Cher Slams World Government’s Refusal to Recognize Armenian Genocide
Cher has slammed the U.S. and U.K. governments’ refusal to declare the mass killings of Armenians, which began in 1915 and ended eight years later, as a “genocide.” On Wednesday, the 70-year-old singer, who is of Armenian heritage, attended the Los Angeles premiere of The Promise.
The film is set against the backdrop of atrocities in which an estimated 800,000 to 1.5 million Armenians living within the Ottoman Empire died. The killings have long been a point of contention around the world, as the government of Turkey, the successor state to the Ottoman Empire, has long refused to declare the deaths an organized genocide. U.K. and U.S. officials also decline to use the term, a stance which has angered the “Believe” musician. “We’re small,” Cher tells the Press Association. “Armenia is landlocked. We have no oil. We have nothing to give them. How much would it take? (to recognize the killings as a genocide) Armenians are a small group of people and we have nothing that they’re interested in.” The governments of Germany, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Russia and Uruguay all recognize the mass killings as a genocide, which is defined by United Nations guidelines as acts intended “to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.” Turkish officials accept that thousands of Armenians were killed, and have issued statements commemorating the victims, but they refuse to use the term, a policy also followed by U.K. and U.S. leaders. Asked if she was hopeful President Donald Trump would change her country’s stance on the issue, she replied, “No!” Also in attendance at The Promise premiere were Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, who are also of Armenian ancestry. After the premiere, Kardashian tweeted her appreciation of the movie, writing, “So proud of the movie #ThePromise Everyone please go see it and finally hear the story of the Armenian people.”
The U.S. reality TV star has also campaigned for the killings to be recognized as a genocide, and in a 2015 Time magazine article marking the 100th anniversary of the atrocities she wrote people should, “continue to ask the questions and fight for the genocide to be recognized for what it was.”
So proud of the movie #ThePromise Everyone please go see it and finally hear the story of the Armenian people ??— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) April 13, 2017