Armenian Students Association planned commemoration event
The Armenian Genocide, although it took place in the early 20th century, remains a controversial topic in today’s world. Many countries, including the U.S., still do not officially recognize the events that resulted in the systematic death of 1.5 million Armenians, in part because of the Turkish government’s threats to nation states that use the term genocide instead of casualties of war. In order to share what the battle is like to gain official recognition both in the U.S. and abroad, the Armenian Students Association (ASA) at Ohio State had planned an Armenian Genocide Commemoration event to be held at the Ohio Union on April 13, 2020. Proposed guest speaker Gev Iskajyan, a member of the Armenian Youth Federation and the Armenian National Committee of America, devotes himself to Armenian Genocide advocacy and recognition in the United States. Iskajyan planned to discuss modern political relations between Armenia and Turkey, as well as the politics behind Turkish President Erdoğan’s continuous threats to sanction America if the government officially designates the events as genocide.
For those interested in learning more about the Armenian Genocide, ASA recommends watching the 2016 film The Promise, which highlights the crimes against humanity during the final years of the Ottoman Empire. In addition, outlets such as The Armenian Weekly, along with other larger news platforms, regularly share information about genocide recognition. As mentioned above, the battle for recognizing the Armenian Genocide is far from over. NPR's report of the U.S. Senate's resolution officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide this past December received pushback from both the White House and Turkey. The ASA and similar groups hope that more countries will condemn these historical events so the past does not repeat itself and in order to honor those who fell victim to ethnic and religious persecution in World War I.
By Andrew Hakopian, president of the Armenian Students Association at Ohio State