Hundreds Commemorate Genocide in Diyarbakir

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (A.W.)—Hundreds attended the commemoration of the Armenian and Assyrian genocides here in Diyarbakir on April 24, including Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality co-mayor Fırat Anlı and former mayor of Sur Municipality Abdullah Demirbaş.

A boy stands near the Monument of Common Conscience during the genocide commemoration in Diyarbakir. (Photo by Scout Tufankjian)
A boy stands near the Monument of Common Conscience during the genocide commemoration in Diyarbakir. (Photo by Scout Tufankjian)

The commemoration was jointly organized by the Diyarbakir Bar Association, the Diyarbakir branch of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (HRA), and the Gomidas Institute (GI).

At noon, attendees gathered at the Monument of Common Conscience (Ortak Vicdan Anıtı), where pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) parliamentarian Altan Tan, GI’s Ara Sarafian, head of the Diyarbakir Bar Association Tahir Elçi, and HRA Diyarbakir member Raci Bilici delivered speeches.

Altan Tan stated that the genocide committed in 1915 against Armenians and Assyrians is a dark blemish on the pages of history. Today, only through understanding one another can we defeat the oppressors, he noted.

The speakers at the commemoration (Photo by Gulisor Akkum)
The speakers at the commemoration (Photo by Gulisor Akkum)

Sarafian said that the genocide of the Armenians and Assyrians in 1915 was one of the darkest pages of the history of these lands, and it was followed by the Turkish Republic’s oppression of Kurds, Alevis, liberal intellectuals and communists.

The monument of common conscience can serve as a means of confronting the past. Armenians, Turks, Kurds, and Assyrians should struggle for a better future, Sarafian added.

Elçi briefly talked about the genocide of the Armenians and Assyrians. Today, we share the pain of the Armenians and the Assyrians, he noted.

Speaking on behalf of IHD’s Diyarbakir chapter, Bilici said that the perpetrators of the genocide against the non-Muslims in 1915 not only destroyed entire communities, but confiscated all their possessions. The genocide continues to be denied because of the fear of reparation for the property that was stolen, he added.

This report was filed by The Armenian Weekly Diyarbakir correspondent Gulisor Akkum.

Gulisor Akkum

Gulisor Akkum

Gulisor Akkum is a journalist based in Diyarbakir. She received her sociology degree in 2003 from Dicle University. She has written articles for the Armenian Weekly since 2009, and is the Weekly's correspondent in Diyarbakir since October 2012.


  1. Erdogan is respossible for the kiilings in Dyarbakir. his is using the same methods as the Ottoman empire did. Erdogan internationaly must punished for his deeds.

  2. The genocide of Armenian people and the other Christians is a black stain on the face of Ottoman empire and current Turkey and all colonial governments which have assisted such monster in all its genocidal policies against the other non-Turks! Obama and the other NATO business leaders can show themselves sad when it is about international fashionable events like the death of Mandela and forget that they are themselves who have created and supported such Praetorian regimes of monsters through their colonial history of ruthless business!

  3. This seems the beginning of the battle for the recognition of the Genocide, even though Mr. Erdoghan hasn’t acknowledged it as Genocide so far, but it seems somehow he stirred the issue and seems he can’t go back in what he started to say. We must give him suggestions and guide him as how to come up with solutions to this unsolvable problem. insulting,or attacking will not be helpful, Diplomacy is a good approach which Armenians have to follow. Things are happening in diaspora in Armenia and surprisingly in Turkey itself, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of Kurdish leaders who are willing and can also put the pressure from within. our Motto should be praising every positive step they take towards the recognition of the Genocide. Step by step it will take time but will not be resolved overnight

  4. John,
    Spoken like a true denialist! But guess what, whether covered or uncovered, the truth is the truth and it always has a way of coming out! This denial is standing in the way of Turkey becoming a truly strong nation like Germany. A truly great nation is never afraid to admit its
    wrongdoings and move on. Denialists prove only one thing: that they are afraid and weak.

  5. According todays article in the Kuwaiti Al Anba Newspaper by a Muslim well-known writer Salah al Sayer, April 29, 2014 …there where many Churches in Arabian Gulf region before Islamic Era and the prophet Mohamed never destroyed any one of them…But Ottoman Government pretending they are muslims, which never applied Islamic kindness and dignity they destroyed 2600 churches, monasteries, cathedrals transferred some to Turkish Temples (I will never call them Mosques because Chaliph Umar bin Al Khatab never entered the Church in Jerusalem, so his followers will never transfer the Church to a Mosque… and now some Churches are used as stables…Are the Turks Muslims humans or savages…destroyers…after slaughtering 1.5 million Armenians they still deny…for what they did and find excuses to slay Armenians and Christians…!!! In January 2007 they gunned peace advocating Journalist, Hrant Dink in the Erdogan Era…(my faith is humanity…I don’t believe in any religion …if barbarically used ).
    عرفت الجزيرة العربية الديانة المسيحية قبل ظهور الإسلام وانتشر في أطرافها الشرقية اتباع الكنيسة النسطورية (النساطرة)، وقد عرفت الصحراء العربية وقتذاك «رهبان الخيام» الذين كانوا يتنقلون مع القبائل المترحلة، كما حفظ لنا التاريخ الخطبة البليغة للحكيم قس بـن ساعـدة أشهـر المسيحيـين العــرب قبــل الإســلام.

    في القرن السادس الميلادي عقد الجاثليق (كبير الأساقفة) حزقيال مجمعا نسطوريا حضره أسقف كنيسة مزون (عمان) كما حضره أحد الشمامسة نيابة عن أسقف كنيسة هجر (البحرين)، ويضيف الباحث حسين محمد حسين ان أبرشيات الجزر وشرق الجزيرة العربية شكلوا تنظيما كنسيا باسم بيت قطرايا (قطر).

    في جزيرة فيلتشه (فيلكا) عثر المنقبون على آثار لكنيسة، وفي جزيرة صير بني ياس في أبوظبي تم العثور على دير للرهبان المسيحيين يعود للقرن الرابع ميلادي.

    وفي الوقت الذي انشغل فيه الآثاريون السعوديون بالتنقيب عن كنيسة نجران جنوب المملكة يؤكد المؤرخ السعودي عبدالرحمن الانصاري حســب «العربية نت» أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لم يأمــر بهدم هذه الكنيسة التي حملـت اسم كعبـة نجران.

    التنقيب عن آثار الكنائس والأديرة الدارسة حق للبشرية ومن واجب الحكومــات احتــرام هــذا التــراث العالمــي.

  6. Bravo Sylva,
    A very meaningful article,nay a statement that shows the difference between real Muslims and the fake Toikish hogwash…
    go figure out what kind of people these heirs of the Ottoman empire really are even after centuries of mixing and living with Christian Armenians ,Greeks,Assyrians and good true Arab muslims and or Persians.Again Sylva,thanks for your translating this peace…..

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