Saturday, May 01, 2010

Turkey / Armenian Genocide

In Turkey "People Are Rebelling" Against Armenia Genocide Denial
By Lou Ann Matossian
Eurasia Review, May 1, 2010
"As Armenians in Yerevan laid flowers at the Eternal Flame on the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Turkish citizens in Istanbul solemnly commemorated April 24 with candles and red carnations-despite protests from ultranationalists and the denial policy of their own government. Seated on the steps outside Haydarpa'a Station, activists from the Istanbul Human Rights Association held carnations and posters of Armenian community leaders whose arrest and deportation from that very place had heralded the Young Turks' extermination campaign. 'April 24, 1915-Never Again' proclaimed the organization's banner as human rights attorney Eren Keskin addressed the solemn group. 'The events of 1915 must not be repeated,' Ms. Keskin was quoted in press reports. 'We have gathered here to say no to genocide.' Turkish police stood guard at the peaceful demonstration of about 100 mourners, keeping counter-demonstrators at bay. As journalists' cameras clicked and whirred, Ms. Keskin and the others threw their flowers into the Bosphorus, closing the vigil on the Asian shore of Istanbul.
That same evening in the heart of downtown, on the European side, the Initiative to Say No to Racism and Nationalism held a peaceful sit-down demonstration in bustling Taksim Square. A large black placard, inscribed 'This is OUR pain. This is a mourning for ALL OF US,' in Turkish, Armenian, and English, was placed on the ground with bouquets of red carnations and rows of votive candles resembling red apples. 'In 1915, when we had a population of only 13 million people, there were 1.5 to 2 million Armenians living on this land," an organizer proclaimed in Turkish. More than 200 mourners sat in silence as she named the cities and regions where Ottoman Armenians had lived, from Kars in the east to Thrace in the west. They were the grocer in our neighborhood, our tailor, our goldsmith, our carpenter, our shoemaker, our farmhand, our millwright, our classmate, our teacher, our officer, our private, our deputy, our historian, our composer ... our friend,' the statement continued. 'Our next-door neighbors and our companion in bad times. On April 24th, 1915, they were "rounded up." We lost them. They are not here anymore. A great majority of them do not exist anymore. Nor do their graveyards,' the organizer read out, evoking 'the overwhelming "Great Pain" that was laid upon the qualms of our conscience by the "Great Catastrophe."' Clark University professor Taner Akçam, an endorser of the Taksim Square statement, called the April 24th commemorations in Turkey a 'serious crack in the wall' of silence and denial. 'The other Turkey -- the Turkey that doesn't belong to denialists -- is coming to the surface," he told the Armenian Reporter. 'People are rebelling,' he concluded. 'They are saying, "We want to learn the truth."' [...]"

1 comment:

  1. David7:40 AM

    Thank you, Lou Ann.
    And, of course, there is no need for the US to kowtow to Turkey regarding the current Armenian genocide resolution. Lots of countries, including the US, have recognized the Armenian genocide, and Turkey's threats have always proved hollow.

    I did not know about Dr. Jones until now. His books look very worthwhile, and I will be reading them just as soon as I can.


Please be constructive in your comments. - AJ