Assyria: Genocide Monument Vandalized
Photo courtesy of: Assyrian Universal Alliance Australia Chapter
The monument commemorating the Assyrian genocide in Bonnyrigg Park, Australia was grotesquely vandalized this morning [16 April 2015] following recent awareness raising events in recognition of Ottoman Government’s actions during World War I.
Below is a press release by the Assyrian Universal Alliance Australia Chapter:
The Assyrian genocide monument, a memorial to the nearly 750,000 Assyrians murdered by Turkey’s Ottoman Government during World War I was discovered this morning vandalized at Bonnyrigg Park, Bonnyrigg. The vandals painted Nazi swastika marks on the monument and plaque, and spray painted the words “F*** Armenians, Assyrians and Jews” on the left and front sides of the base of the monument. This is the fourth time that this monument has been desecrated in such an offensive manner.
This incident has occurred on the centenary commemoration of the genocide. Pope Francis has also strengthened tensions between Turkey and Vatican City, by dedicating a Church mass service for the commemoration of the victims of the Armenians and other Christians in the Ottoman Empire, urging Turkey to acknowledge their actions. The monument is also vandalised just hours after the European Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution recognising the Armenian Genocide, urging all European states to follow suit.
The 1914-1918 genocide perpetrated against the Christian population of Anatolia, which also claimed the lives of one and a half million Armenians and 500,000 of Pontic Greeks, is a shameful act committed by the Ottoman Empire in its final years which is constantly denied.
During August 2010 Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Selcuk Unal stated that Turkey condemned the unveiling of an "Assyrian Genocide" Monument in the Fairfield region of Sydney on August 7, which "distorted history and accused Turkey". On the other hand, in July 2010 the Turkish Muslims in Australia - and the government of Turkey itself - vocally threatened and did everything they could to persuade Fairfield Council, the local government body involved, to stop the building of the memorial; but the Council voted to build it, and it was built.
The Assyrian Universal Alliance strongly condemns this act and demands that the perpetrators be brought to justice. We urge everyone to remain calm and refrain from passing judgment on any specific group of people, holding them responsible for this reprehensible conduct. We call upon the authorities to be diligent in identifying the responsible parties.
We assure everyone that the Assyrian Universal Alliance will see to it that the monument will be restored to its original state regardless of how many times it is vandalized.