Wednesday, April 21, 2004


Canadian Parliament recognizes Armenian genocide

OTTAWA - The House of Commons has reversed a long-standing policy and passed a resolution denouncing the Turks for committing genocide against Armenians in 1915.

The vote passed easily, 153-68.

The motion said: "That this House acknowledges the Armenian genocide of 1915 and condemns this act as a crime against humanity."

For decades consecutive Canadian governments have dodged the sensitive issue by calling what happened in eastern Turkey a "tragedy," stopping well short of referring to the events as "genocide."

In 1915, during the First World War, Turkish troops put down an Armenian uprising. Armenians say about 1.5 million people were killed by the Ottoman Turks, during a brutal eight year campaign.

Turkey has always fought attempts by Armenians and international human rights organizations to have the events declared a genocide. Previously, Ankara has warned countries contemplating similar action that there would be negative consequences. In some cases business contracts have been held up or denied.

This should please Atom Egoyan. Not to mention one of my high school French teachers, who happens to be of Armenian descent (though he never said anything about his feelings on the Armenian holocaust to me specifically, one of his colleagues once told me how it always bothered this French teacher that so few people were aware of what happened in Turkey in 1915.)

No comments: