Partnership with DurDe, European Grassroots Antiracist Movement and Turkish Human Rights Association Draws International Support in Advance of Commemorative Events
A petition initiated by AGBU Europe, DurDe, the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM), and İnsan Hakları Derneği (iHD), calling for recognition of the Armenian Genocide, is drawing hundreds of signatures as this month’s commemorative events approach.
The public appeal points to almost a century of denial of the genocide by the Turkish government, which has allowed for the continued marginalization and discrimination of Armenian and other minority groups across the country. At the same time, the petition encourages civil society organizations—in Turkey, Europe and around the world—to join together and demonstrate that such state policies do not reflect shifting public opinions.
It reads: “Our shared initiative is one for recognition, solidarity, justice, and democracy. It is an initiative for solidarity between all those who fight for the acceptance of history. The divide is not between the Turkish and Armenian people but between those who struggle for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and those who promote denial. Quite simply, it is not a question of origins but of perspectives for the future.”
To date, numerous public figures have signed the document, representing Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Rwanda, Serbia, and the UK.
The growing list of names includes: Charles Aznavour, the French-Armenian artist; Tahar Ben Jelloun, the award-winning novelist; Dario Fo, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature; Caroline Fourest, the acclaimed feminist and journalist; and French intellectuals André Glucksmann and Bernard-Henri Lévy. Members of the European Parliament, Helsinki Committees and student groups have also showed their support.
Many of the signatories will join together in Istanbul and other Turkish cities on April 24, 2014, for commemorative events organized by DurDe, EGAM and iHD in partnership with AGBU Europe. It will mark the second year AGBU has joined forces with local human rights groups for this cause, forming an unprecedented international delegation. Thousands attended the activities in 2013, and the groups look forward to an even higher turnout this year.
AGBU Europe Director Nicolas Tavitian remarked, “We are pleased to collaborate once again with the human rights groups who face, and overcome, challenges on the ground in Turkey every day. Their grassroots approach is making a critical difference in the lives of countless people and we are confident that together we will continue to raise awareness, and affect positive social change, with our “Remember 24 April 1915” campaign.”
To sign the petition, visit www.remember24april1915.eu.