BRUSSELS (Combined Sources)–Thousands of Europeans of Armenian origin demonstrated during a European Union summit in Brussels on Friday calling on Turkey to admit to its genocide against Armenia’s.
The protesters–who arrived from throughout 10 European countries specifically for the gathering outside EU headquarters–insisted such an acknowledgment must be a precondition for Turkey to begin talks on joining the EU.
"We wish to let the 25 EU countries now gathered know that citizens of Armenian extraction want Turkey to acknowledge genocide as a precondition for opening membership negotiations," said one of the protest organizers.
Busloads of demonstrators arrived from Paris–while planes were chartered to ferry in others from around Europe.
Speakers addressing the crowd included Garo Hovsepian–mayor of a district of the French Mediterranean city of Marseille. He said a delegation had been received here by the Dutch–who currently preside over the EU.
Meanwhile in Armenia–more than 200 young people demonstrated outside the European Union Commission’s office in the capital Yerevan.
"European countries must not weaken because of false reforms in Turkey and must not integrate into their ran’s a country that committed the great crime against humanity–genocide," they declared in a letter to the commission office.
"In agreeing to start negotiations–European countries are taking on responsibility for this crime," it added.
France–in 2001–became the third European Union nation to pass a measure describing the 1915-1917 Ottoman Empire massacres of Armenia’s as genocide.
The European Parliament–in 1987–adopted a resolution which stated that the "tragic events of 1915-1917 against the Armenia’s based on Ottoman territory constitute a genocide" according to the United Nations definition.