DC Area Armenian Americans Demand End to Turkish Denial of Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON–A crowd of over 600 Armenian Americans, anti-genocide activists and concerned citizens gathered on April 24th in front of the Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC, to mark the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and demand an end to the Turkish government’s campaign of genocide denial, reported the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Washington "Ani" Chapter. The annual protest has been organized by the AYF on April 24th the international Armenian Genocide commemorative dayfor over 25 years. Demonstrators from throughout the Greater Washington DC metropolitan area, and as far away as Richmond, VA, made their way to the nation’s capital on several school buses organized as part of the "Get on the Bus for Genocide Recognition" Campaign. Participants held signs calling for remembrance of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide and denouncing the Turkish government’s shameless attempts to suppress history. The large representation of youth among the crowd exemplified the Armenian community’s ongoing commitment to achieve proper recognition of the Armenian Genocide. "Nearly a century after the horrible events of 1915, we see that the youth have not forgotten the crimes committed against their people. Despite growing up away from their ancestral homeland, they have maintained their history and dedicated themselves to the cause of justice for the Armenian Genocide," said AYF Spokesperson Tsoghig Hekimian. Also in attendance were anti-genocide activists and members of the Greek community who came to show their solidarity with Armenia’s and call on Turkey to end its 33-year occupation of Northern Cyprus. As the demonstration neared its end, AYF "Ani" Chapter Chairperson, Serouj Aprahamian addressed the energized crowd by emphasizing the human consequences of Turkey’s unpunished crimes. "After Turkey got away with the Armenian Genocide, it continued its atrocities against the Greeks, the Cypriots, and later the Kurds. It served as a model for Hitler’s Holocaust and other genocidal regimes such as the current one in Sudan. We stand together here today and demand recognition of the Armenian Genocide, not just for Armenia’s, but for all of humanity, in the quest to end the cycle of genocide," stated Aprahamian. Following the demonstration, attendees got back on their buses and headed to Capitol Hill for the 12th annual Capitol Hill Observance of the Armenian Genocide, hosted by the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues. Over 10 Members of Congress addressed attendees, during the two hour program, lead by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI). Speakers commended Armenian American community participants for their ongoing efforts to educate Congress about the Armenian Genocide and urged passage of pending legislation H.Res.106 and S. Res. 106. Amb. John Evans, former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia who was fired for his accurate portrayal of the Armenian Genocide, also urged passage of the resolution.

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