Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Remember 1915

    Last week Pope Francis became the first head of the Catholic Church to publicly recognize the Armenian Genocide. During a ceremony at the Vatican with the head of the Armenian Church, Francis referred to the death of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 at the hands of The Ottoman-Turkish Empire as “the first Genocide of the 20th century”. 
    This comment has sparked much controversy in Turkey, despite the fact that over 20 nations have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, and almost no historians outside of Turkey deny it occurred. The Turkish government has never recognized the event as a genocide. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has reportedly been outraged with the Pope, and recently “warned” him “not to make a similar comment again”. 
    While Turkey often refers to “mutual suffering” in Asia Minor during World War 1, it is undeniable according to every serious scholar on the subject that Armenians were targeted en mass for deportation, forced marches, starvation, and massacre. 
    It is worth noting that the term “Genocide” itself was first coined in order to describe what had been done to the Armenians at the time (before that mass killing based on race had simply been called ‘race-murder’). How is it that Turkey seems to be living in a separate universe from the rest of the world? Perhaps they do not want their nations name to be on the same list as history’s other biggest mass-murders? 
    One has to ask however, is it better to be on the list of history’s biggest revisionists? In his speech Francis referred also to the mass murders of Hitler and Stalin’s regimes. In Germany today, however, publicly denying the Holocaust or endorsing Nazism is a crime. An opposite scenario occurs in Turkey, where it is a crime to speak publicly about the Armenian Genocide, or refer to it as a “Genocide” at all. 
    This year will mark the centennial of the crimes committed against the Armenian people; we should honor them by joining the Pope in his call for Turkey to join reality.

    Maxwell Sharp is a Tower staff writer. Email him at maxcsharp88(at)gmail.com.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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