This year’s commemoration ceremonies will be held in ?stanbul?s Taksim Square, Ankara, ?zmir, Diyarbak?r and Bodrum. Victims of the displacement will be remembered in silence with carnations and candles. During the ceremonies the ?duduk,? an Armenian musical instrument, will be played during a reading of the names of victims.
The ceremonies are being organized by the Say Stop to Racism and Nationalism! (Dur De!) initiative. Spokesman Cengiz Algan said what took place in 1915 is ?a hurt we all share.?
?We need to confront the realities that have been hidden by the official ideology for 100 years,? he said.
A statement with the headline, ?This pain is ours,? has been opened up for signatures. More than 600 intellectuals, writers and journalists have alrfeady signed the statement. Info-Türk editors Dogan Özgüden and Inci Tugsavul are among the signatories.
(See: List of signatories)
Deputies from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and independent candidates supported by the party will be supporting the commemoration ceremony to be held in Diyarbak?r.
Spokesman Cengiz Algan said last year?s ceremonies drew many Armenians who joined in with Bibles in their hands and prayed and shed tears for their loved ones.
He also voiced his belief that commemorating Armenians would make a positive contribution to the normalization of relations with Armenia with which Turkey has no diplomatic ties.
Despite Turkey being among the first countries to recognize Armenia after the ex-Soviet nation declared its independence in 1991, the two neighbors don?t have diplomatic relations. In 1993 Turkey shut its border with Armenia in a show of solidarity with its close ally, Azerbaijan, which was at war with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, dealing a heavy economic blow to the impoverished nation.
?Turkey has at least noticed that there is an Armenian problem. A dent was made in the official clichés. We have begun to confront the past. There?s no turning back, and we should not do so,? Algan added.
Call to include Armenian names on list of ?Murdered Journalists?
Turkish intellectuals issued another call for the names of Armenian journalists who lost their lives during the painful events of 1915 to be included in the list of ?Murdered Journalists? in the Press Museum.
The first radical step in this direction was taken by the Ankara based Contemporary Journalists Association, or ÇGD, when in March they counted the names of Armenian journalists who died in 1915 as part of the list of all members of press who were murdered since the Ottoman period.
?The [Armenian] diaspora criticized this step, even calling it a state sponsored move, but we took this step solely by listening to our own conscience,? said ÇGD Chairman Ahmet Abakay during a press conference that was organized by the Surp Haç Armenian High School in the district of Galatasaray on Tuesday.
?Let no one have any doubts, that if we had any prior knowledge about these journalists, we would not have hesitated to include their names in the list. Unfortunately, we are learning the truths bit by bit,? said Abakay.
?The aim has always been to cover up all this cruelty, and murders have remained unsolved. It is unfortunate that we have contented ourselves with whatever we were taught until now,? said Abakay.
?It is a shame that our society is very ignorant of all the pain and suffering that befell the people of this land. We must explain the truth,? said Rag?p Zarakolu, a journalist and founder of the Turkish Human Rights Association.
?Among those murdered journalists there were many individuals such as Diran Kelegyan who was the editor in chief of the daily Sabah. These individuals are a part of Turkish press history,? said Zarakolu.
There are many Armenians on the list of ?Murdered Journalists,? such as Taniel Varujan, Rupen Zartaryan, Siamento (Atom Yarjanian) and Krikor Zohrab who served as an Istanbul deputy in the Ottoman Parliament for three consecutive terms and who was also recognized as a writer and law expert.
?The Journalists Association of Turkey (TGC) awarded me the Freedom of Thought prize alongside Hrant Dink in 2007. For that reason, I have a responsibility of conscience in that respect as well. The names of many printers, reporters and editors who made contributions to Ottoman press history have been erased solely due to their identities,? said Zarakolu.
This initiative has also supported by two Turkish journalists exiled in Belgium, Info-Türk editors Dogan Özgüden and Inci Tugsavul, both awarded in the past by the Journalists Association of Turkey (TGC).
96ème commémoration du génocide des Arméniens à Bruxelles
Dimanche 24 avril 2011
A la mémoire des 1.500.000 Arméniens victimes du génocide
A 10.30h. : Messe de Pâques suivie d?un Requiem en l’église arménienne à Ixelles, rue Kindermans, 1A
Vers 12 h.: Cérémonie au Mémorial à Ixelles, place Michaux (parc Tenbosch)
Le Comité des Arméniens de Belgique
Correspondance : chaussée de Bruxelles, 281-283, 1190 Bruxelles
Fax : 02/3720582 – mahmourian @armencom.be