For the past hundred years, the lives of millions of civilians have been marked by the forcible uprooting of their families from what once was the Ottoman Empire. Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and other minorities were expelled from their ancestral lands and sent on death marches from which few would survive. Their pain and suffering have yet to be fully addressed and the enduring lack of closure has left inerasable scars on their descendants. Loss of life, expropriated property and a confused identity is the legacy that these descendants are left with. Due to decades of denial and misinformation, the dissemination of primary source information was limited and the massacres receive little attention outside academic circles. A hundred years later, no distinctive episode of the Armenian Genocide is inscribed in global, common awareness. Whereas ‘Auschwitz’ and ‘Srebrenica’ are immediate synonyms of, respectively, the Holocaust and the genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the detention camps of Ayash and Chankiri, the desert of Deir-Zor, and the deportations and killings from Van, Erzerum, Diyarbakır, Erzindjan and other locations have little to no meaning in public consciousness in relation to the events of 1915.
KeywordsInternational Criminal Court International Criminal Tribunal Genocide Convention Ancestral Land Genocidal Intent
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