Washington, DC– In Defense of Christians (IDC), the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) condemn Azerbaijan and Turkey for their onslaught against Artsakh, an early cradle of Christianity and an integral part of the Armenian homeland.
Less than one week after Archbishop Barkev Martirosyan, Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Diocese of Artsakh, addressed the importance of the Christian cultural heritage in Artsakh, Azerbaijan and Turkey began attacking the Armenian Christian community across Artsakh.
Since Azerbaijan launched its attack on September 27, hundreds of people have died in fighting, including many civilians in Artsakh’s capital of Stepanakert. On October 8th the Holy Saviour Cathedral was badly damaged by Azerbaijani artillery fire. Amnesty International has documented the use of prohibited cluster bombs by Azerbaijan against Armenian civilians. The French government and other official and media sources have confirmed that Turkey is recruiting jihadist mercenaries to Azerbaijan.
“We call on our government to condemn Azerbaijan, cut off military aid to Baku, sanction Turkey, and recognize Artsakh, in response to this coordinated campaign by Ankara and Baku to finish the work of the Armenian Genocide,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
“Six years ago, we all declared ‘We are ن, or N’ to express our solidarity with Christians being targeted by ISIS. Now Turkey – one of the enablers of ISIS – is targeting the world’s first Christian nation in Armenia and trying to perpetrate another genocide. It is time for the world to finally hold Turkey accountable. Sanctions must be imposed on Ankara for its destabilizing behavior here and in multiple other regions. And military support to Turkey’s reprehensible wingmen in Azerbaijan must end as well. Today, we are all Armenian.” said Endy Zemenides, HALC Executive Director.
“The world stood in shock and horror when observing what ISIS did to Christians and churches in Iraq and Syria. The Turkish-backed onslaught against this ancient Christian community is no different. Turkey must be heavily sanctioned for its continued persecution of Christians,” said IDC President Toufic Baaklini.