CTC and TCCA Remember All Victims of the Ottoman-Armenian War Tragedy, 1915

Posted on: April 23, 2021

CTC and TCCA remember in sadness, once again, the victims of the Ottoman-Armenian conflict during the First World War.  As Canadians we stand, always, for historical truth and ultimately ethnic reconciliation within the cherished Canadian multiculturalism.

As a dreaded manifestation of any war, the Ottoman-Armenian conflict was a tragedy.  It erupted when Armenian nationalists, while Ottoman subjects with a “favoured people” status and treated as such for over 300 years, staged a premeditated revolt against the Ottoman State, siding with the invading Russian Empire armies in Eastern Anatolia. This was high treason.  Acting in self-defence and for protection of all its citizens/subjects, the Ottoman administration relocated Armenians from the war zone.  Tragically, the relocation led to large-scale loss of life.  Combatants and civilians, Turks, Kurds, and Armenians, became victims of famine, disease, banditry and general breakdown of law and order when the Empire was nearing dissolution.  Massacres and counter-massacres unfolded in a general atmosphere of lawlessness.

More Turks perished than Armenians; these losses were huge.   We acknowledge the loss and suffering on both sides.  It would be unjust to rank ethnic suffering and loss of one side over the other.  Moreover, in no way, does this tragedy fall under the UN Genocide Convention of 1948.  This historical fact has been confirmed in two recent and separate judicial decisions at the European Court of Human Rights as well as the French Constitutional Council.

It is our belief that, as Canadians, we need to go beyond ethnic politics and leave History to historians.  We stand for honest and open dialogue between Canadians of Turkish and Armenian origin.  As well, we call on Canada to be even-handed and encourage Turkey and Armenia to move forward in line with spirit of the Zurich Protocols of 2009 which includes establishment of an independent commission of historians and experts to study events of 1915.

The Council of Turkish Canadians (CTC) 

Turkish Canadian Cultural Association (TCCA)