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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Armenians in Kurdistan commemorate genocide in border city with Turkey

By Rudaw 30/4/2017
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ZAKHO, Kurdistan Region –The Armenians who have sought refuge in the Kurdish city of Zakho on the Turkish border commemorated the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide.
 
They fled their places of origin, and were scattered around the then Turkish empire, with some heading south of the border with what is now the Kurdistan Region.
 
There are now 200 Armenian families in the city, some 200 km northwest of the Kurdish capital of Erbil.
 
“There are just a few of us in Kurdistan. But thanks to God, we have been given most of our rights,” Ishkhan Milko, an Armenian member of the Duhok Provincial Council, told Rudaw, “We have a seat in the Kurdistan parliament as well as a seat in the Duhok Provincial Council.”
 
They arrived in Zakho following the genocide that started on April 24, 1915. 
 
“The Armenians immigrated from [their areas], in Bitlis, Erzurum, Van, Mush, and many other locations in Northern [Turkish] Kurdistan,” Dr. Hogir Mohammed, a Kurdish researcher in Armenian genocide said as he made reference to Turkish cities located east and southeast of Turkey, “They took many different routes, some went towards the Syrian desert, of whom some stayed in Syria, and others went as far as Jordan and Egypt. Some of them came to Iraqi Kurdistan as well where their main entrance route was Zakho. “
 
There is a school that teaches the Armenians in their own language. A board on the entrance reads that it was founded in 1969.
 
“Many Muslims received schooling in the Church. We were studying with the Armenians and then afterwards, they came here,” Fahmi Ahmad, the head of the Armenian school said while pointing to the school behind him, “and this time around the Armenians were studying alongside the Muslims. We were being taught about Islam and them about Christianity.”

The Armenian genocide is a contentious historical event not universally recognized. 

Historians estimate that 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks and today Armenians are one of the world’s most dispersed people. It is estimated that more than half of Armenians live outside of Armenia.

Many nations have recognized the mass killings as genocide. Others, including the United States, resist such acknowledgement. Turkey denies that the killings constituted genocide and says that the figures are exaggerated and estimates the total killed to be 300,000. 
 

Every year on April 24th, the day when the attacks against Armenians in the Ottoman Empire began, Armenians remember the Medz Yeghern, or the ‘great catastrophe’. A stone cenotaph on a hill in the Armenian capital Yerevan, featuring an eternal flame, is a center point of the commemorations. 

 

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Muraz Adzhoev | 30/4/2017
Hundreds of thousands of Armenians and Kurdish-Ezidis protected and defended by popular armed forces led by Jangir-aga Mandiki, the head of the Kurdish-Ezidi Zukuri tribal confederation and by the Armenian leader Andranic-pasha went to Russian empire, in particular to areas of modern Republic of Armenia. Later on Andranic-pasha had to leave Armenia for France, but Jangir-aga had been arrested in 1936 by the authorities of soviet socialist Armenia and then died in the prison in Russian soviet socialist republic.
Hoshyar Zaxoy | 30/4/2017
Interesting, I had plenty Armenian school friends and teachers. They are nice people. Our relations were even better with them than with the other Christians of Zakho who sounded more like Arabs. Armenians spoke pure Kurmanji and those who returned to Armenia were not that welcome as they had forgotten their language. Same issues happened to Ezidi Kurds who went to join fellow Ezidis in Armenia as they were seen as too much islamised.
Duhoki | 30/4/2017
Is it now the Turkish border? When something bad happens it becomes the turkish border. If itvs good then it becomes the border of northern kurdistan
To Rudaw | 30/4/2017
It would be also fair to mention how many Kurds the Armenians killed with Russian help as revenge. But Kurds in Armenia can not mention this because they don't have the rights that Armenians have in krg
Peter Jordan | 1/5/2017
The killing of 300000 is still classified as genocide. If Erdogan and turkey are trying to lessen their collective guilt, I could tell them it 's still horrendous to kill 300000 as to 1.5 million. So quit trying to deny genocide.

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