ANKARA—Turkish President’s scheme to mark the Battle of Gallipoli on April 24 has failed, forcing Ankara to cancel the planned event, with Sunday’s Zaman reporting that the cancellation was due to the low number of heads of states to attend the ceremonies.
The newspaper quoted a government official, who wished to remain anonymous, as saying, “The Gallipoli celebrations have been canceled. All preparations have been suspended as the number of RSVPs to the invitation is not positive. Only five countries have accepted the invitation and they will not be represented by high-level officials.”
“The spectacle of Turkey’s failure to stage this April 24th Gallipoli farce speaks to the success of our longterm strategy of internationally isolating Ankara’s policy of genocide denial,” said Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian.
Leading up to the Gallipoli event, Erdogan had sent official invitations to more than 100 world leaders, including Armenian President Serge Sarkisian, to partake in the ceremonies. The date designated for these commemoration events—April 24—created uproar among Armenians worldwide, while Turkish human rights groups urged world leaders to boycott the Gallipoli events.
On Jan. 16, Sarkisian responded to Erdogan’s invitation to Turkey on April 24, in a strongly worded letter. “Turkey continues its conventional denial policy and is perfecting its instrumentation for distorting history. This time, Turkey is marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli on April 24, even though the battle began on March 18, 1915 and lasted until late January 1916, while the Allies’ operation started on April 25,” he wrote, adding, “What is the purpose [of this] if not to distract the world’s attention from the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide?”