Armenian Americans Hold Vigil, Pro-Ankara Protesters Celebrate Genocide in DC

WASHINGTON—Over 300 Armenian Americans gathered at the Turkish Embassy on Easter Sunday holding a silent vigil in memory of 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide and calling attention to Turkey’s ongoing denial of that crime against humanity.

The annual observance, organized by the Washington Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) “Ani” Chapter, took place after Sunday services held at the local Soorp Khatch and St. Mary’s Armenian churches, where parishioners participated in “Resurrection and Redemption: National Day of Prayer,” in memory of the victims of the genocide and celebration of Easter.

In a statement issued in the weeks prior to the April 24th protest, the AYF explained its call for a silent vigil. “Our silence on April 24th will speak volumes—calling attention to Turkey’s gag-rule on genocide affirmation, while sending a powerful message that the Armenian people will remain vigilant until Turkey recognizes the Armenian Genocide and makes reparations to the Armenian nation.”

Vigil participants wore red tape over their mouths—a scene made particularly poignant given President Barack Obama’s “Armenian Remembrance Day” statement issued one day earlier, where he once again succumbed to Turkey’s threats and pressure, refraining from properly characterizing the Armenian massacres as genocide.

The Armenian American observance was met with pro-genocide denial protesters, who blasted Turkish music, yelled obscenities, and made gestures reminiscent of Turkey’s ultra-nationalist Grey Wolves Party in a shameful celebration of the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians.

Gleeful protesters held up signs thanking the U.S. government for its complicity in genocide denial. A video of the pro-Ankara protesters can be viewed below.

Police monitoring the counter-protesters stopped several cars donning Turkish and Azerbaijani flags, including one car where protesters with an Azerbaijani flag had brought a baseball bat with them. The exchange with police was caught on video and can be viewed here:

Following their disgraceful performance, Turkish protesters were welcomed into the Turkish Embassy compound. The Washington Turkish scene came in stark contrast to images from Istanbul, Turkey, where a growing number of scholars held solemn vigil commemorating the Armenian Genocide and calling for justice for the crime.

“Seeing the pro-Ankara protesters shamelessly celebrating the murder of 1.5 million Armenians on April 24th only strengthens our community resolve to secure justice for this crime against all humanity,” said AYF “Ani” Chapter president Arpa Vartanian. “By kowtowing to Turkish government pressure and failing to honor his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide, President Obama is emboldening denial while undermining efforts by human rights activists in Turkey who risk their lives to speak truthfully about this issue.”

Following the demonstration, Armenian Americans gathered at the Armenian Embassy to hold a Requiem Service in memory of the genocide victims, presided by Rev. Fr. Sarkis Aktavoukian of Soorp Khatch Armenian Church and Rev. Fr. Hovsep Karapetyan of St. Mary Armenian Church. Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia Tatoul Markarian and Nagorno Karabagh Representative Robert Avetisyan offered remarks, as Washington Homenetmen Scouts stood at attention. Following the service, attendees gathered at Soorp Khatch for an expanded Requiem Service and Madagh, prepared by the Soorp Khatch Armenian Church Ladies Guild.


  1. anyone who is capable of celebrating the murder of 1.5 million people cannot be regarded as anything better than sub-human slime. The very lowest of known animal life forms are more evolved than this. To hysterically celebrate the mass murder and almost total elimination of an entire race of people, whether or not you consider it genocide, is an indication of a complete lack of those traits we associate with civilized humanity. The ability to celebrate, knowing that it was your own ancestors who committed those murders, gives further validity to scholarly studies and research that indicate the genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman turks continues to this day. Look at the faces of these “people.”
    Thank God, there are better educated Turks in Turkey who acknowledged the truth with more civility than these “people” indicated they are capable of. 

  2. very well said Perouz:

    last year, April 24,  2010, some despicable women were actually dancing….

    Despite having shed their Asiatic nomadic appearance thru mass rape of abducted Armenian, Greek, Assyrian girls and young women – their barbaric  core has not changed one bit.

    Amongst any other civilized people/nation, these psychopaths would be shunned.
    Yet last year and this –  the Turkish Ambassador invites them in, to presumably have a congratulatory toast.

  3. President Obama, with your stance wherein you ignored, again,  the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation – you have been thanked by the Turks who ridiculed and abused,again, even the memorial event Armenians observe, the world over, but here… in our nation’s capital, Washington DC, the vile actions of the Turks – when any civilized peoples would stand aside and ‘allow’ – brings home the barbaric and deranged mentality that represents what and who the Turks are -ongoing/unending. Too, such inhumane acts as were performed before a grieving gathering, in Washington DC, is indicative too, of the bullying stance of the Turks – of the USA, against the USA… Why?

  4. These shooting of Turks and their branch Azeris dancing on April 24 should be sent to Madam Secreatary of State and her State Department bureaucrats, those who keep parroting “Turkey is a valuable ally.” Duh duh…  Let them see how on the International Day of Grief for Armenians, their beloved “civilized” Turks rejoice. Very “civilized”, indeed…

  5. Film this next time and send it to every news organization. This will really make them look bad!
    This would be like the Germans celebrating the Holocaust!

  6. A good friend of mine who is not an Armenian but very educated in our history put it is such a great way about these animals that I would just paste his own words….

    You’re always going to get deluded idiots carrying on like this. They’re just spouting the same old lies and propaganda that their government has been doing so for years. In any case, when you’re brought up believing something, it’s very hard to take the truth when it’s presented to you, so you deny it. That’s what they’re doing. But if they know the truth and are carrying on like this in spite of the facts, then these people are a worry. They’re the type who would persecute others just for being different. The same type of people who religiously followed maniacs like the Nazis, General Pinochet in Chile, Franco in Spain, Mussolini in Italy, any of the Russian dictators, Chairman Mao, Pol Pot etc etc. They would be dangerous, given the right circumstances. What would shut them up real quick is if their government came out and acknowledged what happened and made reparations towards the Armenian people. Actually owned up to what happened. Until then, they’re going to carry on like buffoons and cause trouble. It’s this sort of nonsense which causes civil unrest and violence. Some of the more hot-headed young guys in the Armenian community might decide to go over to them, one day, and beat the living daylights out of them. Then it’ll be on for young and old and all the hate will go flying everywhere, which won’t look good for anyone. It’s hard not to feel like going and doing that (beat them up), but restraint and common sense should prevail. Make them look like idiots and not lower yourselves to their level of rank stupidity, racist bigotry and denial.

    I’ll bet many of those people would also celebrate what the Nazis did in WW2….I know of some that do. They’re just horribly disturbed, deluded and misguided people. “

    Well said my friend… and I THANK THE STARS that no one got hurt that day because one needs to have enough patient and control not to cross the street and kick them senseless for this inhumane act…


  7. All  of you have very well defined the character and ignorant mentality of the turk..above.
    However,what I am going to point  out to is the following.-
    To the chagrin  of those in Washington and London who still believe  the Govt. of turkey is their best ally(remember  first visit  of the newly elected Turkey)attaching so much importance  to this so called ally. The Russian are  progressively increasing their mutual Trade with great Turkey and relations…
    2.If latter is there to watch over  the interests of the aforementioned, two powers will be very much deceived when -as in previous betrayal acts ,viz  WWII and recent War in Iraq-when Turkish intervention may be asked for,same fate will befall them.
    Moreover,the other regional power,Iran has so far-as before- maintained  neutral and  positive  position  in THIS  region. Thence  the tow  may be in for yet another big surprise presented to them when the occasion arises.
    Sometimes, the all savvy politicians  of the West are trapped  by the cunning of the Genkis  khan and Temourlane people.
    What Armenians  should do. Carry on best we can in re-organizing our  Diaspora,foremost, then cooperate  with RA/Artsakh

  8. I also think that these counter demonstrations by a group of Turks, done in a way and atmosphere totally inappropriate to the significance of the day for Armenians in general, were in extreme poor taste and served no purpose.  That is not how nationalist think unfortunately.  This is how it looks from the other side.

    It also stretches the credibility to claim that a vigil in front of the Turkish embassy, an office of the Turkish Republic, not Ottoman, is hardly innocent.  Certainly the idea behind these provocations is more than simple rememberance. 

    There is a reaction to every action.

    Curse of nationalism is that, it has a multiplicative quality, that is, it works both ways.

  9. For some reason the esteeemed editors found it in poor taste that I also mentioned above how for many years Turks have faced unwarranted and abusive demonstrations by ethnic hate groups in many cultural events overseas. 

  10. Murat, there is a difference between the Armenian and Turkish counter-demonstrators. Armenians are demanding the acknowledgement of the truth of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated the the Ottoman Turkish government. The reaction of this Armenian action should be one of atonement and an  official apology by today’s Turkey. The Turkish counter-demonstrators on the other hand are a bunch of nationalist cowards, hiding under the skirts of Nato alliance, as true cowards would. 

    And furthermore Murat, do not insult, first of all yourself, by your pathetic word game in putting a distinction between the names “Turkey” and “Ottoman”.

  11. Why was putting the baseball bat in the trunk enough for the police?? What if he had some illegal weapons in the car?? He obviously did not look like he was coming from a baseball practice.  Had it been in Glendale with an Armenian guy, then his car would have been strip searched, while he would wait handcuffed thrown on the sidewalk or curb.  I think it might be a good idea if someone (maybe from ANCA) wrights a letter to washington Police Department urging them to do more in the future, before some Armenian hot headed guys take it upon themselves to find out what is the purpose of the baseball bat being carried by the passanger in the front sit.

  12. THANK YOU ZAREH.. THANK YOU FOR POINTING OUT TO THIS MURAT PERSON that whatever he is trying to accomplish here by playing word games is not going to fly….. who is by the way is also ultra nationlist in my eyes because him and his so called Robert, the brothern have been word terrorizing on our pages for months.. so we know very well how his mind saddens me that people like him exist and people like we saw in the video exist.. Also good catch on and pointing out that Turkey and Ottoman should never be used in different contexts.. we all know  including MURAT that TUrkey is the successor of their grand father Ottoman Empire.. He thinks we are stupid… i swear sometimes i don’t know what planet these Turks are who think they can play with our mind and emotions… i laugh at them…

  13. What would the Americans and the US government do if the Japanese youth danced and joyfully sang at the protest organized by an American civil group on the day of Pearl Harbor attack?

  14. True that AR.. Very true… The media and the police jump on the opportunity when they see something carried out or done by an Armenian but when these clowns are celebrating on the most solemn day of the year for not only Armenians but all of Christian world, one gets a “put your bat in the trunk” and invitation into the Turkish consulate.. HYPOCRACY AT ITS BEST…Ovomit look at this and say to yourself….”Am I a true humanitarian and democratic world’s leader or am I a coward who is hiding behind Turkey’s long tail of murders, lias, distortion and manipulation.. Obama should dig his own grave and go lie in it because these acts truly shows that what he is allowing these clowns to do will definintely escalate to more horrible acts in the future.. 

    I pray to God that our young generation will have enough patience and strength not to do anything unecessary when it comes to these types of clowns…. Let them divulge in their own stupidity because the world is watching…


  15. Murat:
    re: It also stretches the credibility to claim that a vigil in front of the Turkish embassy, an office of the Turkish Republic, not Ottoman, is hardly innocent.  Certainly the idea behind these provocations is more than simple rememberance. “
    The present Republic of Turkey is the legal successor of Ottoman Empire. Furthermore, the mere act of the present State of Turkey’s worldwide campaign of Armenian Genocide denial is sufficient to indict them as co-conspirators of continuation of  the AG. If they have no connection to Ottoman Empire, why the worldwide active, relentless denial campaign ?
    Answer: because leaders of Turkey know they are legally liable, and so attempt to pretend the AG did not happen – to avoid the  severe  legal consequences.
    In addition, Turks worked hand-in-glove with their ‘Azeri’ Tatar cousins’  failed attempt to exterminate about 200,000 Armenians of Artsakh, and spare no effort to strangle and destroy today’s Republic of Armenia.
    So I’d say modern State of Turkey is no different than the murderous Ottoman Empire – filled with Anti-Armenian hatemongers, who hallucinate about an unbroken Pan-Turanic chain stretching from the Bosphorus to China: if only Armenia was not in the way.
    re: “There is a reaction to every action.”
    That’s right, there is: every action by Armenians is a reaction to the immutable fact that Turks invaded Armenia: let me repeat – Seljuk Turks invaded Armenian Highlands, destroyed 1000s of years of peaceful civilization, ethnically cleansed and exterminated the indigenous populations, stole, confiscated, usurped Armenian culture, architecture, and….Armenians’ cultured, refined, beautiful  genes. Everything flows form that. Nobody invited you guys to our lands. Every violent act that Armenians have committed against Turks is a reaction to the violence and killing  you guys started, repeat,  Turks started – not the other way around.
    Until Turks repent and give back what’s ours, we are going to be in your face – every day,  in every corner of this world.

  16. Well there is nothing to argue about MURAT.. you know Turks stole not only my ancestors lives but also the cultured, refined and beautiful genes as Avery stated above… you just can’t keep your hate inside long enough not to say something spiteful .  like Avery said…. it will always be TURKS INVADED ARMENIA and STARTED something they could and will NEVER finish…

    So get over yourselves and act like human beings for once…


  17. “Armenians’ cultured, refined, beautiful genes… Ah, well, who am I to argue!” Indeed, who are you to argue? You’re a descendant of Central Asian nomads who invaded sedentary Armenia, where a highly-developed civilization and culture has already been established throughout millennia. You disagree? Prove me wrong from both historical and chronological perspectives, as well as from the perspective of documented maps and manuscripts depicting Armenia and Armenian cultural contributions found in ancient Judaic, Persian, Assyrian, Greek, and Roman sources! Let’s argue, if you can, Murat bey, who carries what type of genes in their blood based on what contribution to the world civilization each of the peoples has made and what destruction and physical extermination to ancient civilizations each of them brought upon…

  18. Clinton, Bush, and Obama all promised to reference the word genocide on April 24th, and they all renigged on that promise. I will remind you of this when Obama and his Republican challenger make that promise again before the 2012 election.

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