About 100 years ago, more than a million Armenians were slaughtered by Ottoman Turks. Despite the fact the event took place about a century ago, ill-fated feelings between Armenians and the Turks remain, especially during the time Armenians commemorate the event. The Inquisitr reported the latest on the century anniversary of the Armenian slaughter, including Pope Francis calling it “genocide.” The pope’s words favored Armenians, unlike Starbucks who felt their disdain for portraying Armenian women under the symbol of Turkey in one of their promotions.
Now, there is recent news that the United Nations (UN) chief is recognizing the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. However, the chief only considers such as an “atrocity crime,” avoiding the view that Pope Francis and others have taken who call it “genocide.”
According to Star Tribune, Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, has went on record to call the slaughter of Armenians by the hands of Ottoman Turks about 100 years ago as “atrocity crimes.” Ban does recognize what Pope Francis has stated and is fully aware of the sensitivities related to the characterization of what happened, as mentioned by UN spokesman, Stephane Dujarric. However, Stephane did sidestep certain questions to avoid answering if Ban Ki-moon did agree with Pope Francis’ characterization or if Pope Francis was right to bring up the issue of the Armenian Slaughter. Instead, Stephane provided the following statement as a response for said questions.
“The UN has sought to strengthen the capacity of the international community to prevent such atrocity crimes from ever occurring.”
What is peculiar about Ban Ki-moon’s stance in not recognizing the Armenian Slaughter as genocide is the fact it goes against the professional view of historic scholars. Times of Israel reports that the estimated killing of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I is recognized as genocide by said historic scholars. Turkey has retaliated against the view insisting the death toll has been inflated and those who were killed are victims of civil war and unrest.
It should also be reported that both Armenia and Turkey have taken strides to somewhat normalize ties, at least as a front. Back in 2009, both countries did sign an agreement to open their borders to establish diplomatic relations. Presently, such a relationship has not been implemented. Still, many besides the UN, including the European Union (EU), want said relationship to be established. Maja Kocijancic, the EU foreign affairs spokesperson, made this statement on the Armenia-Turkey relationship on the EU’s behalf.
“[The EU] encourages the countries to consider additional, meaningful steps that would pave the way toward full reconciliation.”
[Photos by Spencer Platt/Getty Images, Wikipedia Commons]