Notes on the Genocides of Christian Populations of the Ottoman Empire
Submitted in support of a resolution recognizing the Armenian, Assyrian, and Pontic and Anatolian Greek genocides of 1914-23, presented to the membership of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), 2007.

Ottoman Genocide against Christian Minorities: General Comments and Sources

“It is believed that in Turkey between 1913 and 1922, under the successive regimes of the Young Turks and of Mustafa Kemal (Ataturk), more than 3.5 million Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Christians were massacred in a state-organized and state-sponsored campaign of destruction and genocide, aiming at wiping out from the emerging Turkish Republic its native Christian populations. This Christian Holocaust is viewed as the precursor to the Jewish Holocaust in WWII. To this day, the Turkish government ostensibly denies having committed this genocide.”

— Prof. Israel Charney, President of the IAGS

“Turks admit that the Armenian persecution is the first step in a plan to get rid of Christians, and that Greeks would come next. … Turkey henceforth is to be for Turks alone.”

— Peter Balakian, The Burning Tigris, quoting the New York Times, September 14, 1915.

“While the death toll in the trenches of Western Europe were close to 2 million by the summer of 1915, the extermination of innocent civilians in Turkey (the Armenians, but also Syrian and Assyrian Christians and large portions of the Greek population, especially the Greeks of Pontos, or Black Sea region) was reaching 1 million.”

— Peter Balakian, The Burning Tigris, p. 285-286.

In an article for the August 1, 1926 edition of the Los Angeles Examiner, Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) also affirms the slaughters. Kemal writes:

“those … left-over from the former Young Turkish Party, … should have been made to account for the lives of millions of our Christian subjects who were ruthlessly driven en masse, from their homes and massacred …”

— Mustafa Kemal — Emile Hildebrand, “Kemal Promises More Hangings of Political Antagonists in Turkey,” Los Angeles Examiner, August 1, 1926 (Sunday edition, Section VI).

“If members of the United Nations pass appropriate legislation such incidents such as pogroms of Czarist Russian and the massacres of Armenians and Greeks by Turkey would be punishable as genocide.”

— “Genocide Under the Law of Nations,” New York Times, January 5, 1947.

Contemporary newspaper commentary


“The extermination of the Armenians is well under way. Thousands of Nestorians and Syrians [of the Assyrian Orthodox Church] have vanished from the face of the earth. More than 300,000 Greeks have been deported from the Ottoman Empire, and many more sent to the interior. The fate that awaits the surviving Christians and Jews — in fact, of all the non-Turkish elements — depends on the term of the fratricidal war and its fortunes. The Young Turks are watchfully waiting to carry out their program: ‘Turkey for the Turks.'”

Atlantic Monthly, November 1916