Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Genocide of Turkey's Greeks

Greek Genocide 1914-23
Fact Sheet: Greek Genocide
  • The Greek Genocide was perpetrated between 1914 and 1923 by the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Turkey's predecessor.  Approximately one million Ottoman Greeks, from a minority population of two and a half million, were exterminated during this period.
  • The Genocide was perpetrated by two consecutive governments of the Ottoman Empire; the Committee for Union and Progress (Ittihad ve Terakki Jemiyeti), also known as the Young Turks, and the Kemalists led by Mustafa Kemal "Ataturk".
  • Massacres, internal deportations involving death marches and conscription into labor battalions were the principal methods employed to secure an end to the collective existence of the Greek minority in Ottoman Turkey.
  • An American relief committee, namely the “Relief Committee for Greeks of Asia Minor”, was formed in response to the Greek Genocide. Other relief organizations also provided aid to Ottoman Greeks.
  • The Greek Genocide was systematically and methodically carried out throughout the entire territory of Ottoman Turkey which indicates that the genocidal campaign was centrally conceived and administered by Ottoman authorities.
  • The Greek Genocide was carried out alongside the Armenian and Aramaean/Assyrian genocides, in which more than a million Armenians and several hundred thousand Assyrians died. The plight of these three Ottoman Christian minorities, Armenians, Aramaeans/Assyrians and Greeks, are often considered as a distinct genocidal campaign where the target group was the Christian element of the Empire.
  • The genocide in the late Ottoman Empire was the precursor of the Jewish Holocaust and prototype of twentieth-century genocide. Prof. Israel Charny, one of the world's leading authorities on the Holocaust and genocide, has affirmed this. "Christian Holocaust is viewed as the precursor to the Jewish Holocaust in WWII.” 
  • The word “holocaust” was widely used at the time to describe the plight of the Ottoman Greeks and other Christian minorities of the Empire.
  • The International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), an organization of the world’s foremost experts on genocide, passed a resolution affirming the 1914-1923 massacres and death marches of Ottoman Greeks were "genocide". The IAGS resolution noted that the Greek Genocide was "qualitatively similar" to the Armenian Genocide.
  • The Turkish government today denies the Greek Genocide. Denial is widely recognized as the final stage of genocide.
  • The Greek Genocide is commemorated annually on 14 September by the Greek Diaspora.

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