Action Day for Tolerance and Respect between People takes place on April 24 every year in Argentina. It is a national day that commemorates and recognizes the attempts by the Ottoman Empire in 1915 to systematically eradicate the Armenian people from their homeland. It is a national observance. However, it is not a public holiday. Rather, as only 33 countries have formerly recognized the actions of the Ottoman Empire, in World War I, as genocide, this day brings clear focus to how the persecution of peoples can willingly go on, as governments’ concerns over political connection rather than human rights supersede their ability to act.
History of Action Day for Tolerance and Respect between People
The Ottoman Empire was established in 1299 and ruled over much of the middle east, Northern Africa, and Eastern Europe throughout history until its eventual collapse in 1922, after a series of treaties post World War I left it without influence or power. Throughout its life, it subjected, conquered, and ruled over vast territories, a collection of Islamic states that united through their desire to consolidate the Islamic faith, and the territory they did allow for the practice and inclusion of minority faiths and ethnic groups within their empire.
However, in the 1400s, The Ottoman Empire absorbed Armenia, and while they recognized the largely Christian community that resided within its borders, the people were treated as ‘infidels’ and experienced harsh, unequal treatment by the ruling regime. Argentina recognizes that the events that transpired during the First World War, which were carried out under the instruction of the Ottoman Empire, were a genocide. Hundreds of scholars who have reviewed the events, cited sources and, interviewed survivors have confirmed that the events were genocide and are beyond debate as the facts speak for themselves.
However, every year, the Republic of Turkey spends millions of dollars on lobbying against the claims. The impact has left the Armenian people without justice, and without their true history, as only 33 states have accepted and validated the historical and widespread murder of this ethnic group.
While the figures around an accurate death toll vary, most sources indicate that between 600,000 and 1,200,000 Armenians were ‘destroyed,’ as German allies would say. It has since been difficult for organizations to lobby against the Republic of Turkey, which maintains that the actions of the Ottoman Empire were guided by a need to maintain order in one of its sovereign states.
Action Day for Tolerance and Respect between People timeline
The Balkan War results in massive losses for the Ottoman Empire, and the defeat incenses Ottam Muslims, leading to the end of coexistence between Muslims and other faiths.
After the assignation of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, World War I officially begins.
A few days after the First World War begins, the Ottoman Empire signs a secret treaty with Germany and becomes an ally.
After eight years, the persecution of the Armenian people comes to an end, and the Armenian Genocide is stopped.
Action Day for Tolerance and Respect between People FAQs
Who did Armenia fight for in World War I?
As a part of the Ottoman Empire, tens of thousands of Armenians fought bravely for the central powers. However, the Ottoman Empire viewed the Armenian people as a threat who could potentially align with the Allied forces.
Why don’t more states recognize the genocide?
The Republic of Turkey and many international stakeholders have concerns of political ties and relations to consider and so the genocide remains a debatable topic, with nations within the U.K, Scotland, and Wales recognizing the genocide, while Britain does not. The German government, however, acknowledged the genocide in 2006 and the part that it played historically in the mass genocidal killings of the Armenian people.
Should I recognize the genocide, even if my government does not?
The evidence in support of the mass murder of the Armenian people is undeniable. However, as an individual, you need to come to terms with the information and the facts and conclude for yourself. The day is about recognizing that this event happened and reminding the world that it still can.
Action Day for Tolerance and Respect between People Activities
The Armenian Genocide is one of many that has taken place in recent history and is not the only genocide to be expressly denied by the lead instigators. Educate yourself on the widespread persecution of ethnic minorities around the world.
Become a voice for those who are ignored
Action Day for Tolerance and Respect between People does not only recognize the acts of the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian people. The day is also about giving a voice to all persecuted and oppressed people so they may receive acceptance and understanding for the traits that divide.
With a rich culture and history, there are many interesting things about Armenia that would surprise and delight you. Get to learn about these amazing people.
5 Facts You Didn't Know About Armenia
Armenia is an ancient country
Its origins and national identity can be traced back to 12,000 B.C., with the oldest leather shoe dating back to 3,500 B.C. was found.
A nation of Christians
Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its national faith, with 97% of Armenians being Christian.
Home to the first Christian Church
The First Christian Church was built in Armenia in the 4th century, with Holy Etchmiadzin being the site of many pilgrimages.
Yerevan is one of the oldest cities
Founded in 782 B.C by King Argishti, the Capital of Armenia is one of the oldest cities on the planet.
Armenia is home to World Heritage sites
UNESCO has recognized the significant value that six sites in Armenia hold and are protected by the organization — an Armenian flatbread, Lavash, has been recognized as culturally significant by them.
Why We Love Action Day for Tolerance and Respect between People
It raises awareness around persecution and oppression
There are millions of ethnic groups and demographics that are marginalized, oppressed, and persecuted around the world because of how they identify. Today, we hope that people will attempt to understand those groups.
It forces us to reflect on our shared past
Events that transpired from 1915 to 1923 still require debate. Although the entire world had a part to play both directly and indirectly in the First World War, in one way or another, every nation bears some link to what happened.
It forces debate
Engaging in the justification for the persecution of a group of people provides healthy discourse from which we can grow and become better global citizens.
Action Day for Tolerance and Respect between People dates