Large crowd including activists and intellectuals commemorate 1915 in Istanbul
The crowd that included renowned journalists, writers and activists, lit candles and held pictures of those who lost their lives. DHA PhotoA large crowd gathered on Istanbul’s central Istiklal Avenue on April 24 to commemorate the 1915 killings of Armenians, which Turkey refuses to recognize as “genocide.”
Nearly 1,000 people, including renowned journalists, writers and activists, lit candles and held pictures of those who lost their lives in an event that was staged for the first time in Istanbul in 2010.
Rakel Dink, the wife of the murdered Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, and the parents of Sevag Şahin Balıkçı, a young Armenian killed while performing his military duty on April 24, 2011, also attended this year’s commemoration.
The names of prominent Armenian public figures and community leaders who perished in 1915 were also read out during the event.
The Armenian Remembrance Day in Turkey was marked this year by a message released by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, where he offered his condolences to the descendants of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the mass killings.
Although describing the mass killings as “genocide” still irks large part of the mainstream Turkish public opinion, including the country’s leading media corporations, the April 24 commemoration events organized on the initiative of a handful of activists and intellectuals have helped to break a taboo which had been persistent for years.
Many Armenians also traveled from Armenia to attend the commemoration event in Istanbul.