A historical day in Sydney Australia

Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Members of my Assyrian Community

In recent years, we Assyrians began the world-wide struggle and the long fight towards the recognition of the Seyfo genocide that occurred almost a century ago.

We are the adult children and grandchildren of those individuals that survived the genocide and ethnic cleansing of our people, the destruction and demographic change of our ancestral lands which also brought about enormous pain and suffering and caused hundreds of thousands of us to disperse in Diaspora. We are the descendants of a nation that its barbaric enemies wanted to wipe out from the face of this earth.

95 years ago they thought they can eliminate us! They were mistaken.

Today, we are gathered here in Sydney with our companions and friends of the Assyrian nation from different ethnic backgrounds that make up this great country of Australia.

Those of us who are still living in our homeland, together with those scattered in Diaspora, from Europe to the United States, all sons and daughters of this proud Assyrian nation are with us today in spirit and thought .

We are not alone…

The souls of our martyrs of Simele, Urmia, Hakkari, Van, Tur Abdin, Omid and Iraq are amongst us… Yes, they are amongst us here, today. We haven’t forgotten them and we’ll never forget them!

Today, history is being re-written here in Sydney!

The systematic genocide the Ottoman State committed against Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks during World War 1, is no longer a gain for the Turkey and we will never allow it to be such.

At the same time, we also condemn the murderous forces of evil and barbarism that committed the 1933 massacre in Semele and demand that the Iraqi government issue an official apology and recognize the massacres of Semele as an act of Genocide.

Today, we are demanding of those who expelled us from our ancestral homelands, to be accountable for their policies of murder and hate ; we also promise them that we will continue with our demands until justice is served.

Turkey and its Embassy in Canberra and all its political clout and influence tried hard to stop this memorial monument from being erected, however, they were not successful. Those who sided with them lost as well.

We have succeeded.

Yes, we have succeeded

The friends of our nation in Australia and the democratic forces and freedom loving peoples of the world have succeeded.

Here, I want to ask this question: How long will Turkey continue to deny its atrocities?

Until when, will Turkey continue to deny the 1915 genocide?

When will the Turkish Embassy in Canberra place a memorial wreath in front of this monument and officially apologize ‘to the Assyrian people?

We are calling on the current Turkish government to stop denying the Genocide. We also want to remind them that Turkey will not be able to take its place among the civilized nations of the world if it doesn’t take full responsibility for the horrendous crimes of the “Forgotten Genocide”.

Genocide is a serious crime!

living with this guilt, Turkey cannot provide a democratic and bright future for its citizens.

Not reconciling with your own recent and dark past and present atrocities, you cannot bring peace to Palestine.

Turkey should know this: the descendants of the survivors of the “forgotten Genocide” may they be Assyrian, Armenian or Greek living all over the world will never leave it alone!

Today, here in Sydney, we have erected an Assyrian Monument dedicated to the memory of the fallen; in the near future we will be erecting similar monuments in Europe, the United States, Hakkari, Diyarbakir and Tur Abdin!

We will also never forget Nineveh, Urmia and Semele!

and our children and grandchildren will never forget our homelands and the crimes committed against their ancestors.

Dear friends,

History and truth are on our side.

The world and Turkey’s democratic forces are siding with us! We will succeed.

The Turkish government’s dark and dirty mentality will lose, it will be defeated.

The day that we will have peace and democracy in our homeland is near.

The day that civilization’s peace and freedom flowers will bosom and flourish for a new beginning is near!

The day will come, where the children of Assyria will have a place of their own that they can call homeland again.

‘’ To Live

Like a tree alone and free!

Like a forest in brotherhood! 

This longing is ours! ‘’

Sabri Atman,
7th August, 2010, Sydney

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