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.
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.
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.