Kurdish recognition of the Armenian genocide

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Kurdish Cavalry in World War I.

Kurdish recognition of the Armenian Genocide and Assyrian Genocide is the recognition by the Kurds of their participation in the genocide of Armenians and Assyrians during World War I when Kurds, along with Turks and Muslim groups from various Caucasian tribes, attacked and killed innocent Armenian and Assyrian civilians and refugees. Throughout the Kurdish-populated regions, some Kurds participated in the genocide of the Armenians while other Kurds opposed the genocide, in some cases even hiding or adopting Armenian refugees.[1] Kurds in prison were given amnesty and released from prison if they would massacre the Armenians.[2]

Armenian Genocide[edit]

The genocide of Armenians by some Kurds was meticulously carried out with help from some tribal Kurds who were organized into an auxiliary force called the "Hamidiye Alaylari" or Hamidiye Brigades of the government in Constantinople.

During the Van Resistance, Armenians who left via Persia took defense positions in the Bargiri, Saray and Hosap districts of Van Province. The refugee group following the Russian forces were intercepted by Kurdish forces when they crossed the mountain passes near Bargiri Pass. At the Bargiri Pass, the Armenian refugees had many casualties.

The security of the refugees was the responsibility of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman authorities state that some groups of refugees were attacked by local tribes, both Kurdish and Arab, before they reached their destinations. These attacks mainly took place on the roads between Aleppo and Meskene, but it was also dangerous from Diyarbekir to Der Zor and from Saruc to Halep via the Menbic Road. This region is heavily populated by Kurds. Grand Vizier Mehmed Talat in his Posthumous Memoirs of Talaat Pasha claimed that:

"Although we punished many of the guilty, most of them were untouched. These people, whom we might call outlaws, because of their unlawful attitude in disregarding the order of the Central Government, were divided into two classes. Some of them were acting under personal hatred, or for individual profit. Those who looted the goods of the deported Armenians were easily punishable, and we punished them. But there was another group, who sincerely believed that the general interest of the community necessitated the punishment alike of those Armenians who massacred the guiltless Mohammedans and those who helped the Armenian bandits to endanger our national life."

List of recognizance[edit]

Type Recognize Date Declaration
NGO Kurdish Institute of Paris The Kurdish Institute of Paris has recognized the 1915 massacres as genocide. The Armenian genocide is often mentioned in monthly magazine published by the Kurdish Institute.[3]
NGO Center of Halabja against Anfalization and Genocide of the Kurds (CHAK) Welcomed the recognition of genocide against the Armenian people. The motivation from CHAK was:

"This recognition will help us all to have a broader understanding of past crimes and present us with the possibility of a peaceful and brighter future."[4]

In 2006, CHAK published an article about the Armenian genocide called "Armenian Genocide: Turkey To Target".[5] and over 10 articles regarding the genocide have earlier been published.[6]

Political Democratic Society Party 30 Dec 2008 Apologized to Armenians and Assyrians for the 1915 genocide.[7]

The party leader Ahmet Türk said: "Sensing the pain of the events in our hearts, we feel that we need to apologize. In Turkey, apology is becoming quite a fashion recently. However, ours is something very different" and that "Maybe Kurds have contributed to the loss of this (cultural) richness. We are ashamed when we look at our Armenian or Assyrian brothers".

Political Kurdistan Democratic Party In the website for KDP supporters published an article (author: Nezîr Semmikanli) where he writes about the Armenian genocide where he describes the genocide as a crime against the Christian people[8]
PKK Abdullah Öcalan 10 Apr 1998
30 Jan 2014
In a 10 April 1998 personal letter to Robert Kocharyan, the newly inaugurated President of Armenia, Öcalan congratulated him on his election victory and expressed hope that the genocide would be officially recognized in Turkey:

"I also welcome and endorse the passage of a resolution in the Belgian Senate calling on the Turkish government in Ankara to recognise the reality of the Armenian holocaust perpetrated by the last Ottoman regime in 1915–19 … The massacres during the First World War which shocked the civilised world then became a precedent for an even more appalling and destructive demonstration of genocide of the Jewish people by the German Nazis in the Second World War. Let us recall Hitler's response to a critic of the 'final solution' of the Jewish problem: 'Who complained about the Armenians?'"[9]

Öcalan reiterated this position in a letter published on 30 January 2014 by the Istanbul-based Armenian weekly Agos. Throughout the letter, written from his cell in İmralı Prison, he repeatedly used the word "genocide" to characterise the atrocities, and stated:

"Today, the entire world should confront the historical truth of what happened to the Armenians and share their pain, paving the way for mourning. Inevitably, the Turkish Republic too will have to approach this issue with maturity and confront this painful history."

He also emphasised that the Kurdish and Armenian struggles were inseparably linked to one another, citing the 2007 assassination of Agos co-founder Hrant Dink as an example of how "anti-democratic forces" within Turkey seek to undermine both causes. Öcalan's letter was an apparent condemnation of incendiary remarks made earlier in the month by KCK co-chair Bese Hozat regarding alleged conspiracies by "Armenian, Jewish, and Greek lobbies" to undermine the democratic movement in Turkey.[10]

Kurdish Council of Armenia 10 Mar 2009

The president of the Kurdish Council Armenia, Knyaz Hasanov has repeatedly spoken about the Armenian genocide. On March 10, 2009 said Hasanov to the Kurds who participated in massacres against the Armenians were separate Kurds and not the Kurdish nation.[11]

Kongra-Gel (PKK) 20 Aug 2004 In an interview with Onnik Krikorian from Armenian News Network conducted on 20 August 2004, Kongra-Gel's Caucasus representative Heydar Ali stated:

Armenia's position is more favorable towards the Kurds because 1.5 million Armenians were killed during the Genocide. However, to deny the Kurdish identity in Armenia is a violation of international human rights obligations but yes, you are right. It is well known that throughout history, Kurdistan and the Kurds have been divided and that this is a special policy conducted by very powerful countries in the world to weaken us. The division between Kurds and Yezidi is another manifestation of this.[12]

Kurdish Parliament in Exile 24 Apr 1997 Passed a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

In the resolution, this was said: The blueprints of and the logistics for this genocide being prepared ahead of time, they employed Hamidiye Alaylari from Kurdish tribes (Similar to the present day Village Guards system who kill our people) to commit history’s, until then unknown, Genocide. In this Genocide, millions of Armenians and Assyrian-Syrians were killed, and millions others were deported from their homes and land and scattered to the four corners of the world.[13] Further on in the resolution: Today is the 82nd anniversary of the genocide committed against the Assyrian-Syrian and Armenian peoples. Sharing the agony caused by this process, I find the Ottoman State and their collaborators the Hamidiye Alaylari, formed by some Kurdish tribes, responsible for this crime before history and I condemn them with abhorrence. Zubeyir Aydar Chairman of the Executive Committee[13]

Political WeKurd Shortly after the murder of the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, the head of WeKurd published an article about the slaying and the Armenian Genocide[14]
Newspaper Kurdish Media Kurdish Media have published over 100 articles about the Genocide,[15] Mufid Abdulla is one of the authors to the articles and in 2008 he published an article about the "Armenian Genocide and the Kurdish involvement" [16]
Newspaper Ozgur Gundem Kurdish apologized to the Armenian people for silence and complicity in the Armenian Genocide. The Ozgur Gundem website at the same time also had a detailed publications on the genocide, hardships and sufferings of the Armenian people.[17]
Newspaper Kurdish Herald Kurdish Herald is an independent publication, which features critical analysis of the politics, economics and culture of Kurdistan. The Kurdish Herald has it written in their policy and guidelines that they don't publish material including "Denial of the Armenian Genocide, including using attributes that lessen the significance of the event"[18]
Newspaper Komar Komar, a Kurdish webmagazine in Sweden published an article on the memorial day of the murdered journalist Hrant Dink 2009 referred to the genocide in 1915,[19] the same year in April Komar published an article on memorial day of the genocide by the author Musa Kurdistani[20]
Newspaper Kurd Kurd.se have published news about the Genocide before, one of them is "Ahmet Turk apologizes to Armenians and Assyrians" where the head of the Kurdish party DTP talked about the 1915 events[21]
NGO Kurdish Youth Club (USA) Ara Alan, Secretary General of held a speech in remembrance of the 92nd anniversary of Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman Turks. The speech was given in Georgia State Capitol building addressing Armenian Americans, Senators, Congressmen, sheriffs, Judges and representatives of Mayor of Atlanta, and Georgia State Governor.[22][23]
Publisher Sara Distribution It is selling the book Bati Ermenistan (Kürt Ilishkileri) ve Jenosîd (Western Armenia (Kurdish Relations) and genocide)[24]
Publisher Beyan.net Several times published articles about the Armenian and Assyrian genocides.[25][26][27]
Intelligentsia Berivan Öngörur, Candidate to the EU Parliament, the Left Party, wrote an article in the Swedish-Kurdish newspaper Beyan.net February 5, 2008 on the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan protest against the Israeli President Shimon Peres. In this article, Berivan also mentions the genocide in Turkey:

The genocide of Armenians between 1915 and 1923 is a tragedy which Turkey still refuses to recognize. In this genocide was carried out even murders of Greeks, Assyrians, Syrians and Chaldeans. But Turkey's human rights abuses is not only to the past. Even today conducted a political, cultural and economic oppression of the Kurdish people in Turkey.[28]

Intelligentsia Gulan Avci The Chairman for the Liberal Immigrant Federation in Stockholm is famous for her involvement in the Kurdish and Armenian questions. Gulan supported the US congress resolution for Armenian genocide resolution with motivation "It is important because it will give peace among the souls of the Armenian people...".[29] She has also criticised that Kurds that speak Kurdish in Turkey are prosecuted and that those who speak about the genocide are thrown into jail.[30]
Intelligentsia Rebwar Hassan 5 March 2009 "When talking about the Armenian genocide, Turkey have always denied this, despite all evidence, that the scientific community has recognized it, most countries around the world talking about the murder of over one million Armenians, but Turkey still insists on a policy to not talk about it but it is happening now is positive and on track towards that Turkey recognize the genocide against Armenians and other crimes as well, but it is not enough right now. There needs to be more pressure on Turkey from the EU".[31]
Intelligentsia Sivan Perwer Expressed himself several times about the Armenian genocide as a mistake, in an interview Sivan did with Freemuse.org about artist censorship he spoke about the genocide as something the Turks want to do against the Kurds as well.[32]
Facebook:Kurdish group Facebook group is created called "Kurds Recognize the Armenian Genocide"[33]
Intelligentsia Özz Nujjen He has several times mentioned the denial of the Armenian genocide in Turkey.[34]
Intelligentsia Haydar Işik Author and former chairman of PEN-Kurd wrote a long letter on his homepage where he wrote that the Armenian genocide was one of the two largest genocides of the twentieth century.[35]
Intelligentsia Sakine Madon The Turkish community of Sweden reported her to the police for insulting Kemal Atatürk and for speaking about the Armenian genocide. Turkish media was reporting false articles about her after this and even that the King of Sweden apologized for her behaviour.[36]
Intelligentsia Dilsa Demirbag Sten 2006 Dilsa wrote an article in Dagens Nyheter about the Kurdish involvement in the genocide against the Christians, her grandmothers stories and how she still had nightmares from the Armenian women's getting raped and murdered. She also wrote that Turkey should recognize the killings as a genocide and that the genocide is also a part of Swedish history because of the 5.000 Armenians settled in Sweden.[37]
Intelligentsia/Academic Kerim Yildiz 2008 Kerim Yildiz writes about the Armenian and the Assyrian Genocides in his book (co-authored with Mark Muller) "European Union and Turkish Accession: Human Rights and the Kurds", published in 2008.
Intelligentsia Berzan Boti 2009 Berzan Boti returned his property to the Assyrians.[38]


  1. ^ Henry H. Riggs, Days of Tragedy in Armenia: Personal Experiences in Harpoot, page 158, 1997.
  2. ^ Vahakn N. Dadrian, The Naim-Andonian Documents on the World War I Destruction of Ottoman Armenians: The Anatomy of a Genocide, International Journal of Middle East Studies, pp.311-360, Vol.18, 1986, p.333
  3. ^ http://kurdisharmenian.blogspot.com/2008/10/armenian-genocide-recognitions-from.html Armenian Genocide recognitions from the year 2006 by the Kurdish Institute of Paris
  4. ^ Kurdish CHAK welcomes the recognition of genocide against the Armenian people
  5. ^ Armenian Genocide: Turkey To Target
  6. ^ CHAK articles regarding the Armenian Genocide
  7. ^ http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/domestic/10672641.asp?scr=1 Turkey's pro-Kurdish party leader apologized on Tuesday to Assyrian as well Armenians for the 1915 incidents.
  8. ^ http://www.xoybun.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=674 ŞERÊ CÎHANÊ YÊ YEKEMÎN (1914–1918) PEYMANA SEWRÊ YA AŞTIYÊ
  9. ^ PKK Chairman's letter to Kocharian
  10. ^ "Ocalan: Turkey, World Should Recognize Armenian Genocide". The Armenian Weekly. 30 January 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Kurdish Council of Armenia Pres.: Turkey still committing genocide
  12. ^ Recognition by the People's Congress of Kurdistan
  13. ^ a b The Kurdish Parliament in Exile recognizes the Armenian genocide
  14. ^ http://www.wekurd.com/nyheter.asp?id=207 Krokodilens tårar – Besir Kavak
  15. ^ Google search "1915 site:http://www.kurdmedia.com/"
  16. ^ Armenian genocide and the Kurdish involvement"
  17. ^ Kurds Apologize For Complicity in Armenian Genocide
  18. ^ Kurdish Herald forbids Armenian genocide denial in their policy
  19. ^ "I minnet av Hrant Dink ("In memory of Hrant Dink")
  20. ^ "Turkiet bör erkänna folkmordet på armenierna ("Turkey must recognize the Armenian Genocide")
  21. ^ Ahmet Turk ber armenier och assyrier om ursäkt
  22. ^ Kurds and Armenian Genocide (youtube)
  23. ^ http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/109202
  24. ^ SaraDistribution.com
  25. ^ http://www.beyan.net/kultur-artikel.aspx?id=418 Den evigt flyende assyriska släkten
  26. ^ http://www.beyan.net/debatt-artikel.aspx?id=539 Vi sviker Turkiets kristna minoriteter!
  27. ^ http://www.beyan.net/nyheter-artikel.aspx?id=609 Turkiska intellektuella ber om ursäkt för folkmordet
  28. ^ "Erdogan borde se över sin egen bakgård"
  29. ^ Turkiet, erkänn folkmordet och lös kurdfrågan
  30. ^ Moses barn säljer som smör
  31. ^ [1] Rebwar Hassan in the Facebook event "Genombrott Turkiet-Armenien? @ TV8"
  32. ^ Sivan Perwer about the Armenian genocide
  33. ^ Kurds Recognize the Armenian Genocide (FaceBook Group)
  34. ^ In his speech he mentions Hrant Dink, recognizes the Armenian Genocide, talks about the limited freedom as a minority and about the Kurdish situation.
  35. ^ http://www.christiansofiraq.com/iski.html I am an Alevi Kurd!
  36. ^ Sakine Madon: En otäck nationalism
  37. ^ Erkänn folkmordet (Dagens Nyheter)
  38. ^ Nasname

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