• Centenary of the Armenian genocide in Istanbul

Centenary of the Armenian genocide in Istanbul

Date:24 April 2015 - 29 April 2015

European delegation to convene in Istanbul 100 years after the Armenian genocide

(Scroll down to see the full programme)

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 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, including Turkish and Armenian musicians. The AGBU Europe-EGAM delegation will take the opportunity to engage with numerous audiences at universities, non-governmental organizations and other location.

The Armenian genocide of 1915, which caused an estimated 1.5 million dead, uprooted the entire Armenian civilization. Commemorations have been held in many places over the years; but they have only been allowed in Turkey since 2010. AGBU Europe and EGAM have led international delegations to the former Ottoman capital city since 2013. Their approach has aimed to engage with Turkish society, and particularly with those organizations who work for the awareness of the genocide in Turkey, in the believe that their joint efforts can help promote tolerance, democracy and justice.


(please check this page regularly for the latest updates on the programme as it is constantly edited)

Tuesday April, 21

  • 10h00-13h00 Arrival of the participants
  • 14h00 Presentation of the initiative and the members of the delegation – by AGBU, DurDe! and EGAM
  • 15h00 « Welcome to Turkey » lecture – by Roni Marguiles
  • 15h00 “The History of the Armenian Genocide” – by Nicolas Tavitian
  • 17h00 Visit to AGOS newspaper and Hrant Dink Foundation
  • 19h30 Meeting with Human Rights Association: IHD
  • 20h00 Dinner – Cezayir restaurant

Wednesday April, 22

  • 09h30 Meeting with Kurdish activists
  • 11h00 Press conference
  • 13h30 Exhibition at DEPO and meeting with the curator
  • 16h00 Workshop with intellectuals from Turkey – Cezayir restaurant
  • 18h30 Meeting with artists Istanbul Kongre Merkezi
  • 19h30 Exhibition - Istanbul Kongre Merkezi
  • 20h30 Concert « In Memoriam » – Istanbul Kongre Merkezi (for tickets please email contact@agbueurope.eu)

Thursday April, 23

  • 09h30 Meeting with young Armenians – Cezayir restaurant
  • 11h00 NGOs Forum: Meeting with civil society organizations – Cezayir restaurant
  • 14h00 Visit of the Armenian heritage in Istanbul
  • 18h00 Preparation of the Commemorations – at the hotel
  • 20h00 Dinner – Ficcin restaurant

Friday April, 24

  • 10h00 First gathering organized by local Armenians
  • 11h00 Gathering in front of the prison of April 24 prisoners – at Sultanahmet square
  • 11h45 “Walk to Remember” – from Sultanahmet to Eminonü
  • 13h00 Public commemoration – in front of Haydarphasa train station
  • 15h30 Sevag Balikçi public commemoration – at the cemetery
  • 18h00 Whishing Tree – with Project 2015 in Taksim Square
  • 19h15 Public commemoration – in Taksim Square
  • 20h00 Reception at the French Consulate – by invitation

Saturday April, 25

  • Two parallels programs: delegation departs for Yerevan or continued program in Istanbul – Details to be published
  • 17h00 Arrival in Yerevan
  • 20h00 Dinner with AGBU team

Sunday April, 26

  • 10h00 Meeting with government representatives – Yerevan
  • 14h30 Meeting with civil society leaders – Yerevan
  • 18h00 Meeting with intellectuals – Yerevan

Monday April, 27

  • 10h00 Commemorations and meeting with the director of the Memorial – Yerevan
  • 14h00 Meeting with civil society leaders – Yerevan
  • 17h30 Meeting with intellectuals - Yerevan
  • 20h00 Dinner with intellectuals – Yerevan

For more information about Project 2015 and the commemoration events, please visit: http://www.remember24april1915.eu/ and sign the petition.

Also visit AGBU Europe Programme: Genocide Centennial Commemoration

Other interesting initiative: http://www.armenianproject2015.org/

Click here to read some of the International Press coverage on the commemoration in Istanbul.