• DurDe ! : Founded in 2007 right after the murder of Armenian journalist Hrant
Dink, is a Turkish network combating against racism, nationalism and hate crimes
in Turkey. It has been organising Commemorations of the Armenian Genocide on
Taksim Square in Istanbul since 2010.
• AGBU Europe : The Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) is the world’s
largest non-profit organisation devoted to preserving and promoting the Armenian
identity and heritage through educational, cultural and humanitarian programs.
• EGAM : The European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) gathers the main
antiracist NGOs from 30 countries in Europe in order to structure the fight against
racism, antisemitism, racial discrimination and genocide denial at a truly European level.
It has now been nearly hundred years that the Ottoman Empire ordered and organized the
killing of the empire’s Armenian population. The Armenian people were the victims of a
genocide which would soon serve as a gruesome reference for those that would follow.
Since then, the Turkish Republic is still refusing to recognize the genocide and is actively
fighting those who try to do so. This prevents citizens from Armenian and Turkish origins
from fully addressing the past as well as issues of identity. It is also an obstacle to the fight
again racism in Turkish society and for the improvements in Human Rights and Freedom
Since 2010, DurDe! has been organising the commemorations of the Armenian Genocide
on Taksim Square in Istanbul, thus daring to open a risky path towards recognition and
democratisation in Turkey. In 2013, it called for European support and participation in order
to place the issue in the context of European values and enhance the impact of the initiative.
Commemorating the Armenian Genocide in Turkey
Armenian Genocide in Turkey
In 2013 and for the first time in 98 years, DurDe!, EGAM and AGBU Europe led a
delegation of 25 European antiracist leaders and leaders from the Armenian Diaspora to
attend the commemorations.
Civil Society leaders from 13 countries came to Istanbul to :
• Support democratising efforts by Turkish Civil Society
• Raise awareness among European leaders on the situation in Turkey
For 4 days, the delegation met and exchanged with Turkish civil society organizations
(Human Rights, Muslim, Armenian and Kurdish NGOs), organised a conference on the
recognition of the Genocide in Sehir University and a Press conference and participated in
the Commemorations, which gathered 4 000 people instead of hundreds in past years.
The initiative had considerable impacts :
• Larger attendance at the Commemorations
• Large media coverage in Turkish, European and International media
• Opening paths for recognition and democratisation of Turkish society
Plans for 2014 Commemorations : A step towards political recognition
In April 2014, DurDe!, EGAM and AGBU will renew the initiative by sending an even
larger delegation to the Commemorations in Turkey. However, it now appears that European
as well as Turkish civil societies have opened the doors for structured dialogue leaving the
political scenes as the only places where recognition appears problematic. Therefore, in
2014, the campaign for recognition must gather official political support in order to take a
step forward and frame discourses for next year centenary.
Commemorating the Armenian Genocide in Turkey, 2014 plans include :
• Online Petition signed by intellectuals, Nobel Prize Winners, political leaders,
committed citizens and published in the main Turkish, European and International papers.
• Delegation of 30 European Civil Society leaders to the Commemorations
in Istanbul, Diyarbakir, Van and Yerevan.
• The first ever official commemorations in Turkey, at the local level
in collaboration with cities of Van and Diyarbakir.
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