We have come together as members of the Armenian, Kurdish, Yazidi, Assyrian, and Turkish communities to fight the Turkish state and fascist movement by advancing mutual solidarity and common self-defense. The dire need to recognize and connect each other’s struggles has only increased in recent years, but it was the war on
Arzach/Karabakh which killed over 5,000 Armenians and ethnically cleansed over 40,000 over 44 days last Fall that was the shock which caused our group to form.
Unfortunately, many Armenians have felt a false sense of security within the borders of their state. The genocide in Shengal and attack on Kobane by ISIS in 2014 with Turkey’s logistical support, followed by the block-by-block destruction in 2016 of Kurdish cities like Sur, Cizre, and Nusaybin, among others, and then the invasion and brutal ethnic cleansing of Afrin and Serekaniye in 2018 and 2019 made it clear which shape and trajectory the expansionist and fascist elements in Turkey were taking. Some in our group were involved in solidarity with the resistors at the time, but we could say that the majority of Armenian society was sleeping at the time for various reasons we will not get into here.
But it is not just in our homelands that our communities are threatened by Turkish fascism. In Germany, the largest and most organized rightwing extremist group are not Nazis, according to the Federal Agency for Civic Education, but the Grey Wolves (Ülkücü), with an estimated 18,000 members. We have met many Armenian, Yazidi, and Kurdish migrants who have hidden their identity due to fears of racist targeting, including both physical attacks and psychological attacks, such as genocide denialism.
This brings us to a central point: A perpetrator that does not recognize and account for a crime will usually continue that crime. There has been a huge mistake in promoting the idea that recognition of the Armenian Genocide is in any way a historical issue. Truly recognizing the genocide as a genocide entails acknowledging why it occurred: that it was part of an overarching project of Turkification of former Ottoman territories, which had planned the annihilation of Christian minorities and assimilation of the Kurds.
Assimilation took the form of the denial of the existence of Kurds, instead categorizing them as “Mountain Turks”, criminalizing the language and banning any political representation. The greater project of Turkification or Turanism has never been rescinded and continues as a National project to this day. That is the real reason the genocide cannot be recognized.
Therefore, among our demands as a group is the immediate recognition of, and accountability for, the Genocide by both Turkey and Germany, which played a huge role as a military ally to Turkey both 100 years ago, as well as during the depredations and ethnic cleansings of the last years. All wars and attacks on our peoples must cease
It is in that sense that we decided to organize our next demo in honor of Soghomon Tehlirian. Come out on the streets with us to show our numbers against Turkish Fascism!
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