Genocide commemoration at Taksim Square last year
ISTANBUL—Two local human rights organizations are planning a series of demonstrations and events on April 24 to mark the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and to denounce racism, reported the Hurriyet Daily News.
“We sum up the rationale behind these activities in a single sentence: The recognition of the Armenian genocide represents the fulfillment of an ethical, legal, political and social responsibility,” Ayşe Gunaysu, a member of the Human Rights Association (İHD), recently told the Hurriyet Daily News.
The main demonstration will take place in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, ironically the site of anti-Armenian protests in February.
The IHD and the “Say ‘No’ to Racism Initiative,” which are jointly organizing the commemoration, are set to announce further details about the location and time of demonstrations in other cities across Turkey several days before the commemoration on April 24.
“Lies cannot under any circumstances prevail until eternity, if we are willing to see the truth,” said Gunaysu, who is a member of both the IHD’s administrative board and its Commission against Racism and Discrimination.
The two NGOs organized simultaneous demonstrations in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, as well as in other provinces across Turkey last April 24.
“The acknowledgement of this [past] pain will lead to real democratization in Turkey. Racism and hatred will lose ground, and we will further approach humane [standards of] living,” she said.
Gunaysu also drew attention to the death of Sevag Sahin Balıkcı, a Turkish citizen of Armenian descent who was allegedly killed by a stray bullet on April 24, 2011, while performing his military service.