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Turkey Condemns Opening of Genocide Monument in Sydney

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Selcuk Umal said on Monday that Turkey condemned the opening of an Assyrian Genocide Monument in Sydney’s Fairfield region on August 7, which “distorted history and accused Turkey,” reports Anadolu Ajansi. 

“We express regret over federal executives’ participation in this intentional act, which won’t make any contributions to the relation of two countries,” Unal said in a written statement.

The ministry spokesperson said that support on a federal level toward this act was a “grave and unacceptable development,” that resulted in indignation and disappointment in Turkish citizens living in Australia.

Unal also said that this step aims to “rewrite history for political aims.”

“Turkey hopes that federal and local politicians who allowed for the construction of the monument… are aware of the dangers caused by such measures that aim at sowing seeds of hatred and enmity and which contradict historical facts,” he said. 

According to the Assyrian International News Agency, the Assyrian Genocide Monument was unveiled on August 7 in Sydney. This memorial stands for the Assyrian genocide committed at the hands of the Ottomans Turkey during WWI, which claimed about 750,000 innocent lives and the Simile massacre at the hands of Iraqi army on 7th August 1933, which claimed the lives of about 6,000 Assyrians. Each year, on August 7, the Assyrian communities worldwide commemorate Assyrian Martyr’s Day with respect and dignity, said Hermiz Shahen, the Regional Secretary of the Assyrian Universal Alliance in Australia and New Zealand.