WASHINGTON–US Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ,) co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, made the following statement Thursday on the floor of the House of Representatives referencing the Turkish war trials at the end of World War I, in which top Turkish government officials were found guilty of genocide. This is the third in a series of from 1915 to 1918, it is impossible to deny that this was indeed genocide on all accounts.
"Madame Speaker, the denial of the Armenian genocide is an absurdity,” said Pallone on the House floor.
“Following the Ottoman Empire’s defeat in World War I, a new government formed and accused its predecessor Young Turk regime of serious crimes. Nearly four hundred of the key government officials implicated in the atrocities committed against the Armenia’s were arrested,” added Pallone.
“At least six regional courts convened in provincial cities where massacres had occurred. The first recorded trial took place in Yozgat charging three officials, including the governor, of mass murder of the Armenia’s of Ankara,” explained Pallone.
“The most famous trial took place in Istanbul in April 1919. There twelve defendants, all members of the Committee on Union and Progress leadership and former ministers, were tried. Seven key figures, including Talaat Pasha, minister of interior; Enver Pasha, minister of war; and Cemal Pasha, governor of Aleppo, had fled, and therefore, were tried in absentia. One authenticated secret telegram from July 17, 1915 quoted orders from Pasha that "the salvation of the country requires the elimination of the Armenia’s,” added Pallone.
“Madame Speaker, I wish to express my support for swift passage of H. Res. 106, which reaffirms the Armenian Genocide. It now has 224 cosponsors, a majority of the House. As the first genocide of the 20th Century, it is morally imperative that we remember this atrocity and collectively demand reaffirmation of this crime against humanity,” urged Pallone.
“We must stand up and recognize the tragic events that began in 1915 for what they were–the systematic elimination of a people. By recognizing these actions as genocide we can renew our commitment to prevent such atrocities from occurring again," he said.