Aramean Physical Genocide
(Sometimes it is falsely called,, Assyrian Genocide”)
In their original homelands, the cradle of the forefathers, the peaceful minded Arameans were trampled, ignored, despised, persecuted and murdered for centuries by various fanatical rulers and nations of the middle-east.
They faced ethnic cleansing, deportations, slaughtering, pogroms and killings in a way that even the “wild animals” would be ashamed. The climax of terror and ethnic cleansing against the Arameans of Mesopotamie was reached in 1915-18, when – although exact numbers are unknown-, approximately 600.000 of them were brutally slaughtered, whose innocent blood is still crying for justice!
According to Fr. Dale Johnson, a American who became a Syrian Orthodox priest, the Arameans of Aram-Naharaim have since their conversion to Christendom get faced with 38 distinct massacres. We shall in the framework of this subject discuss the genocide of 1895 and 1915-1918 by means of few quotes.
American Ambassador Henry Morgenthau
Aramean- Armenian - Greek Genocide
"And now the Young Turks, who had adopted so many of Abdul Hamid's ideas, also made his Armenian policy their own. Their passion for Turkifying the nation seemed to demand logically the extermination of all Christians---Greeks, Syrians (= Arameans), and Armenians. ....... They would destroy all Greeks, Syrians (= Arameasn), Armenians, and other Christians, move Moslem families into their homes and into their farms, and so make sure that these territories would not similarly be taken away from Turkey.
He had been a thorn in the side of Talaat and Enver for some time, and they were perfectly content that he should exercise his imperious and stubborn nature against the Syrians (= Arameans), Armenians, and other non-Moslem elements in the Mediterranean provinces.
The Armenians are not the only subject people in Turkey which have suffered from this policy of making Turkey exclusively the country of the Turks. The story which I have told about the Armenians I could also tell with certain modifications about the Greeks and the Syrians (=Arameans). ...... it was probably for the reason that the civilized world did not protest against these deportations that the Turks afterward decided to apply the same methods on a larger scale not only to the Greeks but to the Armenians, Syrians (= Arameans), Nestorians (= Arameans), and others of its subject peoples.
Morgenthau mentions three nations who were exterminated by the Turks, namely: Armenians, Greeks, Syrians and Nestorians.
“Syrians” is synonym for Arameans. The Arameans of the Old Testament are called Syrians in the New Testament. More about: Syrians/Arameans: http://www.aramnahrin.org/English/Testimonies_Historians.htm
“Nestorians” is unfortunately heretic name applied to the East- Syrians or East- Arameans.
East- West- Arameans has to do with the geography at the beginning of the Christianity. Roughly speaking, river the Euphrates was de border. The Arameans living Eastern of Euphrates, the Persian Empire, were called “East- Arameans” or “East- Syrians”; thus Nestorians who later became known as “Chaldeans” (1552) and again later as “Assyrians” (19th century).
The Arameans living Western of Euphrates, the Roman Empire, were called “West- Arameans” or “West- Syrians” or in short just “Syrians”. And sometimes both the East- as well and the West- Arameans are called “Syrians”; if not specifically indicated!
Eyewitness report and scientific analyses
The Aramean genocide is partly recorded by eyewitnesses Mr. Abdel Messih Numan Karabasi in a book, who was during the genocide of 1915 a student Syriac (Aramaic) in our monastery Zahfaran in the city of Mardin in south-east of Turkey.
This book recently has been translated into German and Dutch. In his report, he describes the killings and ethnic cleansing of the villages in the neighbourhood of the city of Mardin carried out by the Turkish army in cooperation with the Kurds during the mass killings of 1915-1918.
The second book concerning the Aramean genocide is a scientific analyses from the hand of Sebastien de Courtios treating the Aramean Genocid of 1895-1915-1918, entitled,, The Forgotten Genocide: Eastern Christians, The Last Aramaeans"
The third book concerning the Aramean genocide is from the hand of archpriest Sleman Henno published in 1977. The book is based on the story of survivors of the genocide of 1915-1918. Recently the book has been translated into German and Dutch. The English translation is still in process.
Below all three books are presented.
Blood shed; By: Abdel Messih Numan Karabasi
The book is available in Aramaic, Turkish, German and Dutch at the St. Aphrem the Syrian Monastery in the Netherlands.
The Forgotten Genocide: Eastern Christians, The Last Aramaeans, By Sebastien de Courtois
"The persecution and extermination of the Syro- Arameans in Tur Abdin in 1915" is from the hand of archpriest Sleman Henno.
The book is available in Aramaic, German, Dutch and the English translation is in process.
To give you a impression about these cruelties, carried out by Turks and Kurds against the defenseless and innocent Aramean people, here below a few quotes will be presented to you.
------The Aramean Genocide of 1895-1896-----
Sebastien de Courtois
1. Page. 105 of the book
They (=Muslims) had divided themselves into groups and proceeded systematically house by house, taking good care not to touch the Muslims’ homes. They kicked in the doors, looted everything, and if the people were home, they slit their throats. They killed everyone they could find, men, women, and children; the girls were kidnapped. Almost all city’s Muslims, soldiers, zaptiyes and the Kurds, took part in the horrible butchery (Page 105, Report #18, December 18, 1895)
2. Page. 109 of the book
Acts of unbelievable cruelty were committed. “A father had his five children’s throats slit in his lap, and then he met same fate “ (Page 109, Report #18, December 18, 1895)
3. Page. 113 of the book
The village of Qarabash, to the east of Diyarbekir, was inhabited entirely by Syrians (= Arameans) and was destroyed. A Syrian Orthodox priest watched his daughters raped before his eyes, and then their throats were slit. Left alive, he went insane (page 113).
4. Page. 113 of the book
The villages of Kabia, Jarukia, Kan Akbwar, Arz ogli, Kazam, Olan, Kadia, Satia, Safia and Masbrakia all met the same fate….. the Kurds and the Turks slit the inhabitants throats and erased them from the map (Page 113)
1. Page. 39/40 of the book
Disaster and persecutions where the Christians of Amid and the surrounding villages in 1985 were exposed to.
Between the books of priest Paulus- the son of priest Abdul Ahad of the family Qascho Lahdo-, the priest of the village of Qarabasch, I found a flyer, on which the persecutions of 1895 were described by the pen of priest Abdul Ahad, one of those who were persecuted during the horrible ordeals where the Christians of the city Amid, Edessa, krotfrot, Sibabrak, Militini, Sasun and other villages in their surroundings were exposed to.
... ... At the beginning of November 1895 the bloodthirsty and full of hatred envy Muslim leaders in Amid, started a persecution against the Christians, which was led by Gamil Pascha, Bahram Pascha and other tyrants. They called for the Kurds, to be ready to attack the Christians and kill them; they were promised, that they would get weapons when they would arrive in Amid........
2. The village Qarabasch (Page. 42/43 of the book)
...... On the first Friday in November, the Kurds entered the village and killed and robed the inhabitants for two days long. The greater part of them escaped to the Pigeontower eastern of the city. The Kurds attacked the fortress and destroyed it above on the Syrians who underneath were buried. Those who tried to escape were killed by the Kurds in front of the gate of the fortress: not a single person could escape.... the daughter of priest Hanna, who was married and was carrying her Child Zacharias on her flee when a Kurd stabbed her with his sword in her back in such a way that the sword through her belly hit the child: both of them died......
3. The village Alibar (Page. 43/44 of the book)
The leaders of the Muslims told them nasty: 'Come, we will bring you to Amid and save you from events which are to us as neighbors outrageous.' And when the Muslims had gathered them and were brought outside the city, they killed all of them; subsequently they went back to the village and possessed their properties.
Click here for more quotes about Aramean Genocide of 1895-1896 from the book of Abdel Messih Numan Karabasi and Sebastien de Courtios
------Aramean Genocide of 1915-1918 committed by the Turks and Koerds-----
Sebastien de Courtois
1. Page. 162/163 of the book
From March to November 1915, an immense red line the colour of blood streaked the sky of Turkey. Monstrous deeds were occurring, nameless, indefinable, as the young Ottoman land decimated, or rather annihilated its own sons with its own hands-most of them serving in its army-evicted them from their homes, raped their daughters, kidnapped their wives, scattered their families, torched their villages, deporting the survivors, burning the dead.
Reader, may God permit the present work to reach its goal, which is to report and to glorify! My ambition (is it too pretentious?) would be for it to become an account and an epic. As an account, it will speak of the abominable events that took place in a corner of Turkey; it will tell of the extremes to which a country that has not shed its savage instincts can go, and by what barbarous finesse that same country, in the twentieth century, has delighted in covering unspeakable acts behind an respectable face, or rather behind a grimace of respectability.
The shame of seeing the property of God and of individuals stolen in the light of day and auctioned off. The shame of seeing deep wells filled to the top with corpses, such as the wells of Dara [Oguz], of Dakikiye, etc. The shame of seeing wide Christian lands emptied of their inhabitants. The shame of seeing whole valleys covered with victims, their throats slit, their stomachs disembowelled, such as the valley of the Lice district to the northwest of Diyarbakir (Page 161/162, H. Simon).
2. Page. 167 of the book
They were accompanied by Memduh Bey, by his aide de-camp, and by a crowd of Turkish army rabble. On the way, the soldiers were ordered to kill 70 of them between Encrai and Set Anna [ villages along the road to Diyarbakir]. The 400 that were left were divided into two groups in front of the Zirzewan citadel, and some of the Kurdish soldiers beat them to death. Finally, near Diyarbakir on the black bridge, the survivors, including Mgr. Malovan, were in turn executed by firing squad after their cruel martyrdom (Page 167 RAHMANI report, op. cit..)
3. Page. 177 of the book
In Diyarbakir, much of the population has been massacred or has died after their deportation, which was executed with the greatest cruelty, not to mention their devastated and looted properties and belongings. It is to be noted that many have also embraced Islam, by fear, to save their lives, or by constraint, others are still held as slaves by their aggressors.’ (Page 177, G. Habra)
1. (C. The Ka‘biye Page. 86/87/88/89/90/91)
On 1st of April 1915 the government ordered strictly that Christians had to deliver all kind of weapons. Because of that, three captains of the army left Amid on 10th of April and went to the city of Ka’biye. They were captain Sidqi, the son of Biringi, Jahja, the son of Jassin and Tharwat, the son of Othman. They got at their disposal 50 soldiers of the 50th army regiment. ……………………..
Oh! Tyranny which lacks mercy. And I cannot speak about the deprivations and the dishonouring of the virgin and honourable women by the (Turkish) soldiers. Deeds which thrashes the face of the Satan. ……………………
On 20th of April (1915), at 5 o’clock in the evening, Kurds of different tribes attacked the village of Ka’biye. ………….They brought the prisoners to the road in the direction of Igil, to the top of a hill, from where one could see the Euphrates: there they were undressed, killed and thrown down into the Euphrates…………And in the first night watch, they set the bodies of the poor martyrs (killed Christians) on fire to warm themselves up till the next morning………..Because in the village there were only women and children left, the Kurds came back and took every women they wished to take…. (page 89)……………………. the men were set apart from the women, and before the eyes of everybody they aimed the pistols on them and shot them dead, and the dead bodies of the victims fell down like sheep on the ground. After this, the Kurdish groups appeared like wild animals, armed with deadly weapons such as axes, hooks, swords, daggers, sticks and sickles. Oh, what bitter, sadness it is, which cannot be solaced, to see how the babies at the breast of their mothers were snatched and their blood was mixed with milk, how the mothers were raped before the eyes of everybody, and that there was nobody who could prevent or put a stop to that. (Page 90)…………..
2. (C. The wildness of the criminals (Page 132))
One of the soldiers of the 50th army told us: when a group of persecuted Christians were on the way to be killed, a woman, the mother of a little boy of two years, said to a soldier’ I know that I am going to be killed, here is my son, take him with you and adopt him, here have a tree golddinar to take care fore him’. The soldier took the golddinar and put it in his pocket; after that he took the child away and smashed it against a rock before him, so that he died immediately before the eyes of the mother.
Archpriest Sleman Henno
1. Page. 32 of the book
Dear reader, I have explained to you the reasons for the mass killings, and the way they were carried out. Come with me to visit all the regions where the mass killings took place, to see what these two peoples, the Turks and Kurds – who are notorious because of their horror, maliciousness and lack of compassion-, the massacres they have caused and innocent blood they have shed. These areas of Anatolia till the borders of Ottoman Empire, thus till to Persia and Russia, were inhabited by many Christens. We will encounter tragedies and bloodshed which has no equal. From the Creation of the world until know; no body have seen such a thing: Children, women’s and elders were stabbed to death and infants were taken from the womb of their mother and smashed against the walls. What a horrible unbearable fate. Something like this even was not managed by the godless Djengis Khan neither by the Ta- Mongolian Hüläga and Timur Lenk. Even in the times of heathenism is about such a thing never noticed. Not a tong, not a pen can describe such a thing. The tears wells out of our eyes and stream over the cheeks. Complete cities were robbed of Christians as if there never any Christian have had lived. In many villages, there was even nothing left which could be remembered to the Christians.
Click here for more quotes about Aramean Genocide of 1915-1918 from the book of Abdel Messih Numan Karabasi, Sebastien de Courtios and Sleman Henno
What can you do?
The previous story shows the cruelty and mercilessness committed against the defenseless Aramean people of Mesopotamia which, according these eyewitnesses was carried out by the Turkish Army in cooperation with the Kurds. The distress, the dishonoring and humiliation which this defenseless people had to suffer cannot be described by a pen.
The Turks repeatedly use the “excuse” that the Armenians rebelled against the Ottoman Empire in order to destabilize the empire to create own Armenian state. However this “excuse” is not true in case of the Aramean people. On the contrary; the Aramean people have treated everybody, including the Turks, with respect, love and dignity; a way of life which we unfortunately have missed at the side of the Turks and others in this region.
For this reason; we should never forget these martyrs; since the only reason they were slaughtered was because they were not Muslims. The innocent blood of these martyrs cries for justice and recognition of this horrible genocide.
Here below you can let hear your voice by signing the genocide form which we will send to various international organs and intuitions amongst others, the European Parliament to ask for their attention to the Aramean genocide.
Fill in the form and make your voice heard!