On the occasion of the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide, AGBU Europe and the European Grassroots Anti-Racist Movement (EGAM) will lead a delegation to Istanbul, composed mainly of young people from around Europe. They will be joined in the metropolis by numerous other international visitors from around Europe who have chosen to commemorate this event in the city where it all started. The organization Armenian Project 2015 in particular has also called on Armenians from around the world to join commemorations in the Turkish metropolis.
The commemorations themselves will take place in Istanbul throughout the day on April 24 and will culminate on the central Taksim square at the symbolic time of 19.15. Commemorative events will also be held at Haydarpasha train station, where community leaders were deported from and at Sultanahmet, a former prison, where they were held prior to their deportations. April 24 will also be an occasion to visit the tomb of Sevag Balikci, a young Armenian conscript who was assassinated by a fellow conscript on April 24, 2011 on account of his ethnicity. The commemorations are organized by Turkish organizations, including local EGAM member organization DurDe and the Turkish Human rights Association IHD.
Numerous other events will be held throughout the week, including a major concert on April 22 hosted by the foundation Anadolu Kultur and featuring numerous international artistss. The AGBU Europe-EGAM delegation will take the opportunity to engage with numerous audiences at universities, non-governmental organizations and other location.
In advance of the commemorations, an appeal has been published in a series of newspapers around Europe, calling on Europeans to commemorate the Centenary in Istanbul in the name of “Justice, Solidarity and Democracy”.
The Armenian genocide of 1915, which caused an estimated 1.5 million dead, uprooted the entire Armenian civilization. Commemorations have been held in many places over the years; but they have only been allowed in Turkey since 2010. AGBU Europe and EGAM have led international delegations to the former Ottoman capital city since 2013. Their approach has aimed to engage with Turkish society, and particularly with those organizations who work for the awareness of the genocide in Turkey, in the believe that their joint efforts can help promote tolerance, democracy and justice.