AYF Participates in First BDP Youth Congress in Diyarbakir

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey—On Sat., Nov. 30, an AYF (ARF-Dashnaktsutyun Youth Organization) delegation comprised of Sarkis Degirmenjian and Rupen Janbazian participated in the first youth congress of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). The congress was organized by the Youth Assembly of the BDP and was held in Diyarbakir’s Seyrantepe Sport Hall. The invitation was extended to the AYF as well as all other member youth organizations of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY).

The AYF in Diyarbakir
The AYF in Diyarbakir

The conference was attended by more than 30,000 BDP members and supporters, as well as several representatives of socialist youth organizations from around the world. The AYF representatives addressed the crowd, outlining their views on a number of regional and international issues faced by both the Armenian and Kurdish people. The speech, which was delivered first in Armenian and then in Turkish, focused on the shared history of the two peoples and how cooperation based on mutual respect and understanding can be instrumental in today’s changing Middle East. After the address, the AYF representatives presented the BDP Youth Assembly members with a commemorative plaque. The following day, on Dec. 1, the delegation participated in a forum organized by the BDP Youth Assembly with representatives of all the invited organizations, during which a number of issues pertaining to socialist youth were discussed.

Two other high-level meetings between delegations representing the ARF and the BDP were held over the past few weeks in Washington and Istanbul, on Oct. 29 and Nov. 12, respectively. The Nov. 29 meeting was the first time since 1923 that an official ARF delegation visited Istanbul.

Turkey’s BDP, which was founded in 2008, has observer status in the Socialist International, and publicly urges the government of Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

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Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


  1. All is fine and great. Nice effort by all parties involved. I wish success in attaining their goals. Further, I’m sure the AYF delegation knows history of the last 150 years or so better than I. Nevertheless I’d recommend them, as historical novel, to read Raffi’s Khente’, among others, if they have not already. An English translation of “The Fool” is available on the Internet.

  2. It is futile but not necessarily to be ignored . If I am given my grandfathers house and land in Diarbakir I will not return even if I were on welfare in US. But thanks God like most of armenians I have my home , grown children and never think when we will be killed . In Turkey almost every decade there was killings . We were mowed like grace or trimmed like trees to keep out number down . At this generation they will have their modern ways to get rid of other ethnics.

    • Ahmet, I don’t understand why interaction and communication with a community we have many similarities with makes us a desperate and hopeless diaspora? Can you please elaborate?

  3. Ahmet,
    Your name tells me you should be a Turk rather than a Kurd, who are nowadays increasingly showing courage in facing history and the injustice they – actually their ancestors – have done to their Armenian fellow-countrymetn. Most of the Armenians welcome the rapproachment between the Kurds and Armenians, but even if some of them cannot forget the bitter expeiences of the past one cannot condemn them. Your knee-jerk reaction shows how biased and intellectually hopeless you yourself are.

  4. It seems that my people does not understand that apologizing for the ‘mistakes of their ancestors’ means that the the Armenians will demand that Western Armenia be given back. The Armenians will not forgive and forget. Wake up Kurds.

  5. Give back Western Armenia? To whom, Hittites, Persians, Romans, Seljuks, or other ancient kingdoms and princehoods? Or a Kurdistsn that never existed? Was it Western Armenians who loaned it to Ottomans? Someone is confused, but not surprising.

  6. definitely there is a change going on in Turkey and more so in Eastern Turkey, but I doubt very much if that change will bring to independence to either the Kurds or Armenian lands, Turkey will not allow it without an all out war

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