The ‘Genocide Case’ hearing was held at the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights on January 28. A high number of politicians and civilian society leaders from Turkey, Armenia and the Diaspora were present in the courtroom. The case has also attracted interest from the international press since Amal Clooney represents Armenia. It could take up to a year for the reasoned decision in the case to be issued.
The ‘race code scandal’ in minority schools continues despite a broad public outcry. In the most recent case, two students were barred from registering at Armenian schools. An official from the Istanbul National Education Directorate made a statement, saying, “We are checking the race status of the students”. İsmail Cem Halavurt, lawyer of the parents of the students who were not admitted to the schools, said, “The Ministry is committing a crime”.
Confirmation announced that Pope Francis is to conduct mass in person in memory of 1915 Armenian Genocide victims to be held at the Vatican on April 12.
Payam Akhavan, lawyer for the Human Rights Association and the Truth Justice Memory Centre, intervening in the Perinçek v. Switzerland case from Turkey, along with the Toronto-based Zoryan Institute: “Instead of presenting a defence here, Turkey should be prosecuting the likes of Doğu Perinçek and the Talat Pasha Committee.”
Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia, issued a written statement on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In his statement Sargsyan said, “Perhaps, it might have been possible to prevent the crimes committed under the veil of World War II had the crimes against humanity committed during the World War I earned unequivocal international condemnation, and had those responsible for them been duly punished.”
Birgül Ayman Güler, İzmir Member of Parliament for CHP (the Republican People’s Party), has resigned from her party. In a written statement Güler criticised the banner stating “Time to face the Genocide” carried by a group including CHP MPs during the Hrant Dink commemoration and the continuing ‘solution process’ for the Kurdish Question.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu made a statement regarding Doğu Perinçek’s case at the European Court of Human Rights: “We do not find it right that Mr. Perinçek is being tried for a thought he expressed. We must stand united for freedom of thought. All the modern world should.”
SYRIZA, the radical left party that won the general elections in Greece, has reached an agreement with the conservative Independent Greeks Party (ANEL) to form a coalition government. SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras has sworn in as the Prime Minister of the new government.
Responding to a parliamentary question, the government of Germany announced that it would not use the term “Genocide” for the 1915 Armenian Genocide, and that the appraisal of 1915 was primarily the responsibility of Turkey and Armenia.
The lost gravestone of Garabet Balyan, the architect of the Dolmabahçe Palace, and a member of the Balyan family praised by President Erdoğan as ‘competent masters’ of their art, was discovered at a Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality construction site in Kartal.