ISTANBUL (Washington Hatti) — A call to acknowledge Armenian Genocide was made during a commemoration of its 102nd anniversary at Taksim Square on April 24.
As part of the 102nd anniversary of Armenian Genocide, a commemoration at Taksim Square was organized by 24thApril Remembrance Platform. Starting with silent protests, many people including HDP Istanbul MP Garo Paylan participated in the commemoration. A placard with a sign “It’s been 102 years, Face It!” was demonstrated while singing Armenian songs. In addition, another huge banner consisted of 234 Armenian politicians, journalists, judges, artists and intellectuals was rolled out while leaving flowers on it.
On behalf of demonstrators, Murat Çelikkan asked the country to face the genocide by reminding those present what took place 102 years ago. He continued “whether we pay attention or not, life in Turkey has become barren since 24 April 1915. When a section of the public was dismissed with its values, indeed all values of the society were being harmed. While the cultural heritage of a group of people was destructed, the culture of living in together took a big blow. Just like Armenian people, the cultural heritage left behind was being erased. Thousands of historical structures, churches and schools were preemptively turned into ruins. It was portrayed as if they never existed on this soil just like Armenians.”
By repeating the call made during the commemoration of its 102nd anniversary, Murat went on to say “the call or the struggle to face the genocide is our obligation and debt to Hrant Dink, Sevag Balikçi, Marisa Küçük and to all those brothers spread around the world as they were forced to leave their homeland. It is a responsibility to our own conscience. All of us owned the pain. Such pain will never heal by time, we apologized and will continue to. We are trying to come to terms with it and will continue to. We will never recess. Now it is your turn. We are done with the words of sympathies, looking for an apology. It has been 102 years. Don’t wait for its 103rdanniversary. Apologize for it!”
The commemoration concluded with applauds by chanting “the struggle for the call to face the genocide will go on for those we lost on 24th April, for Hrant and Sevag.”