Turkish NGOs call on world leaders to go to Yerevan, not Gallipoli

Five Turkish NGOs urged world leaders “not to accept President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s invitation to Gallipoli on the 100th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide but to visit Yerevan instead,” bianet.org reports.

Previously, President Erdoğan announced that they will commemorate on April 24 the defense of Gallipoli – a ceremony observed on March 18 every year. He also invited world leaders to the northwestern province of Çanakkale to join the ceremony.

The associations (Human Rights Association (IHD)’s Commission Against Racism and Discrimination, Izmir Assyrian Friendship, Culture and Solidarity Association, Nor Zartonk,  www.suryaniler.com Culture Platform and Zan Social, Political, Economic Research Foundation) made the statement protesting Erdoğan’s invitation at IHD Headquarters in Istanbul.

“April 24 worldwide symbolizes the beginning of Armenian Genocide,” IHD Vice Chairperson Meral Çıldır said in a statement.

“As the 100th anniversary of Armenian Genocide draws near, we, groups and peoples that struggle against the denial of the Genocide, protest the president’s invitation and urge world leaders to visit the genocide memorial in Yerevan instead of Gallipoli in Çanakkale.

Following the press statement, IHD Vice Chairperson Eren Keskin said the following:

“The mentality that founded the Republic of Turkey is the very mentality that committed the Armenian – Assyrian Genocide in 1915.

“For us, 24 April 2015 has a huge importance. We want to face our history. We want this understanding to be questioned as it has been told us wrong and brought up our children with lies. We know that the Genocide in 1915 is still not openly mentioned by many countries but we we are asking a bit of conscience.

“This invitation is mocking with victims of Armenian Genocide. Go to Yerevan where the real pain is.”

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