The Ngapuhi leader and academic David Rankin has called for Maori to boycott this year’s centennial ANZAC commemorations becaue the Turkish Government is using the event to deflect attention from the Armenian Genocide, in which over a million indigenous Armenians were killed by the Turks, Scoop Politics reports.
“The Armenian holocaust began on 24 April 1915, so what better way for Turkey to hide it than to put all attention on ANZAC Day,” says Mr Rankin. “The indigenous Armenian population was slaughtered by the colonising Turks and our involvement in the ANZAC centennial at Gallipoli is supporting the genocide of the coloniser. Indigenous peoples need to stand up and fight the oppressor”
“Turkey was the ISIS of its day,” says Mr Rankin. “It killed nearly one and a half million Armenians because they were Christians and they were on territories that the Turks wanted to colonise. We are effectively supporting this by going along with the commemorations that are being orchestrated at Gallipoli. They are a diversionary tactic.”
Mr Rankin wrote to the Turkish Ambassador to New Zealand about this matter in January but has not received any response. “This shows me that their attitude to indigenous peoples has not changed in a hundred years. We can still be ignored and treated like dirt,” says Mr Rankin.
Mr Rankin is calling on Maori and other indigenous groups to boycott this year’s ANZAC Day events and as a sign of their solidarity with the indigenous Armenians, to stop wearing poppies this year.