Armenians commemorate the victims of the genocide

Armenians commemorate the victims of the genocide

Ankara, April 24, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

“We did not do anything intentionally”, claims Ankara

The President of Germany spoke of the genocide of the Armenian and the Pontians

By Manolis Kostidis

Armenians worldwide commemorate the victims of the genocide of their people. A century after the start of the events, in Armenia was organised a grand ceremony with the participation of the presidents of France, Francois Hollande and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Their participation and recognition of the genocide by the Parliament of Austria as well as from German politicians have caused the reaction of Turkey, which denies the existence of genocide.

“We remember and we demand the recognition as genocide of the massacres perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks between 1915 and 1917. I bow in memory of the victims and I come to tell my Armenian friends that we will never forget the tragedy their people has gone through”, Francois Hollande stated.

On his part, Vladimir Putin said: “nothing can justify the massacres. Today we stand with respect to the side of the Armenian people”. Earlier, a message he sent to the Russian Armenians wrote: “April 24, because of the genocide is a day of sorrow for the Armenians”.

Akara says: “Genoside Yok”

The Turkish government denies the Armenian genocide, but recognises that there have been massacres against them. The view of Ankara is summarized in a recent statement by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc: “we do not believe that there is such a black page in our history. We did not perform a genocide, deliberately or by our will”.

The President of Germany spoke of the genocide of the Armenian and the Pontians

The Parliament of Austria, with a resolution, recognised the Armenian Genocide and Turkey immediately withdrew its ambassador in Vienna.

The German President Joachim Gauck in his statements recognised the genocide of the Armenians and the Pontian.

“Women, children, elderly, were killed without distinction, sent on death marches without food, water. They burned them alive. These atrocities happened to the Armenians for a reason. Because they were Armenians. A similar fate also shared the Pontians and Syrochaldaioi… The fate of the Armenians in the 20th century, that is their massive slaughter, ethnic cleansing and displacement is an example of genocide”, he said.

The President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing the EU countries argued that “the claims of the Armenians for the events of 1915, have no basis” and said that Turkey is ready to even open its military records to prove its point.

However, the Turkish government for the first time sent one of its ministers, the EU Minister Volkan Bozkir, to the commemoration ceremony organised by the Patriarchate of Armenians in Turkey in an attempt to show that it accepts the massacres, but says they were not targeted, but the result of a general civil war.

At the same time, Turkey, in an effort to reduce the importance of April 24, which in many countries is considered as the day the genocide began, (On this day in 1915 all the spiritual leaders of Armenian were executed) is organising large ceremonies to honor the memory of the Battle of the Dardanelles. These ceremonies were usually on March 18, but this year’s date change caused an impression.

The Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, however, had a front page publication in Armenian language, which wrote: “never again” and said that “Turkey should face up its history to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past”.