they say. I classify the story and museum about what happened in Quba therefore as total bollocks. If it happened at all, the perpetrators must be found somewhere else.

Genocide monument / Yerevan / Armenia
You have to walk for miles in this almost endless procession.

What do the Turks say?

At the denial conference in Baku the Turks had a place at the table (of course). But even Erdogan has admitted the last few years that the Armenians were slaughtered by the Ottomans. Although he still doesn’t want to call it a genocide. The Turks point at the definition that specifies what a genocide exactly is. The Armenian genocide supposedly (barely) doesn’t qualify for the full 100%. A childish case of nitpicking to divert the attention from what they did.

The commemoration

How ever it may be, I was there this year on the 24th of April when the Armenians commemorated this first genocide in the history of mankind. Very impressive. A few days earlier I visited the genocide monument and museum to learn more about what happened. Long story short: most of the victims were forced to march from East Turkey to desert near Deir ez-Zor hundreds of kilometers away in Syria. During the march they were deprived of food and water, but received plenty of beatings. Upon arriving the few survivors were eventually killed.

Genocide monument / Yerevan / Armenia
In my opinion this commemoration was more a thing of the people than ours on the 4th of May in Amsterdam.

On remembrance day itself there’s a never ending stream of Armenians too. Only this time to lay a flower and mumble a prayer at the eternal flame inside the genocide monument in Yerevan. De mourning procession is being broadcasted on national television all day long. All bars, restaurants etc. have this channel switched on and everywhere in the city people are mostly dressed in black.

Recognition of the Armenian genocide

I knew that the German parliament adopted a resolution in which the murder of the Armenian people was officially classified as genocide. Our Dutch parliament did the same in 2004 by unanimously, but our government that always knows better will not officially recognise the genocide anytime soon. Therefore I was, to say the least, relieved when I walked together with my Armenian friends past the board on which the countries that recognise the genocide and saw our flag. At least we won’t be categorised as holocaust deniers.

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