BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş. DHA Photo
The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) commemorated the mass killing of Armenians in 1915 on its 98th anniversary, referring to it as “Meds Yeghern” - Armenian for “great calamity” – and also calling it “genocide.” The party also bid for an official apology for the events, and introduced a proposal for a parliamentary inquiry into the forced deportation of Armenians from Anatolia.
“The traumas and grievances of the genocide are still fresh in the societal memory, because Turkey has not confronted one of the biggest genocides of the 20th century in order to clear society’s conscience. It has not come to terms with its own history and has not apologized to the Armenian people by admitting the reality of genocide,” BDP said in a press statement released on April 24.
BDP also drew parallels with the current agenda regarding the “peace process” aimed at ending the three-decade long conflict between Turkish security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party
“Even though the democratic struggle of the people has disrupted the monist-nationalist mentality, threats against different identities, cultures and beliefs continue to exist today. However, the common will of the peoples of Turkey regarding peace, fraternity and freedom - as shown once again in the developing democratic resolution process - is an expression of hope that similar events will not be experienced,” the party said.
The BDP is the only political party in Parliament that deems the mass killings of 1915 “genocide.” Last year, the party offered its April 24 declaration as “the day of sharing the Armenian people’s national mourning and grievances.”
Their proposal for the parliamentary inquiry is aimed at “investigating - thoroughly and with all its aspects - the massacre that took place after forced deportation of the Armenian people who lived in the Ottoman territories in 1915.” It was introduced to the Parliament Speaker’s Office on April 24 by a group of BDP deputies led by the party’s deputy parliamentary group chair, İdris Baluken.