19 April 2013
For the first time since the Genocide of 1915, 98 years ago, a European delegation composed of twenty people from 15 countries will be present in Turkey for the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, held in that city for the fourth consecutive year.
This is in response to the call of EGAM partners in Turkey, DürDe! (Say Stop to Racism and Nationalism) and the Human Rights Association – IHD, to form a common delegation to take part in the April 24 commemorations in support of Turkish civil society groups working for the recognition of the Armenian genocide.
Over four days, the delegation will meet representatives of civil society (intellectuals, Turkish activists, Kurds, Armenians, artists, etc.), representatives of minority groups and youth at a conference to be held at Sehir University, and will also take part in the April 24 commemorations. On April 25, some of the delegates will travel to Yerevan to commemorate the Armenian Genocide together.
This joint commemoration in Istanbul is intended to express solidarity with those Turks working for historical truth. It is also inspired by a common sense of justice, as genocide denial is also an extension of the act of genocide. It is, finally, intended as a contribution to the strengthening of democracy and of a vibrant civil society.
The initiative was supported by numerous personalities (including Serge Klarsfeld, Dario Fo, Adam Michnik, Bernard Kouchner, Olivero Toscani, Jovan Divjak, etc.) and representatives of European civil society, who have signed an appeal to that effect. The appeal is expected to be published in several European papers, including Libération (France), SME (Slovakia) and Gazeta Wyborcza (web version, Poland).
The Commemoration ceremonies will take place at Sultanahmet at 2 pm and at Taksim Square at 7:15 pm. A press conference will be held on April 23 at 11 am in the Cenzayir restaurant.
About the Armenian Genocide: In 1915, the large Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire was exterminated on the orders of the junta of Young Turks then ruling the country. The Turkish Republic instituted an official policy of denial, which banned all affirmation of the country’s Armenian past.
View this press release in French: www.agbu.org/pdfs/04-19-13-genocide-delegation.pdf
View the decleration (in English): www.agbu.org/pdfs/04-19-13-genocide-delegation-declaration-english.pdf
View the declaration (in French): www.agbu.org/pdfs/04-19-13-genocide-delegation-declaration-french.pdf
View the list of signatories (in English): www.agbu.org/pdfs/04-19-13-genocide-delegation-signatories-english.pdf
View the list of signatories (in French): www.agbu.org/pdfs/04-19-13-genocide-delegation-signatories-french.pdf