Armenian Genocide Commemoration to Take Place in Diyarbakir

Homeland,

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (A.W.)—An Armenian Genocide commemoration event will take place in Diyarbakir on April 24 at the Surp Giragos Armenian Church.

The Surp Giragos Church in Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd (Photo by Gulisor Akkum, The Armenian Weekly)
The Surp Giragos Church in Diyarbakir/Dikranagerd (Photo by Gulisor Akkum, the Armenian Weekly)

“Diyarbakir is the location where—100 years after the genocide—the grandchildren of forcefully Islamized Armenians showed the courage and determination to reveal their true roots. All this happened after the reconstruction of the Surp Giragos Church, and was encouraged by the organized Armenian-language classes and trips to Armenia,” Raffi Bedrosyan, a Toronto-based civil engineer and a concert pianist, told the Armenian Weekly. Bedrosyan will perform a concert of works by Armenian composers at the commemoration event.

“It means a lot to me to celebrate, not commemorate, the rebirth of these new Armenians with a concert right where the whole movement started, in the beautiful Surp Giragos Church,” said Bedrosyan.

Bedrosyan was also involved in organizing the Surp Giragos Church reconstruction project, and in promoting the significance of this historic project worldwide. In September 2012, he gave the first Armenian piano concert in the Surp Giragos Church since 1915.

“Diyarbakir was one of the bloodiest sites of the Armenian Genocide. About 97 percent of the Armenian population of the province disappeared in 1915, so it means a lot to me to be there commemorating the victims of the genocide with the music of Komitas and [Aram] Khatchaturian,” said Bedrosyan.

For the past several years, proceeds from Bedrosyan’s concerts and two CDs have been donated to the construction of school, highway, water, and gas distribution projects in Armenia and Karabagh—projects in which he has also participated as a volunteer engineer.

The event, which is organized by the Diyarbakir Surp Giragos Armenian Church Foundation, the Gomidas Institute of London, and the Human Rights Association of Diyarbakir, will include a candle lighting ceremony to remember the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

Last year, hundreds gathered at the Surp Giragos Armenian Church to commemorate the Armenian and Assyrian Genocide, with the participation of Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality Co-Mayor Fırat Anlı and former Sur Municipality Mayor Abdullah Demirbaş. The first genocide commemoration event took place in Diyarbakir in 2013.

 

 

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Rupen Janbazian

Rupen Janbazian is the editor of the Armenian Weekly. His writings primarily focus on politics, human rights, community, literature, and Armenian culture. He has reported from Armenia, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh Republic/NKR), Turkey, Canada, the United States, and Western Armenia. He has served on the local and national executives of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) of Canada and Hamazkayin Toronto, and served as the administrator of the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Toronto. Janbazian also taught Armenian History and Creative Writing at the ARS Armenian Private School of Toronto, and has worked on several translations.

3 Comments

  1. We welcome our lost Armenians of Dikranakert whom their ancestors were forced to become Moslems and have recently come forth to their original Armenian Roots. The Armenian Church has been restored which has helped in bringing Lost Armenians back to their true Religion and many thanks go to the Kurdish Mayor of Diyarbeker telling Armenians to return back to their homeland, saying “this is your home” return back to your roots. We need Lost Armenians as in Dikranakert all over Historic Armenia to rise up in this changing world. Stephan Dulgarian

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