People throughout the world commemorated 103 years since the Armenian genocide on Tuesday. Thousands will march throughout the streets of various cities to honor the 1.5 million lives lost during the 1915 massacre, carried out by Ottoman Turks.
Turkey insists the killings do not constitute a genocide and has repeatedly suggested the numbers of deaths were fabricated and exaggerated.
Armenia’s government and the country’s opposition participated in an event and march to the memorial with Armenia’s acting prime minister laying flowers on the hilltop memorial in Armenia’s capital city, Yerevan.
— Armenia 🇲 (@armenia) April 24, 2018
On 24 April 1915 the Islamic Turkish Ottoman caliphate began the horrific #ArmenianGenocide. Over 8 years, about 1.5 million Armenian Christians (+ many Assyrian & Greek Christians) in the region died, with many more raped, tortured, robbed and subdued. #neverforget #OTD #history pic.twitter.com/NXJKIHLmzR
— Aust Conservatives (@AuConservatives) April 24, 2018
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) April 24, 2018
Every April 24th, I urge the President of the United States to recognize the #ArmenianGenocide. Every year, truth and justice have taken a back seat to politics and corruption.
— Alecko Eskandarian (@alecko11) April 24, 2018
In Lebanon, politicians commemorated the Armenian genocide and participated in a march on Monday which was attended by the Lebanese Armenian community.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan refused to call the tragedy a genocide and, instead, issued a statement at the Istanbul Armenian Church saying, “It is Turkey’s conscientious and ethical responsibility to share the historical pain of our Armenian citizens. We will continue to share your pain and try to resolve your problems in the future.” Erdoğan reportedly read the statement in Armenian and Turkish.
Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) said he hopes Congress will soon pass the resolution to recognize the Armenian genocide:
Thanked the Armenian diaspora for all of their efforts over the years to achieve genocide recognition. I’m optimistic that one day soon Congress will pass the resolution to recognize the #ArmenianGenocide pic.twitter.com/GSgLete92E
— Rep. Frank Pallone (@FrankPallone) April 22, 2018
President Donald Trump issued a statement on the occasion. “Today we commemorate the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century, when one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. We recall the horrific events of 1915 and grieve for the lives lost and the many who suffered,” Trump said.
He added, “As we honor the memory of those who suffered, we also reflect on our commitment to ensure that such atrocities are not repeated. We underscore the importance of acknowledging and reckoning with painful elements of the past as a necessary step towards creating a more tolerant future.”
House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) also issued a statement:
It’s been more than a century since the Ottoman Empire began the Armenian Genocide. At a time when Turkey is falling into anti-democratic darkness, including the brutal beating of President Erdogan’s critics on U.S. soil by Erdogan’s security detail, Erdogan’s continuing denial of the Armenian Genocide is an absurdity and a disgrace. In light of current developments in Turkey, it’s now more important than ever that the U.S. administration commemorate the tragic genocide of the Armenian people.
Pins with “Forget Me Not” flowers on them were worn by participants as a symbolic gesture to remind those of the Armenian genocide.
Tens of thousands of people will march through the streets of Hollywood and Los Angeles on Tuesday to commemorate the 103-year anniversary of the tragedy, as has been the tradition in those communities for many years.