In order to create a Turkish nation from above, Turkish nationalists
waged a bloody campaign against non-Turkish and non-Muslim elements
of the empire.
The First World War served as an excuse for the Young Turks, the
then Turkish goverment, to exterminate Armenians. It was a
deliberate and sustain war, in the course of which hundreds of
thousands Armenians, Syrians and Greeks had been ruthlessly killed
or forced into exile.
The collapse of the Ottomans had left a power vacuum, filled by
another section of the Turkish nationalists, called Kemalists at a
In 1937-38, i.e., at a time when world attention was focused on the
Second World War, the Turkish nationalists commited another
genocide. This time the victims were Dersimis, who are also known as
Kızılbash or Alevis. Approximately 40.000-70.000 of them were killed
and thousands were taken into exile. The Dersim Genocide of
1937-1938 was on one hand a continuation of the Kızılbash
extermination of the Ottoman times and also an extermination of an
ethnically distinct and separate people from Turks.
What happened back then has been handed down to the later
generations by their parents and grand-parents, who witnessed the
onslaught, and of whom some are still alive.
Furthermore the sites of the mass graves all over Dersim are well
known and can easily be located if and when need be. The ruins of
the country`s cultural heritage including churches belonged to the
nations`s Christian section are still visible.
People wish to see the justice served. A search for justice has
already began. A legal action against Turkey will at long last be
taken at some time in the future.
We, the signatures below, demand justice and support the initiatives
aiming to bring Turkey to justice.