AGBU to lead delegation to Istanbul

AGBU to lead delegation to Istanbul

PanARMENIAN.Net - On the occasion of the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide, AGBU Europe and the European Grassroots Anti-Racist Movement (EGAM) will lead a delegation to Istanbul, composed mainly of young people from around Europe.

They will be joined in the metropolis by numerous other international visitors from around Europe who have chosen to commemorate this event in the city where it all started. The organization Armenian Project 2015 in particular has also called on Armenians from around the world to join commemorations in the Turkish metropolis.

The commemorations themselves will take place in Istanbul throughout the day on April 24 and will culminate on the central Taksim square at the symbolic time of 19.15. Commemorative events will also be held at Haydarpasha train station, where community leaders were deported from and at Sultanahmet, a former prison, where they were held prior to their deportations.

April 24 will also be an occasion to visit the tomb of Sevag Balikci, a young Armenian conscript who was assassinated by a fellow conscript on April 24, 2011 on account of his ethnicity. The commemorations are organized by Turkish organizations, including local EGAM member organization DurDe and the Turkish Human rights Association IHD.

Numerous other events will be held throughout the week, including a major concert on April 22 hosted by the foundation Anadolu Kultur and featuring numerous international artists. The AGBU Europe-EGAM delegation will take the opportunity to engage with numerous audiences at universities, non-governmental organizations and other location.

In advance of the commemorations, an appeal has been published in a series of newspapers around Europe, calling on Europeans to commemorate the Centenary in Istanbul in the name of "Justice, Solidarity and Democracy". To sign onto the appeal, go to www.remember24april1915.eu.

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, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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