NEW YORK, NY—On September 27, the combined Azeri and Turkish military forces launched an unprovoked attack on Nagorno-Karabakh, commonly referred to by Armenians who live there as Artsakh. Over the course of the next 46 days, Azeri forces would go on to target civilian centers with cluster bombs, burn down forests with white phosphorus and employ jihadist mercenaries who were paid bonuses for every beheading.
Turkey has played a quintessential role in Azerbaijan’s aggression against Artsakh. They have supplied high-tech weaponry, recruited mercenaries and even commanded some of the airstrikes. Most recently, they are attempting to gain approval to deploy peacekeepers in Artsakh. The last time they “maintained the peace” for Armenians, Ottoman Turks resorted to genocide and murdered 1.5 million Armenians.
My brothers and sisters in Artsakh are risking their lives to defend their ancestral homeland and their right to self-governance. As they continue their fight for survival, my diaspora fights so that the world may recognize their struggle for existence and the purity of their hearts.
On Sunday, November 15, Armenians in New York City gathered outside the Turkish Consulate demanding that the United States sanction Turkey for war crimes and recognize the Republic of Artsakh. Chantelle Nasri, chair of the AYF Manhattan “Moush” Chapter, opened the event and invited five guest speakers to explain the crimes committed by Turkey and the necessity of a free, independent Artsakh.
Dimitri Filippides from Greek American Radio, for his part, conveyed a powerful message to the Turkish Consulate. He honored the heroes of Artsakh, highlighted Turkey’s criminal record and emphasized that the war is not over until there is justice. In his words, “recogniz[ing] Artsakh is the only way to bring justice” to the region.
As we continue to protest, our numbers grow and our message becomes clearer. We were thankful to have the Greek community with us on Sunday, and we hope to see more friends of the Armenian community participate in the future. We will continue to protest and educate until the world recognizes our struggle for justice and recognizes Artsakh.