Armenians living in other countries of the world will join to commemorative event to be held on April 24, 2015, in Istanbul. “Our presence in Istanbul will be a form of resistance to erasure and denial,” says Project 2015 board member Nancy Kricorian.
April 24 has been commemorated in Istanbul as a public event since 2010, and the commemoration will expand on the 100th anniversary of the Genocide. Jointly organized by DurDe, one of Turkey’s leading civil and human rights organizations, working to combat racism, nationalism and hate crimes, and the Project 2015 group, a US-based network formed to commemorate 24 April, the organizations are working to ensure that a large contingent of Armenians come to Turkey for the historic centennial commemoration.
“As Armenians, we are going to Istanbul to memorialize the brutal massacre of our family members, and to remind the world that 100 years later, we are still seeking justice and accountability from the Turkish government,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, board member of Project 2015. “Commemorating the Armenian Genocide in the place where the crimes took place will be a deeply meaningful experience,” added Nancy Kricorian, another Project 2015 board member. “Our presence in Istanbul will be a form of resistance to erasure and denial.”
Levent Şensever of the DurDe group explained, “As Turks, we want to express our solidarity with Armenians as we pay our respects to the victims and survivors of this terrible crime, and press our government to recognize the genocide,” and added, “We want to demonstrate to the world that while the Turkish government may not be ready to come to terms with this country’s past, we as citizens of Turkey are ready.”
As in previous years, the commemmoration will begin in Taksim, and will also include a memorial service at Şișli Armenian Apostolic Cemetery, where Sevag Şahin Balıkçı is buried. Balıkçı was murdered on April 24, 2011 while serving in the Turkish military.
Click here for the web site of Project 2015.
Click here for the web site of DurDe.