It's no secret the entire Kardashian family are very proud of their Armenian roots, and Kim Kardashian took time out of her busy schedule and veered away from her usual Twitter activities (posting scantily clad photos of herself) to send a serious message to her nearly 14.5 million followers:
Today lets all stand together & remember the 1.5 million people who were massacred in the Armenian Genocide. April 24th, 1915. #NEVERFORGET
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) April 24, 2012
It's rare that Kim posts about such serious topics, but today marks the 97th anniversary of the mass murder of the Armenian people at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. It's a controversial issue to this day, as the Turkish government has never acknowledged the genocide took place, and sees the allegations of genocide as a threat to its national honor. Its denial continues to strain its relationships with other countries and is just one of the reasons Turkey's application to the European Union has continued to be rejected.
In January, France's parliament passed a law to make it a crime to deny the Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Turks, and Turkey responded by suspending military, economic and political ties with France, when the bill was first approved by the lower house. Though a court ultimately ruled that the law violates France's constitution, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who had personally backed the law, immediately said he would ask the government to prepare a new bill taking into account the council's ruling.
Sarkozy has long opposed Turkey's entry into the European Union in part because of the country's ongoing denial, and Wednesday, French MP Jean-Louis Bianco told reporters that in addition to resolving issues such as its dispute with Cyprus, the country must recognize that the Armenian Genocide took place.
According to the Associated Press, most historians contend that the killings of the Armenians constituted the first genocide of the 20th century, yet it's an issue that's not heavily pressed by governments looking to stay allied with Turkey, a rising power. Even today, President Obama refrained from using the word "genocide" to describe what happened nearly a 100 years ago, reports ABC News.
It's surprising that the Kardashians are on the pulse of such real-world, hot-button issues, but their Armenian heritage is incredibly important to them. In fact, last year when pictures from one of Kim's photo shoots ended up on the April cover of Turkish Cosmopolitan, she took to her blog to explain that she didn't approve of her photos being used for the publication:
I had no idea that Turkey was planning to run my story on their cover THIS month, considering Genocide Remembrance Day is this month. My Armenian heritage means a lot to me and I’ve been brought up to be incredibly proud of my family’s background and culture so as an Armenian-American woman it is a huge honor for me to be on the first ever Armenian Cosmopolitan cover. I have an amazing relationship with Cosmopolitan Magazine. World-over, Cosmo is known as a fun and inspiring magazine for women of all races, shapes, sizes, regardless of their political beliefs and I really hope that if I can bring awareness to the issue, then this in an accomplishment.
More recently, an episode of "Khloe & Lamar" aired, showing Khloe's anxiety when her husband, Lamar Odom, was propositioned to play basketball in Turkey. Khloe asked him not to play because she was worried her Armenian fan base would find it disrespectful.