Anti-Armenian Banners Celebrating Genocide Displayed in Turkey

A banner in the southwest province of Mugla reads, 'We celebrate the 100th anniversary of our country being cleared of Armenians. We are proud of our glorious ancestors. –Young Atsizs.' (Atsizs refers to Nihal Atsiz, a leading ideologue of Turkish racism and a proponent of Turanism).


BY NANORE BARSOUMIAN
From The Armenian Weekly

Anti-Armenian banners celebrating the Armenian Genocide have been displayed in cities around Turkey. Meanwhile, on Feb. 22, two protests were held under the banner of “Demonstrations Condemning the Khojali Genocide and Armenian Terror,” in the Kadikoy and Beyoglu districts in Istanbul. Some protesters chanted anti-Armenian slogans, while others invoked the name of Ogun Samast, the ultra-nationalist youth who gunned down Agos Editor Hrant Dink in 2007.

The banners celebrating the Armenian Genocide were spotted in different parts of the country. In the southwest province of Mugla, a banner declared, “We celebrate the 100th anniversary of our country being cleared of Armenians. We are proud of our glorious ancestors. –Young Atsizs.” Atsizs refers to Nihal Atsiz (1905-75), a leading ideologue of Turkish racism and a proponent of Turanism. The banner was displayed in front of the Provincial Directorate of Youth and Sports in Mugla. The Directorate claimed the banner was hung far enough that they had not seen it, but that “responsible citizens” had removed it, according to Demokrat Haber.

Similar banners were also displayed in Manisa (north of Izmir), and Ordu (on the Black Sea coast). Demokrat Haber also reports that similar posters were put up by the Mayor’s office in Sogutlucesme, Istanbul, as well as Marmara University’s Goztepe campus.

“The Human Rights Association can only attempt to raise a voice protesting these initiatives. As long as the Turkish public is not upset, and feels no shame by these demonstrations, the discourse, and the slogans, there will be no real response to these rabid anti-Armenian initiatives,” human rights activist Ayse Gunaysu told the Armenian Weekly, adding, “This reality has been haunting me in recent days.”

Protests around Istanbul
In Kadikoy, an anonymous source observed around 1,000-1,500 protesters, many waving Azerbaijani flags. The source said aside from nationalist slogans, and chants about the “Khojali genocide,” anti-Kurdish slogans were also heard, presumably fueled by the recent killing of an ultranationalist man who was partaking in an attack against members of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) in Izmir. The anti-Armenian slogans were more muted than what had been observed during the Feb. 26, 2012 anti-Armenian protest, noted the source.

According to Gunaysu, a Weekly contributor, protesters might have been deterred from chanting rabidly anti-Armenian slogans during the latest rally due to the fact that those who had carried banners reading, “You are all Armenians, you are all bastards,” in 2012, had been sentenced to 5 months in prison, which was later turned to a 3,000 TL fine by the court.

The police were present in large numbers in Kadikoy, and blocked movement to main streets, including near the offices of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

According to Demokrat Haber, buses transported protesters—free of charge—from in front of the governorates of surrounding cities to where the Kadikoy demonstration was being held.

In the days leading up to the protest, the Human Rights Association (HRA) of Turkey’s Istanbul branch issued a statement condemning the protest, calling it a “pretext to incite ethnic hate against Armenians in Turkey.”

The organization also petitioned the Istanbul Governorate, warning officials of the anti-Armenian sentiments that were on the rise ahead of the planned protest.

According to Demokrat Haber, despite the fact that the protest organizers had claimed to have the proper permits to stage the rally, the Istanbul Governorate had not been notified about the demonstration, and had not received any permit applications. Furthermore, official sources held that in keeping in line with clause 6 of the “Law on Rallies and Demonstration Marches,” permits could not have been granted for the location of the rally, since the area is off limits as a public gathering space.

Similarly, the HRA received a fax from the Governorate of Istanbul, stating that their office neither received a request for permission for the protests, nor granted any such permission.

Meanwhile, according to a source, the Association of Reformist Youth of Azerbaijan has denied involvement in these protests. Earlier the HRA had reported that the protests were being organized by the Association of Reformist Youth of Azerbaijan, together with the Turkish Hearths Youth branches and the Turanist Movement Platform.

In Galatasaray Square in Beyoglu, a smaller protest was held with participants from the Nationalist Turkey Party and the Turan Hearths. According to the Turkish news outlet Haberler, the protesters shouted slogans against Armenia; calling Khojali a “part of the homeland” that was “under Armenian invasion.” The protesters also condemned the international community for supporting Armenia. Minor clashes with the police were reported.

The Feb. 20 HRA statement cautioned that anti-Armenian sentiments were on the rise, and that racist graffiti had been spray painted on and near churches, with messages such as, “You are all Armenians, you are all bastards.”

The HRA statement added, “You, officials who refrain from criminalizing racist slogans on church walls, who officially or unofficially permit protests and demonstrations preannounced by such slogans, if you do not enforce the law, you will become partners in the crime…”

Ayse Gunaysu and Burcu Gursel contributed to this report.

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9 Comments

  1. ED said:

    These are the work of racist like Dogu Perincek, ,who is supported by Turkish gov too,

    All these inflammation should be given to Amal Clooney & CO as additional up to date proofs about the case before the European Court of Human Rights on Wednesday against a Turkish politician who denied and did justify the 1915 Armenian genocide.

    give all these to Ms clobetter colect all these and include to the ongoing of law suit agianst turkish racist

  2. Hratch said:

    This is nothing new. Turks have harbored this sentiment forever.

    And come to think, ANCA-WR is exhibiting a “America We Thank You” at the Los Angeles Public Library. Before thanking anyone, why don’t they take this banner and exhibit it in front of the White House. When the US government wakes up and stops supporting genocidal Turkey, maybe then we’ll have something to “Thank” about !

    • GeorgeMardig said:

      Maybe we should take care of that and send copies to every department in the state, starting from Washington.

  3. Vindicated Man said:

    All those that haven’t recognized the Genocide yet (governments, parliaments, supreme courts, countries, certain individuals, …). By being opposed or finding excuses, they are silently supporting these crowds. Shame on them.

  4. Ararat said:

    he anti-Armenian sentiments expressed by the racist and fascist ultranationalist pan-Turkic organizations in Turkey will never cease given the fact that the ardent followers of such organizations have carefully been molded and gone through government-sponsored institutionalized brainwashing into believing that the occupied homeland of the indigenous Armenians is theirs and that the Armenian victims of their past genocidal crimes, the murdered women and children, were deserving of such acts for the welfare of the occupational Turkish nation. In essence, to these Turkish criminals, the end result justified the means.

    Having said that, and given the fact that Azerbaijani petrodollars have deeply penetrated into Turkish pockets, and given the fact that the commemoration of the fabricated khojaly incident which was nothing more than a few hundred civilians used as human shields by Azerbaijani Popular Front as a scheme to overthrow the first post-Soviet Azerbaijani president Ayaz Mutalibov is around the corner, these recent show of hatred toward the Armenians has Azerbaijani fingerprints all over it.

    On February 26th I will be celebrating the liberation of the ancient Armenian province of Artsakh, falsely known as Karabakh, by the brave Armenian patriots from the criminals of the artificial state of Azerbaijan. Long live Armenia and the liberated Armenian republic of Artsakh.

  5. Edgar said:

    We should not be mad at these people. We should be mad at the countries that till this day deny the genocide of the Armenians. Shame on those countries!!

  6. GeorgeMardig said:

    We should thank these bastards for confirming that Genocide did happen, we should also thank for giving us the opportunity to explain people what a Turk means, what they stand for, and what their DNA is made of.

  7. eastofwest said:

    Turks don’t really deny the genocide, they’re proud of it. I’ve always thought so. No surprise here.

  8. Mani said:

    It’s only a proof of their genocidal actions (albeit not expressed out loud, utter racism, xenophobia and hatred of Armenians, hatred of other Christians since the establishment of the Turkish Fascist Nazi Republic. The only nation that annihilates millions of its Christian citizens and denies they ever did it. Why did Turkey offer a million dollars to Egypt to have the Egyptian archives pertaining to the Armenian Genocide burned? Why Turkey tries to eradicate all archives all over the World about their crimes? Tell me again now that your Turkish archives are “open” when they are thoroughly eliminated from any incriminating evidences of the Genocide of Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks.

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