On Tuesday, Armenians throughout the world commemorated the 98th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. It is often called “the forgotten genocide,” and first of the 20th century. Between 1915 and 1923, some 1.5 million Armenians living in their ancestral home of 4,000 years perished in the Anatolian desert. The gendarmes were directed by the central government, then the Ottoman Empire, to remove these ancient peoples, Christian Armenians, from the face of the earth.
Traumatized survivors (my mother, a young child, was one, but not her family) were forced to find and rebuild their lives in lands such as Lebanon, Iraq, France and the United States.
According to the Turkish government, the massacre of the Armenians does not constitute genocide. This rewriting and twisting of modern history has kept most Americans unaware of that dark chapter in world history. As I write, Turkey continues to lobby to keep the U.S. government from recognizing it as genocide. More than 20 countries and 42 of 50 states (including South Carolina) have. No matter how much Turkey denies, the truth will win.
Maro Kouyoumjian Rogers