15 June marks the 105th anniversary of the genocide of the Arameans, Armenians and the Pontos Greeks, which was committed by the Ottoman Empire in 1915.
Two months earlier, the “Young Turks”, supporters of an Ottoman nationalist party, expelled Armenian intellectuals from Constantinople, now Istanbul.
A month later, the “Law on “population resettlement”. Talat Pasha, the then Acting Minister of the Interior, ordered a “mass resettlement”, which applied to all Arameans, Armenians and Pontus Greeks living in the Ottoman Empire.
The mass resettlement became death marches, hundreds of thousands of Arameans wandered aimlessly into the Mesopotamian desert and died there. Ottoman soldiers executed Aramaic men by the wayside. In desperation Aramaic women threw their babies into the Tigris.
Pregnant women who fought back were killed alive Kids cut from the stomach. Aramaic girls were raped and kept in Turkish or Kurdish harems. Children were torn from their families and abducted. To survive, some converted to Islam.
The genocide claimed 500,000 Arameans, 1.5 million Armenians and 300,000 Pontus Greeks, a total of over 2.3 million people.
The historical facts on this subject are still denied in Turkey, the history books remain falsified and anyone who even mentions the genocide as a journalist, for example, is subject to severe reprisals.
On January 19, 2007, the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who reported on the genocide, was shot dead by a Turkish fascist in Istanbul. The people behind this assassination attempt in the Turkish state apparatus have still not been called to account.
The property and land of Arameans and other Christian minorities were confiscated by the Ottoman and Turkish governments. The confiscated property of the non-Muslim minority constituted the economic basis of the Turkish Republic.
The appropriation and plundering of the Aramaic, Armenian and Greek, but also Jewish riches also served as a basis for the creation a new Turkish bourgeoisie.
Numerous individuals and Turkish companies, including the large industrialist families Sabancı and Koç, benefited directly or indirectly from the expulsion and elimination of the Arameans and the confiscation of their possessions.
The execution of oligarch Özdemir Sabanci in Istanbul in 1996 by the “Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party Front” (DHKP-C) caused an international sensation.
The DHKP-C justified this as retaliation for the peoples oppressed and massacred in Mesopotamia as well as for the working class exploited by the Sabanci family in Turkey.
All land registries received the instruction in 1983 and 2000: Whoever inquires about the ownership of 1915 does not receive any information and his or her personal details should be reported to the government.
In 2005, the National Security Council of Turkey additionally decided that all matters concerning the ownership of land by Christians is a matter of national security. So today in Turkey the entries in the land registry have become a question of national security.
Turkey and Germany were allies in the First World War. At the time of the genocide, many Germans were in Turkey and became eyewitnesses or testimonies. They became perpetrators too. Here are just a few examples.
The deportation plans for the Armenians and Arameans were drawn up by Colmar Feiherr von der Goltz, who had been active as a military instructor and organiser in the Ottoman Empire since 1883, where as Turkish field marshal he was only called “Golz-Pascha”.
In 1913, under General Liman, some 800 German officers came to Istanbul to arm the future ally militarily. Some of the officers took part in the planning and execution of the deportations.
The German General Fritz Bronsart von Schellendorf, the Chief of General Staff of the Ottoman army in Istanbul, justified his criminal actions against the Armenians even after the war and wrote in 1919
“The Armenian, like the Jew, is a parasite outside his homeland, absorbing the health of the other country where he has settled. This is where the hatred comes from, which in medieval times was unleashed against them as an unwanted people and led to their murder”.
In contrast, the great philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels described the situation of Christians in the Ottoman Empire as early as 1853 in the following words:
“Only Turks belong “to the privileged religion and nation” and would have “the right to bear arms, and the highest ranking Christian must give the lowest Muslim the Clear a path if he meets him.”
The communist deputy Karl Liebknecht says in January 1916 in the Reichstag:
“The Turkish government has caused a terrible slaughter among the Armenians; The whole world knows about it – and the whole world blames Germany because in Constantinople the German officers command the government. Only in Germany they don’t know anything, because the press is gagged.”
The communist Rosa Luxemburg says specifically about German-imperial interests in Asian Turkey:
It would be a matter of holding together this “rotten, disintegrated heap of rubble” of this oriental despotism of the Turks as a “small minority” of a “ruling caste of conquerors” with its manifold “national issues that shattered the Turkish state: Armenian, Kurdish, Aramaic, Arabic, Greek”.
Persecution, crucifixions, beheadings and the destruction of cultural assets are again part of everyday life for the Arameans in the Middle East. The crimes of the Ottoman Empire against the Christians are repeated today by the persistent and constant persecution and oppression of the Aramaeans by the fascist Turkish state.
In Turkish the Christian Aramaeans are called “Süryaniler” (from aram. Suryoye). The Arameans are not recognized in Turkey as an independent people with language, history and culture.
For example, the acquisition of property, construction or maintenance of church buildings is associated with difficulties, the training of the next generation of priests and the official teaching of the Aramaic language are prohibited.
The Arameans are denigrated in Turkish textbooks as traitors to their country. The Aramean fields are regularly set on fire by the Turkish army under the pretext of fighting the PKK.
In June 2017, the Turkish state in an expropriation operation at least 50 early Christian churches, monasteries, cemeteries, extensive lands as well as monuments were confiscated and the churches as “places of worship” were transferred to the state Sunni religious authority Diyanet.
The expropriation of the properties dates back to 2008, when a court expropriated the monastery of Mor Gabriel, founded in 397, as well as many other monasteries, churches and private homes.
With the international law recurrence occupation of Turkey in Northern Syria and the support of fascist jihadist terrorist militias like the so-called “Syrian National Army” or the “Islamic State”, Turkey is committing a new genocide against the Aramaic people in Syria and Iraq.
Massacres and genocides are characterized by the hundred years of military, economic and political cooperation of German imperialism with the fascist state government of Turkey.
And because the first genocide was denied and not dealt with, the second genocide came into world history.
Thus, a few days before the German invasion of Poland, the fascist Adolf Hitler asked in a meeting, in which he, among other things, expressed his disapproval of the hard action of the SS skull and crossbones units against the civilian population:
“Who still talks about exterminating the Armenians?”
This is a remarkable quote, which shows that the Armenian and Aramaic genocide was already widely known at that time and served as a model for fanatical nationalists like Hitler.
This is also how the chemical weapons for the massacre in Dersim of tens of thousands of Alevis and Zazas in the fascist German Reich were produced and delivered to Turkey.
During the destruction of Aramaic and Kurdish villages in the 1990s, the Turkish army mainly used weapons supplied to Turkey by the German government.
And currently it is German weapons that are used by Turkey in the occupation of Northern Syria and terrorize Christians as well as Yids.
The 1915 murderers largely escaped the trials in Istanbul immediately after the First World War. In this context too, Germany distinguished itself by taking in wanted murderers. For example Talaat Pasa, who lived in Berlin in 1921 as a respected citizen.
He was later shot by the Armenian patriotic student Solomon Teilirian, whose family was a victim of the genocide.
Now, German imperialism continues its interests policy with and for the fascist Turkish state government and criminalizes and prosecutes Aramaic revolutionaries in Germany.
Nine activists from the Aramaic popular movement Revolutionary Suryoye are to be tried in Bavaria because of their activities for the Aramaic people.
The main defendant in the trial is Sami Grigo Baydar. The 28-year-old is a theologian in the Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch. As a left-wing political activist he stands up for the rights of the Arameans in Turkey.
The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office in Karlsruhe has also initiated an examination procedure against Baydar. It accuses the theologian of “forming a criminal and terrorist organization abroad” according to § 129b StGB.
The “People’s Council of the Aramaeans of Europe” demands account for the peoples of Anatolia, Mesopotamia and the Middle East who have become victims of this German imperialist policy of interests with the fascist state government of Turkey
and the termination of the proceedings against the members of the Revolutionary Suryoye.
Only when the rule of imperialism is broken worldwide, when the dictatorship of capital is finally abolished, will the victims of this mass murder be given right and justice.
The solution to the problem of the people’s minorities is an anti-imperialist and anti-oligarchic struggle for a socialist people’s revolution.