In Ixelles (Brussels), the memorial monument for the Armenian Genocide was defaced with hateful symbols and accusations. This outrage was committed the day after the commemorations of the genocide on Sunday 24 April.
With no doubt, the symbols point in the direction of the far-right, Turkish ultra-nationalist and violent Gray Wolves movement. The monument was smeared with an insult that is clearly legible in the photo and three crescent moons.
This action can only be interpreted as an expression of hostility and an attempt to intimidate Belgians of Armenian descent. Most of them come from families who were victims of the genocide. Indeed, the denial of the Armenian Genocide is the most common expression of strong anti-Armenian prejudice spread and supported in Belgium and elsewhere by leading figures of the Turkish Republic and by associations and representatives of the people closely associated with it.
The text of the graffiti on the monument also seems to indicate “Fuck Paylan”. Garo Paylan is an Armenian Member of Parliament in the Turkish parliament and is regularly targeted by nationalists in this country.
In the name of serene society and the fight against all forms of racism, the Committee of the Armenians of Belgium called on prominent figures and associations to be vigilant against this particular form of incitement to hatred, which consists in ignoring the genocide of Armenians and prejudices that arise from it.
The Kurdish community of Belgium, also victim of hate crimes on a regular basis, stands in solidarity with the Armenian community. This intimidation should not discourage the Armenians. They have the historical right on their side, and must continue to repeat the story of this 1915 tragedy until justice is served for the victims of the genocide and their relatives. We Kurds support them in this. Starting by taking a critical look at our own history, recognizing the part of the Kurds and making sure that this can never happen again. Kurdish tribal leaders who served in the Ottoman army have allowed themselves to be abused. Deceived by Islamism and bribed with promises of spoils of war, they attacked and chased away their Armenian neighbors. Not realizing that the same Young Turkish officers would do the same to the Kurdish tribes 10 years later.
Now, 100 years later, there is a strong liberating and emancipating Kurdish movement that is learning from this history and trying to build an alternative society.
Please find below a more comprehensive point of view from the Kurdish community, supported by both NAVBEL and the Kurdish Institute.