AGBU to join Armenian Genocide commemoration events in Turkey

AGBU to join Armenian Genocide commemoration events in Turkey

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) Europe, the European Grasroots Anti-racist Movement (EGAM) and the Turkish movement DurDe! (“Say Stop”) call upon all concerned to sign onto a public appeal issued on the occasion of the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide that will be commemorated on April 24, 2014.

The appeal calls upon all Europeans to join in these commemorations in a spirit of “recognition, solidarity, justice, and democracy”.

The text has already received the support of such celebrities as public intellectual Bernard Henry-Levy, writer Tahar Ben Jelloun and international celebrity Charles Aznavour, as well as numerous civil society leaders from around Europe. The appeal is due to be published in newspapers in many countries in early April.

The campaign now also has a website at www.remember24april1915.eu, where supporters are invited to sign onto the appeal, as well as a Facebook page.

April 24 this year will be the second time a joint EGAM-AGBU Europe delegation takes part in the commemorations in Turkey. In addition to Istanbul, the three organizations are also involved in organizing genocide commemoration events in Van and Diyarbakir, in the east of the country.

Commenting on the commemorations to come, DurDe leader Levent Sensever said that “this question is very important for people in Turkey. How we resolve it will have an enourmous influence on what our country will be like in the future. DurDe aspires to a democratic society that does not tolerate impunity and that values its remaining diversity instead of promoting nationalism and prejudice. We also owe it to the Armenians to recognize the crime, to apologize and to see what should be done about it now.”

Benjaming Abtan, President of EGAM, noted that “Turkish society is at a historic turning point. A struggle is being waged between denialism on the one hand, and democracy on the other. This year, Turkish civil society will commemorate the genocide. Cities, such as Diyarbakir and Van, will commemorate it too. The State could soon be the last major institution to deny the truth of the genocide.”

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres, and deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, majority of U.S. states, parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium and Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Chamber of Commons of Canada, Polish Sejm, Vatican, European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

 Top stories
During the opening Foreign Minister Nalbandian stressed the special role of Lyon and Rhone-Alpes in the development of bilateral relations.
Armenian soldier Gevorg Avagyan, 20 sustained a deadly injury in Azeri attack at a frontline between the Nagrono Karabakh and Azeri defense forces.
A spokesman for the Emergencies Ministry said a power surge caused the train to stall and several cars to derail.
This historic resolution—the first of its kind for a major American church body—was adopted by the 1.8- million-member church.
Partner news