The Place it All Began: Centennial Commemoration in Istanbul

Special to Asbarez

This year, the commemoration events for the centennial of the Armenian genocide were as massive as ever, taking place in many corners of the world. A group of Armenian scholars, academics and activists decided to commemorate April 24th in Istanbul – where the massive killings began, and where they are still being denied. Project 2015, a U.S.-based nonprofit, worked closely with various Turkish human rights organizations to design a specific commemoration program in Istanbul to encourage an open discourse on the denial of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government.

Project 2015 – with board members such as Serj Tankian from SOAD, Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division and Fatma Müge Göcek, a faculty member at the University of Michigan – also funded over 20 Armenian students from U.S., Turkey, Germany and Armenia, who have presented project proposals on the Armenian Genocide.

The organizers emphasize the importance of holding commemoration events in Istanbul, since “a major gathering in Istanbul commemorating the centennial of the Armenian Genocide and bringing Armenians from around the world together with citizens of Turkey in Istanbul will be an important symbolic gesture,” project’s official website states.


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