Turkish Police Threaten to Arrest ARF Parliament Member for Comments on Genocide

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–Turkish police surrounded Armenian Parliamentarian and Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council member Gegham Manoukian Friday, when he urged Turkish Prime Minister Recep Teyyip Erdogan to recognize the Armenian Genocide during a speech the latter made at an international conference of journalists in Istanbul. During his speech, Erdogan reiterated Turkey’s denialist position that the Genocide never occurred, adding that as a consequence of World War I some Armenia’s were deported. Manoukian told the attending Turkish journalists that the time had come for them to reexamine their country’s history. The Armenian legislator said the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish government would allow both countries to move forward in establishing peaceful neighborly relations. Manoukian, who was representing Yerkir Media at the Istanbul conference, also cited a page from Ottoman history in making his case to his Turkish counterparts and the prime minister. "How could Krikor Zohrab, an Armenian member of the Ottoman parliament in 1915, be arrested and then ordered to be killed?" Manoukian asked Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and added that Istanbul was the city where Armenian community leaders and academicians were rounded up on April 24, 1915 and later massacred. Manoukian also showed a poster, which in English read: "Turkey should find the courage to recognize the Armenian Genocide." Turkish police surrounded Manoukian and attempted to take him out of the conference hall; however, conference organizers stopped them and, reportedly told the police that if Manoukian were arrested, they, too, would have to be taken away.


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