Thousands protest at Turkish Embassy in Ottawa – Video

More than 3,000 activists from across Canada gathered in Ottawa on April 24, to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and protest the Turkish government’s ongoing denial of the crime, the Armenian Weekly reports.

The demonstrators gathered at the steps of Parliament Hill to thank the Canadian government for recognizing the Armenian Genocide, and to call on it to exert pressure on its NATO ally, Turkey, to come to terms with its past and put an end to its ongoing policy of genocide denial.

Demonstrators then marched via Rideau St. to the Turkish Embassy to protest against Turkey’s ongoing denial policies and human rights violations, and to demand justice and reparations for the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide.

The Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) of Canada stressed the need for recognition and reparations in their annual speech. “We are here to tell this embassy that we will never accept an apology from the Turkish Government, which offers no recognition, accepts no responsibility, expresses no regret, and suggests no reparations for the crimes committed”, read the statement.

AYF Canada members read information about the lost churches and cultural centers, as well as the traditions of the confiscated provinces of Western Armenia, making clear the Armenian losses are tangible and reinforcing the importance of reparations in any resolution for their cause.

Protest organizers also highlighted the various human rights abuses committed by the Turkish government today. “President Erdogan’s infamous regime not only shamelessly continues to deny the Armenian Genocide, but actively suppresses freedom of speech and continues its notorious mistreatment and marginalization of minorities in Turkey, with minimal regard to human rights and democracy,” read a part of the statement.

Addressing the participants of the rally, Armenia’s Ambassador to Canada Armen Yeganian said: “On behalf of all Armenians, I am grateful to the Government of Canada. Both the Senate and the House of Commons have adopted resolutions referring to the Armenian Genocide. All Canadian Prime Ministers since 2006 issue a proper proclamation on that day. We are grateful to the global civil society and international press representatives that have been voicing the importance of the Armenian Genocide recognition. We are grateful to all people of good will — all those who stood by the side of the Armenian people in the course of commemoration events around the world this year.”

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