Most of #Australia ignored a genuine outrage last year, the assault by #Turkish-backed #Azerbaijan on the independent, largely #Armenian-populated Republic of #Artsakh, which began on September 27 and concluded only on November 10 with a Russian-brokered ceasefire, which gave the opportunistic Vladimir Putin his long-coveted Russian boots on Southern Caucasus ground in the form of peacekeepers.
The #Australian Institute for #Holocaust and #Genocide Studies released a statement on November 3, in which it noted: ‘Turkey, which continues to deny the #ArmenianGenocide perpetrated by its #Ottoman predecessors a century ago, continues to provide material support to #Azerbaijan in the form of weapons and foreign mercenaries from #Syria.’
Indeed, President #Erdogan has referred to #Turkey’s intention to ‘fulfil the mission of their grandfathers,’ an explicit statement of genocidal intent. He recently referred to Armenians as kilic artigi (remnants of the sword).
It is a real outrage. The #Murdoch media ignores it. And Prime Minister #Morrison ignores it, despite #Australia being a signatory to the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of #Genocide and being therefore obliged to take action to prevent atrocity crimes and hold perpetrators accountable.
Except for a handful of parliamentarians, our leaders have largely maintained their silence. #Australian mainstream media has barely mentioned this renewed #Turkish effort to crush #Armenia once and for all, after the genocide the #Ottomans inflicted a century ago on #Armenians, an outrage #Turkish authorities refuse to acknowledge.
There are #Australians alive today whose ancestors were #Anzac prisoners of the #Ottomans. One of these men, Thomas White, later a noted businessman, aviator, politician and author of Guests of the Unspeakable (London, 1928), witnessed atrocities by the #Ottomans against #Armenians first-hand and was critical of the post-#Gallipoli #Australian tendency to regard the Turks as honourable foes, having witnessed anti-#Armenian brutality as a prisoner of war in #Anatolia.
As a nation #Australia has forgotten how our landing at #Gallipoli took the initial spotlight off what became the #ArmenianGenocide. Recent narrative non-fiction, such as When We Dead Awaken, by James Robins, and Australia, Armenia and the Great War, by Vicken Babkenian and Peter Stanley, help to refocus the spotlight on our Anzac past with its connection to Armenia.
My historical novel, #AngelofAleppo, will add a different dimension to our Australian connection with Armenia. It is set for a release online in late May. There will be live book launches in South Australia (bookings essential):
- 6.30 pm, May 27, at Burnside Ballroom, 401 Greenhill Road, Tusmore 5065. Ph: (08) 83664271
- 6.30 pm, on June 1, at Mount Barker Community Library, Dumas St, Mount Barker 5251. Ph: (08) 83936400
Stay posted for an announcement soon on the planned launch in Sydney and online events.