THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, AN ENDLESS PAIN
"We emphasize that remembering the crimes or wrongs of the past, wherever and whenever they occurred, unequivocally condemning its racist tragedies and telling the truth about history are essential elements for international reconciliation and the creation of societies based on justice, equality and solidarity".
World Conference against Racism, Durban (South Africa) 2001, Article 106
At the beginning of the XX Century, the Ottoman Empire rules also over Armenia. Since the empire was on the brink of disintegration, they launched a policy of intransigent "turkanization". They decided, for instance to have "Armenia without Armenians". In 1909, 20.000 Armenians were slaughtered in the Turkish province of Adana. The Armenian men, enrolled in the Ottoman army, were dispossessed of their arms. Some of them were sent to hard labour or merely shot.
On the night of April 24, 1915, in Constantinople (today Istanbul), and in the main cities where Armenians were living, the intellectuals and prominent citizens were arrested and killed. The government decided to deport the whole of the Armenian population to the deserts of Mesopotamia. Armenians were asked to leave their houses in 24 or 48 hours, for "military reasons". Men are shot when leaving the villages. Women, children and elderly had to travel hundreds of kilometres without care, without food. On the way they were robbed, beaten, raped. Many of them died on the way to the desert of Syria, where the survivors were killed. In those days 1.500.000 Armenians died, almost half of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.
The Turkish Government, the inheritor of the Ottoman Empire, denies it to have been an organized, deliberate will to exterminate the Armenian people. They say it was civil war. Legally to call it genocide, you need a deliberate and organized will. Hence the denial by Turkey, a country that, furthermore, is a geostrategic partner of economic interest for powerful First-World countries.
This genocide was recognized by the United Nation in 1985 through one of its Commissions. The Ecumenical Council of Churches did the same in 1985, the European Parliament in 1987, as well as the Governments of Argentina, Cyprus, France, Sweden and Italy, among others. The World Council of the Young Men's Christian Associations/ YMCA held in Mexico in 2002, also proceeded to condemn the genocide.
As His Holiness Pope Francis recently said, the Armenian people is recognized as the first in converting to Christianity in the year 301. "This people has", added the Pontiff, "a millenary history and keeps an admirable spiritual and culture heritage, together with the capacity of rising up after the many persecutions and trials it suffered".
In 2015, at the centenary of a mourning clouded by a slow memory, the Young Men's Christian Association / YMCA of the Republic of Argentina SUPPORTS THE CONDEMNATION OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE AND DEMANDS THAT IT BE RECOGNIZED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF TURKEY AND BY THE COUNTRIES STILL SILENT. AT THE SAME TIME, IT FRATERNALLY GREETS THE LONG-SUFFERING PEOPLE OF THE SOUTHERN CAUCASUS.
Eduardo Spósito Norberto Rodríguez Eduardo Ibichian
Honorary Secretary Secretary General President