Genocide Commemoration in Slovakia Angers Turkish Diplomat

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–A concert of the leading soloist of the Bratislava Opera House Gurgen Hovsepian was held in the Mirbakh Palace of Bratislava on August 1. Members of the Slovakian Government–prominent politicians and artists had been invited to attend the concert. The event was held in memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide and was widely covered by local press media.

It was for the first time that the Turkish ambassador to Slovakia expressed his dissatisfaction with the series of events commemorating the Armenian Genocide and celebrating the 1700th anniversary of the proclamation of Christianity as a state religion in Armenia. The Turkish diplomat warned officials in Bratislava that any further event would be followed by the Turkish Embassy’s note of protest and attempt to get it banned.

Noyan Tapan’s correspondent reported from Bratislava that on September 7–2000–the Armes company president and the mayor of Bratislava will organize a concert at the Mirror Hall of the Primacial Palace of the Slovakian capital in honor of visiting city officials from Yerevan. The concert will commemorate the 85th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire early this century and the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity by Armenia. Politicians and representatives of all diplomatic missions–including Turkish–will be invited to attend the concert. This initiative is believed to pave the way for the affirmation of the Armenian Genocide by Slovakia’s parliament. It is likely to elicit a negative reaction of the Turkish diplomatic corps.

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