Turkey Ranks Among Top 10 Countries With Probability of Committing Genocide

According to the Early Warning Project of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Turkey is ranked 8th among countries with the highest risk of committing mass killings. Azerbaijan is wrongly ranked much lower at 87th, and Armenia is correctly ranked even lower at 102nd. Turkey is assessed as having 11.2 percent or a one in nine chance of new mass killings during 2019.

The Early Warning Project stated that “genocides are never spontaneous. They are always preceded by a range of early warning signs. If these signs are detected, their causes can be addressed, preventing the potential for catastrophic progression.”

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s founding charter, written by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, states that “only a conscious, concerted attempt to learn from past errors can prevent recurrence to any racial, religious, ethnic or national group. A memorial unresponsive to the future would also violate the memory of the past.”

Turkey’s high risk of committing genocide once again is based on its past and present actions. The Turkish government has not only committed genocide against Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks a century ago, but continues to commit mass killings against its minority Kurdish population. Even more concerning is the fact that Turkish leaders deny their history of mass murders and shamefully remain unapologetic, which leads to the commission of new crimes against humanity!

Turkey’s genocidal risk assessment is understated as the study only includes mass killings within a country, excluding the victims of interstate conflict. As Turkey has been involved in large-scale military attacks against Kurds in Syria and Iraq and threatens to expand its military actions in Northern Syria, the risk of its commitment of mass crimes is much higher than the study indicates.

The Early Warning Project explains that the failed coup attempt in 2016 increased the chances of mass killings in Turkey. Over 100,000 military and civilian personnel were dismissed and tens of thousands were imprisoned, many without a trial. “Other [Turkish genocide] risk factors include a lack of freedom of movement, the country’s anocratic regime type [a mix of autocratic and democratic characteristics], a large population, a history of mass killings, and the ongoing armed conflict between the government and Kurdish rebels.”

Turkish Journalist Jailed for Telling the Truth

An Istanbul court sentenced Turkish journalist Pelin Unker to imprisonment for 13 months and 15 days after being accused of defaming her nation’s former Prime Minister and two of his sons. She was also fined $1,615 on January 8, 2018.

Unker had written an article in the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, exposing that former Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and his two sons owned five shipping companies in Malta. After serving as Prime Minister for two years, Yildirim became Speaker of Turkey’s Parliament. He is currently a mayoral candidate in Istanbul on behalf of Pres. Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The Yildirim family’s ownership of companies in Malta was exposed by the “Paradise Papers” and published in newspapers around the world. As I had reported in my June 2017 article, the Yildirim family owned the following shipping and other foreign assets worth $140 million:

— 18 ships (Dutch conglomerates, fully or partly owned)
— 1 ship (Netherlands Antilles company)
— 4 Malta companies
— 7 properties in the Netherlands
— 8 ships in the Netherlands
— 3 ships in Malta

Strangely, Pelin Unker was the only journalist punished for exposing the Yildirim assets. Unker said she will appeal the unfair sentence as Yildirim acknowledged in court that he owned the companies in an offshore tax haven. The former Prime Minister and his sons filed a lawsuit in November 2017, accusing Unker of “insulting and slandering a public official.”

Gerard Ryle, Director of the International Consortium of Independent Journalists, condemned Unker’s punishment “as yet another disgraceful attack on free speech in Turkey.” Ryle added: “the sentence ignored the truth of the Paradise Papers’ investigation and it would have a chilling effect on what little remained of press freedom in Turkey. This unjust ruling is about silencing fair and accurate reporting. Nothing more. ICIJ commends Pelin Unker’s brave and truthful investigative reporting and it condemns this latest assault on journalistic freedom under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s autocratic rule.”

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranked Turkey 157th of 180 countries on the 2018 World Free Press Index. RSF described Turkey as “the world’s biggest prison for professional journalists!”

Harut Sassounian

Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, a non-profit organization that has donated to Armenia and Artsakh one billion dollars of humanitarian aid, mostly medicines, since 1989 (including its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund). He has been decorated by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.


  1. Thanks Harut on your write up on Turkey’s definite involved in committing Genocide. My problem is that we are bringing up why the U.S. has not recognized our Armenian Genocide. Nobody brings our the fact why it has not been passed by all our Presidents even though Reagan recognized it, it was never passed in the House or Senate. Turkey is using 5 Jewish Organizations here in this Country of the U.S. whom control Washington, the State Dept. & the President to put aside our Armenian Genocide. Jews are using the excuse that Jews living in Turkey will get harmed if they don’t back up the Turks. We must not forget that Talaat Pasha whom took over Ottoman Government wanted Armenians eliminated so that Jews gut take over the Business Trades of the Armenians of which he succeeded in doing. Then Kemal Attaturk whom was also Jewish & whom illegally took over the newly elected Government after the 1st WW & Armenians lost those 40 thousand square miles that Pres. Woodrow Wilson gave back to Armenian to be United with the Eastern Armenia. This went down the drain because the Ally’s failed to overthrow Kemal, whereby the Ally’s went after Arab Oil. America, France, Italy & Britain was responsible for our loss & nobody brings these issues up. On top of this Lenin was also Jewish whom illegally took over Czarist Russia & Stalin whom also was Jewish whom worked with Kemal to further reduce Armenian Territories of which Kars, Ardahan, etc. went to the Turks & Nakhichevan, Artsakh went to the Azeri’s & also Javakh went to Georgia, whereby Stalin came from Georgia. I bring these issues up because the Armenia Government has failed in these past years to bring forth our issues. We hope the new Prime Minister Nicol Pashinyan will straighten the Country up from corruption & stop the continued Armenian Population going to Russia for work witch the Russian’s are happy over with numerous Armenians marrying Russians & looking forward to incorporate Armenia under their command. These issues that I have brought forward are only some of problems that must be addressed.

  2. Stephen, my article has nothing to do with the US recognition of the Armenian Genocide. It also has nothing to do what the Jews may or may not have done prior to, during or after the Armenian Genocide. The study I referred to is part of a project by the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
    In terms of recognition, you are incorrect that the House has not recognized the Armenian Genocide. In fact it has recognized twice in 1975 and 1984 by adopting two resolutions acknowledging the Armenian Genocide. More importantly, the US government sent an official report to the World Court (ICJ) in 1951 listing the Armenian Genocide as a case of Genocide.

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