Cyprus yesterday added its voice to the condemnation of the Armenian Genocide on the 99th anniversary of the horrific campaign that saw at least 1.5 million people savagely killed, InCyprus reports.
In a statement, Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides described the genocide, which began on April 24, 1915, as “a crime that is a blight on the history of humankind”.
Noting that Cyprus had been amongst the first countries to recognize Turkey’s mass killing of Armenians as genocide, Christodoulides said President Nicos Anastasiades and his government expressed their solidarity with the Armenian people and supported efforts towards the worldwide recognition of the genocide.
The Movement for Social Democracy (Edek) marked the day with party president Yiannakis Omirou laying a wreath at the memorial in Nicosia.
In an announcement, the party also said April 24, 1915 would always be a day of disgrace.
“Unfortunately, the Turks, encouraged by being left unpunished…continue to commit new barbarities,” Edek said, including the 1974 invasion of Cyprus.
The European Party also issued a statement yesterday that expressed the people of Cyprus’ solidarity towards Armenians and said some justice for the horrific crimes could come out of wider recognition of the genocide.
“Turkey, which wants to become part of the European family, must first denounce its crimes towards Armenia, Pontos and Cyprus because only then will history be put right, trust will be established and a safe future for our area built,” the party said.
The Citizens Alliance party also condemned the genocide in a statement, describing it as “a historic, terrible reality”.
“The barbarity of the Young Turks cannot be forgotten, as much as Turkey wants it to be.
“The least Turkey can do is recognise the crime it committed.
“The least the international community can do is make Turkey admit the historical truth,” the party said.
Commenting on Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently offering what his government described as unprecedented ‘condolences’ to the grandchildren of the Armenians killed, the Citizens Alliance said this was not enough.
Erdogan called the events of World War I “our shared pain” and acknowledged that the deportation of Armenians in 1915 had “inhumane consequences”.
Citizens Alliance also recommended Cypriots follow the example of the Armenian people “who for almost 100 years now are fighting for historical accuracy”.
The Armenian community of Larnaca yesterday honoured the victims of the genocide with a memorial service at Ayios Stephanos Church and the laying of wreaths at the memorial to Armenians who escaped to Larnaca in 1922.
Pupils of the NAREG Armenian Primary School also performed patriotic songs.