SYDNEY (Armenia)—More than 500 Australian Armenians rallied at the Turkish consulate in Sydney at the weekend to protest the Turkish government’s ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide.
The demonstration, organized by Australia’s Armenian Youth Federation, was widely covered by local and national news networks, including Channel 7 and SBS, along with national radio networks, the ABC and Triple J. It came on the eve of the 95 anniversary of the start of the brutal killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government.
“Despite over 20 legislatures around the world, including the governments of New South Wales and South Australia, recognizing the Armenian Genocide, Turkey has failed to do so, and holds on to 90% of land that is historically Armenian,” said AYF-Australia member Kevork Tufenkjian.
Sydney’s Assyrians and Greeks communities joined the demonstration, which was met with fierce opposition by Australia’s Turkish population which turned out to protest the Armenians. Nearly 100 Police officers were on the scene to contain the Turks and prevent them from clashing with the Armenians.
Speaking to the Turkish demonstrators, Haig Kayserian said: “Dear members of the Sydney Turkish community, we are not here to protest you, we are here to protest against the Consulate you stand before. The government it represents denies the Armenian Genocide. This is unacceptable to us.”