Turkey Blasts Australia for ‘Distorting History’

FAIRFIELD, Australia—A monument commemorating the genocide of 750,000 Assyrians during World War I was unveiled on Sat., Aug. 7, reported the Assyrian International News Agency. Ankara reacted immediately, accusing Australia of distorting history.

The Assyrian Genocide Monument in Fairfield, Australia.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said on Aug. 9 that Turkey condemned the opening of the Assyrian Genocide Monument.

“We express regret over participation of federal executives to this intentional activity which will not have any contribution to relations of the two countries,” Unal said in a written statement.

Unal said support to the efforts in question was a “grave and unacceptable development,” indicating that the opening of the monument had caused indignation and disappointment among Turkish citizens living in Australia.

The monument, designed by Assyrian artist Lewis Batros, was strongly opposed by the Turkish community in Australia, which claimed the monument would “sew division” between the Assyrian and Turkish communities.

“Turkey hopes that federal and local politicians, who allowed construction of the monument despite all the against initiatives, are aware of the dangers caused by such kind of steps which aim at sowing seeds of hatred and enmity and which contradict historical facts,” Unal said.

“Turkey calls on all the related parties to assume a stance appropriate to friendship of peoples of Turkey and Australia to prevent such kind of steps which unilaterally target to distort history for political aims,” he added.

More than 2,000 Assyrians and Australians attended the dedication at Bonnyrigg Park. The monument was sponsored by the Assyrian Universal Alliance and officially approved by the Fairfield City Council on Dec. 15, 2009.

The monument is dedicated to the Turkish genocide of Assyrians as well as the 1933 massacre of Assyrians at Simmele by Iraqi government forces, when 3,000 Assyrians were killed.

The Assyrian Genocide Monument in Australia is not the first of its kind. Genocide monuments have been erected in Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris, and Russia, but it is the most controversial one to date. On Feb. 5, the mayor of Yerevan signed an order approving the construction of an Assyrian genocide monument in Armenia and allocating 16 square meters for the site. The monument is currently in the planning stage.


  1.      This is very interesting. I personally believe that our cause would gain more support if we focused the message of 1915-23 on the genocide of the Christian community of Anatolia,,, Armenian, Pontic Greek and Assyrian. It was not simply a horrific attempt to annihilate our people from their homeland(and not just western Armenia… remember if the Turks had been successful at Sardarapad, there would be no eastern Armenia), but an incredibly evil act to remove all Christians from this area. We need to stand with all those victimized by this Ittihad plan and supported through denial by the Republic of Turkey. God Bless these Assyrian people in Australia for remmebering their ancestors and notlbeing intimidated by denial.

  2. Stepan,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Assyrians and Pontic Greeks lived through the same horror as the Armenians. I have always thought that we should be united and support each other in this cause. 

  3. I agree wholeheartedly. It was a after all a Christian Genocide. We should merge our causes and should have done so decades ago. The Armenians, Assyrians, and Pontic Greeks all suffered the same fate.

  4. The problem with too much mixing of our genocide with the Assyrian genocide is that Assyrians have no political demands of Turkey that I am aware of.  No land, no reparations, no nothing.  We Armenians DO have such demands.

    Thus, Turkey may be able to buy off Assyrians with perhaps some sort of half-hearted acknowledgment while Armenians will, therefore, look like they are obstinate by holding our for much more.  That would be bad for Armenians.

    Let us commemorate together and support each other, but keep our causes separate.

  5. The Turk “denialist” regime would like to have us believe also that Israel is guilty for the ‘hired’ murderous,  armed and PAID Turk islamist fanatics on the Mavi Mavaara….whilst the Turks have been “blockading” Armenia for 26 years…..whilst on the SAME day of the Mavi assault – the attorney of Hrant Dink was “discovered” hanged and dead in Turkey……….then the Turks tried to “buy” the serices of Jennifer Lopez to “legitimize” the illegal Turk presence of their illegal occupation of Cyprus,…….  the young pregneant Armenian girl who was tortured and savagely killed in Turkey yesterday…..1.5 million Armenians, half a million Greeks, almost 1 million Christian Assyrians ……..let us not forget who Erdogan’s “paymasters”
    are…….Iran and Riyahd. I do not understand why Cyprus, Armenia, Assyrians, Greeks do not unite and take their case against Turkey to the Courts of Den Hague, to seek IMMEDIATE remedies, and block the path of these imposters to the EU market ONCE and FOR ALL.

  6. I completely agree witih Stepan Gina.. I also pushed for all us to stand united.. as united we can win….

    I solute Assyrians on this victory despite the denial and rejection for this project..

    Turkey can scream, throw a tantrum, yell, stamp her feet but unlucky them, the world will continue to move forward and will recognize their what happened to us and Assyrians and Greeks..I just want to be alive to see that day.. ahhhh.. what a day that would be…


  7. Dave;

    I agree with your comments of (Let us commemorate together and support each other, but keep our causes separate), hats off to the Assyrians.

    Turkey has to meet our demands.

  8.   Dave, i understand and appreciate your concern. My intent is to gain levergae for the admission of the crime. The reason for the admission of guilt is not simply for our sense of closure,but also to enable the reparitions. I’m thinking of the public perception. How we pursue our cause is a parellel process and I agree is more complex.
         Gayane, you have a true Armenian spirit. If i may make a small suggestion in your comment,” what a day that would be” to what a day that WILL be. In the end,the truth shall always prevail.

  9. Stepan jan.. you are ABSOLUTELY correct.. it was an oversight on my part… of course what a day it WILL be.. no doubt about that… ..:)

    I know myself.. i will break down and cry when the news hits all four corners of the world.. the tears of joy and pride..and I know it will happen..:)


  10. Please keep this and remove above.
    Assyrian Monument in Australia
    And ours exist in our Dear Land
    Yerevan, Armenia

    Turkey can’t see horrible awful mistakes
    Committed against every nation;
    Those served them with their minded-hearts.

    Although they were labeled infidels (gawers: kuffars)
    Turkish rulers are harming their nation as well
    Because… in the long run,
    Truth will unveil its face.
    The day will arrive; real Turkish humans
    Will lose pride for being Turkish.
    Most will discover through genetic studies DNAs
    They are Armenians or Greeks

     ”Who can’t see his mistakes—Must see his end”

    At least we have a place to hear our Anthem in our motherland.
    Assyrians’ have lost their terrains
    So they erected their Monument in the Australian land. 
    Our thanks to Australian populace
    Those who respect every race
    And give the freedom to erect their Monuments.
    Sylva Portoian
    August 11, 2010

  11. Great analysis Dave.

    It would possibly be to our detriment to join causes and so the next best thing would be to keep enchouraging and supporting the other victims to keep the issue alive and loud until it is resolved (if ever).

  12. Dear Dave,
    When we talk about “Armenian Genocide” we should mention “Christian Genocide of Turkey” as well… where extermination of Ottoman’s Christian population was in Young Turks Panturkism policy, although Armenians lost the most, because we were the most populous Christian community in Ottoman Turkey, compare to Greek and Assyrian population..

  13. Rebecca,

    FYI…The Hague is a criminal court, not a civil one! The Mavi Marmara had 31 international demonstrators (from Ireland, the US, Greece, Brazil, etc.) who were on board to deliver supplies. Your logic states that ALL of those on oard were paid agents of Turkey! Can even you see just how absurd your comment is? These boats were attacked 26 miles beyond Israel’s 60 mile limit…in international waters! Thus, your comparisson with the border between Turkey and Armenia is ludicrous! Everyone knows how you and the Greeks would love to drive a wedge between Turkey and Israel (since the Israeli lobby keeps blocking both your lobbies in congress, you both had to find some way to fan the flames!). Being a Kemalist myself, I do not support Erdogan nor his party. I’d like to see the parliament removed of his people and replaced by CHP Kemalists! But regardless of who’s in office there, Turkey WILL be protected, down to the last man if need be!! We’ve learned that Mossaud has been helping the PKK for some time (we had long known that Greeks and Armenians have been arming and training them [PKK] in Syria and Lebanon). As for J. Lopez, the Turks didn’t try to buy anything from her. A Turkish-Cypriot hotel and casino owner paid her the fee ($30 million…which she never returned, BTW) which her own agent charged for her to do the show for the openning of the hotel/casino!

  14. Listen Robert, first of all no one has to come between Israel and Turkey, REMEMBER THAT JEWS DONT’ LIKE MUSLIMS and they will never like MUSLIMS, because they hate Palestinina muslims and they hate and dont get along with the whole middle east muslim region. So get your facts straight, and remember true politics.

  15. Maybe for Turks killing is not enough.

    Assyrian International News Agency

    Assyrian Genocide Monument in Australia Vandalized


    Fairfield, Australia (AINA) — The Assyrian Genocide Monument, which was
    installed on August 7, has been vandalized. According to Fairfield police,
    the vandalism occurred around 4 AM. The police have no leads on the
    perpetrators. The vandals painted a Turkish crescent and star on the
    monument’s globe, which sits on a pedestal resembling a hand, as well as
    writing “fuck Assyrian dogs” and “fuck Assyria” on the left and forward
    sides of the base of the monument. The plaque at the front of the monument
    was removed.

    According to the Fairfield City Champion, a local newspaper, a war memorial
    in Fairfield Park, dedicated to Australian and Assyrian soldiers who fought
    together, was also vandalized with a mixture of concrete and paint.

    This act of vandalism comes as no surprise. After the dedication of the
    monument, Assyrian community leaders had privately expressed concerns about
    the safety of the monument.

    The monument is dedicated to the 750,000 Assyrians that were killed by Turks
    in World War One, between 1915 and 1918.

  16. “Maybe for Turks killing is not enough.” This is yesterday’s news, Joseph.

    Vandalizing the victims’ monuments is the following step to complete the mission. I am sure that this kind of actions will give Turks a  lot of respect and credibility in the eyes of the EU and the rest of the world.

  17. Dear Gina,
    What are you expecting from Turkish societies…for 90 years they have been brainwashed by Kemalists, lefitists, Ergenokons, and now by AKP Islamists, that Christian Genocide of Turkey was a “justifiable act” toward none Muslims….

  18. and lets not forget that we are still considered infidels to these Turks and Islamists… so i am greatful to God that on the monument was vandalized and there were no lives lost…because we can never be too safe when there are bastards running around like that..

    shameless act.. as always…


  19. To me the most telling aspect of events of vandalism against ethnic groups by Turks is that the Turkish government does not come out and condemn these acts as hooliganism by renegade ultra-nationalists.  Why wouldn’t they stand up for tolerance and mutual respect and take the opportunity to advance their EU aspirations?  The progressive changes that some say are coming in Turkey have missed their train.  Maybe they will be on the next one.

  20. I read the ambassador’s remarks.  Clueless!  He refers to Assyrian policies that don’t serve to ”hold together the Assyrians scattered around the world,” apparently oblivious to reasons for that scattering!  The current Turkish leaders are products of an educational system that was purposely distorted to hide the fact that the Modern Turkish state was built on the blood and bones of millions of Armenians, Assyrians and Pontic Greeks who were driven out and massacred in order to satisfy pan-turanic fanaticism.  Can anyone spell g-e-n-o-c-i-d-e!

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