In response to today's attack, Armenian Independence Day & the President of the @UN
being a Turkish man who openly denies the Armenian Genocide, I decided to make a *THREAD* about the Genocide, subsequent denial, cultural ruin, and settler-colonial violence in Western Armenia
Today, Turkish President Erdogan, who backed the Azeri assault on Armenia, claimed that "Armenia is the biggest threat to peace in the region." Well, let me direct you to Turkey's ongoing genocide, forced removal, and cultural destruction of my people. https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/erdogan-armenia-biggest-threat-to-peace-in-region
The term genocide was literally coined by Lemkin AFTER THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, yet people are still out here debating this collective traumatic, earth-shattering event that killed a majority of us, uprooted us from our indigenous homelands, and scattered us all over the world.
Here are the only pictures I have of any great-grandparents. Takouhie Nene was from Kayseri and Movses Dede was from Marash. While escaping to Syria, Movses Dede was struck in the head by a Turkish gendarme with a wooden plank covered in sharp nails, giving him seizures for life.
My dede (grandfather) was born in Yozgat, Turkey. He & my nene (grandmother) were both orphaned at a young age as a result of the genocide. Nene lost two of her brothers Manasseh & Yeprem. The new Turkish republic was built on top of the bones of their stolen kin & looted homes.
100 years after Turkey systematically murdered 1.5 million of us—when my relatives barely survived before finding refuge in Syria & Lebanon, a Turkish man who openly denies the Armenian Genocide is elected President of the U.N. Here are his words. This is historical revisionism.
Turkey, like the U.S., is a settler-colonial nation guilty of genocide. Genocidal nations have always and will always back one another because it helps them evade responsibility and holds them less accountable to survivors/descendants of victims alive today.
But I won’t stay silent while the U.N. President disrespects my grandparents’ names in front of me. That there are more Armenians in the diaspora than in Armenia today is no coincidence. We don’t need to see Turkey’s archives. Go to Der Zor, Syria. You will still find our bones.
There, you can also find an Armenian Church, which once enshrined bones from the desert where Talaat, Enver, and Djemal Pasha sent our ancestors on death marches. In the desert, there are still bones in the ground today. I held them once. The church has since been destroyed.
Hrant Dink’s birthday was this month. He was an Armenian journalist/activist who lived in modern Turkey. He was prosecuted 3 separate times for “denigrating Turkishness” before being assassinated, after he spoke out against Turkish genocide denial. We aren't safe on our own land.
In "Turkey," our ancient churches still stand, now orphaned from us, desecrated and in ruin. Except for Aghtamar on Lake Van, which was converted into a museum where Armenians must pay to enter and are forbidden from singing or praying in. This is cultural genocide.
Here are two of my incredible sister’s films about visiting Aghtamar and Armenians in Turkey today. While she was able to go in 2015, most Armenians will never able to safely return to the homes of our ancestors today: https://vimeo.com/112526569 https://vimeo.com/124044224
Calling the Armenian Genocide a genocide is a criminal act in Turkey today and the president has the nerve to call Armenians “illegal” on their own land that was stolen through genocide. The word "Armenian" is a slur in Turkey today. https://www.dailysabah.com/feature/2015/04/24/amid-political-disputes-illegal-armenian-migrants-in-turkey-hope-for-peace
If Turkey wants Turkish sources, Taner Akçam is a many Turkish historian who has written a number of books on the subject. Get reading. More importantly, listen to the oral histories of survivors and their descendants. https://clarknow.clarku.edu/2019/07/18/taner-akcam-unearths-evidence-of-ottoman-decision-to-annihilate-armenians/
Look at every single face, name, and hometown of the survivors pictured here. In each of these faces, I recognize someone I know. This is how recent our genocide was. Denial is simply the last step. https://webaram.com/en/iconography/99-portraits-of-exile-99-pictures-of-armenian-genocide-survivors
Our stories, the silences in our family trees, and these ruins are the only “archive” we will ever need. Stop trying to rewrite history. History sits on the present. Any efforts to deny genocide while your state is actively silencing descendants of survivors is in vain.
We will not present any “facts” or “evidence” for anyone. The genocide, the reason we are displaced around the world, is not up for debate. The truth lives with us today and speaks for itself. They want war; we want peace. We don’t want recognition. We want reparations.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.