Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Millions of People Around the World Commemorate the Armenian Genocide

Armenian Genocide Centenary march in Yerevan, April 24th. Photo by Joey Ayoub.

Armenian Genocide Centenary march in Yerevan, April 24. Photo by Joey Ayoub.

Millions of people marched on April 24 to commemorate the Armenian Genocide Centennial. The day marks the date when Ottoman authorities began rounding up around 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople, paving the way for the Armenian Genocide in which an estimated 1-1.5 million Armenian citizens of the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated between 1915 and 1918.

In Yerevan, hundreds of thousands of Armenians and foreigners took part in a massive march from Republic Square to Tsitsernakaberd, the Armenian Genocide Memorial. This Global Voices author participated and took photographs.

Armenian Genocide Centenary march in Yerevan, April 24th. Photo by Joey Ayoub.

Armenian Genocide Centenary march in Yerevan, April 24. Photo by Joey Ayoub.

 

Armenians and supporters arrive at Tsitsernakaberd, April 24th. Photo taken by Joey Ayoub

Armenians and supporters arrive at Tsitsernakaberd, April 24. Photo taken by Joey Ayoub

 

The eternal flame is seen as a man lays a flower inside Tsitsernakaberd, April 24th. Photo Taken by Joey Ayoub.

The eternal flame is seen as a man lays a flower inside Tsitsernakaberd, April 24. Photo Taken by Joey Ayoub.

 

Armenians and supporters arrive laying flowers inside Tsitsernakaberd, April 24th. Photo Taken by Joey Ayoub.

Armenians and supporters arrive laying flowers inside Tsitsernakaberd, April 24. Photo Taken by Joey Ayoub.

In Los Angeles, home of the largest Armenian community outside of Armenia, over 100,000 Armenians and supporters marched towards the Turkish consulate.

In Lebanon, an estimated 30-40,000 marched. Many Lebanese have spent the last few days celebrating their Armenian heritage.

Lebanese Armenians and supporters marched on April 24th. Photo by Paul Gorra.

Lebanese Armenians and supporters marched on April 24. Photo by Paul Gorra.

In Istanbul, Turks, Kurds, Greeks and Assyrians describe their fears that nationalists would spoil their rallies. The following story was shared by the Armenian Diaspora Project on Facebook.

The march in Istanbul on April 24th. Photo shared by The Armenian Diaspora Project.

The march in Istanbul on April 24. Photo shared by The Armenian Diaspora Project.

The caption reads:

Yesterday was an indescribable day. My biggest fear going into the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in Istanbul was that Erdogan, with elections approaching and a need to appeal to the MHP/nationalist voters, would see our presence on Istiklal Cd as a threat and that the police would then melt away, allowing the nationalist protestors to break through their lines and attack us.

As we sat facing towards Taxim Square, we could hear the shouts from the nationalists at our backs every time the speakers would cut out. Chillingly it seemed to get louder and louder, as if they were edging nearer and nearer. Then – as the sounds of Sareri Hovin Mernem faded- we heard a loud cheer from much closer, and then chants growing louder and louder, a sound I had heard countless times in my years of covering protests; the sound of protestors breaking through police lines.

As we stood up to face what was coming, we saw them. Not angry nationalists waving the red flags of the Vatan Party, but thousands of Turks, Kurds, Greeks, and Assyrians, bearing signs reading “հո՛ս էնք” (We are here), bearing the pictures of Hrant Dink, Gomidas, Sevag Balikci, Taniel Varujan and many others, the streets echoing with their chants of solidarity.

A friend ran through the stunned crowd, arms wide open shouting “They are here with us! They have filled the street!”

So thank you. Thank you Turks, Kurds, Assyrians for standing with us. Thank you Turkish human rights groups for organizing the commemoration at Hydarpasa. Thank you Istanbul Armenians. Thank Osman Kavala. Thank you Sarah Leah Whitson, Nancy Kricorian, Heghnar Watenpaugh, and everyone else at Project 2015.

There is no place else I would have rather been this week.

In Diyarbakir, Turkey, home to a large Kurdish population, people marched on April 24:

Paris and Rome saw their most famous landmarks turn their lights out to commemorate the Armenian Genocide:

For more photos from around the world, view this coverage by RT.

2 comments

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site