1915-2015 : Let’s commemorate the Armenian Genocide in Turkey!
Europeans, Armenians and Turks join together
1915-2015. It has been one hundred years since the genocide of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire – a massacre in which a million and a half Armenians were murdered.
For one hundred years too many, the denial of this crime has been at the heart of the policy and diplomacy of the Turkish state, which was founded in part on the expropriation of the Armenians and the destruction of their culture.
One hundred years on, the denial or the condoning of this genocide are still causing victims, feeding violent nationalism and racism, breeding conflict and stifling democracy and freedom of expression in Turkey.
For several years, a growing number of voices have made themselves heard at the heart of civil society in Turkey, with increasing support from European civil society, to recognize the reality of the genocide and to commemorate this crime in Turkey itself. It is in this context that, since 2010, commemorations of the Armenian genocide have been held in Turkey.
This year, the Turkish state has cynically planned commemorations of the battle of Gallipoli on April 24th in a new attempt to overshadow the Armenian genocide. In addition, Turkish officials are engaged in a charm offensive to prevent international involvement in the commemorations of the Armenian genocide.
We Europeans, Armenians, Turks and Kurds, who have initiated, organized, supported or participated in these commemorations, call on all those who care for the truth to commemorate together, peacefully, in Istanbul, on April 24th the genocide perpetrated against the Armenians.
The commemoration of this genocide concerns not only Turks and Armenians, but all of humanity. Today, the front line in the fight against genocide denial is also at the heart of Turkish society. Our shared campaign is universalist in character. It is a future-oriented campaign for solidarity, for justice and for the promotion of democracy.
It is a campaign of solidarity among all those who fight for historical truth. The dividing line is not between Turks and Armenians, but between those who fight against denial and those who promote it, irrespective of their origins or nationalities.
This is a campaign for justice. Genocide is the most violent political act which racism can lead to, and denial is a part of the act itself. To fight against denial is to fight racism and therefore for a more equal and just society.
This is a campaign for the promotion of democracy. To remember those who disappeared is an act of humanity and of symbolic reparation that involves all of us. To remember in Turkey is to contribute to freedom of expression and to question the very foundations of the undemocratic nature of power in this country.
To commemorate the Armenian genocide in Turkey thus allows us all, and particularly the younger generations, to come together around shared democratic values, to face historical truth and so be able to build a better future together.
We call on all those who share these values and this vision to join us and commemorate in Istanbul on April 24th the one hundredth anniversary of the Armenian genocide.
Benjamin Abtan, President of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement – EGAM, Alexis Govciyan & Nicolas Tavitian, President & Director of the Armenian General Benevolent Union – AGBU-Europe, Levent Sensever, Spokesperson of Durde! (Turkey)
Charles Aznavour, Singer (France), Bernard Kouchner, Former minister of Foreign Affairs (France), Ozutrk Turkdogan, President of IHD (Turkey), Artak Kirakosyan, President on the board of CSI (Civil Society Institute) (Armenia), Edward Mier-Jedrzejowicz, Chairman of the Armenian foundation MKZ Tyskiewiczow Krolikiewicz (Poland), Bernard Henri Lévy, Writer, philosopher (France), Ara Toranian, Editor-in-chief of “Les Nouvelles d’Arménie” (France), Fethiye Çetin, Lawyer, writer (Turkey), Elina Chilinguirian, Journalist (Belgium), Daniel Cohn Bendit, Former Member of the European Parliament (Germany / France), Cengiz Aktar, Professor (Turkey), Sonia Avakian-Bedrossian, President of AGBU Sofia (Bulgaria), Adam Michnik, Editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, former leader of Solidarnosc (Poland), Ahmet Insel, Professor (Turkey), Patrick Donabedian, Historian (France), Dario Fo, Literature Nobel Prize (Italy), Aydın Engin, Journalist (Turkey), Raffi Kantian, Chairman of the board of the German-Armenian Society (Germany), Jovan Divjak, Former general defender of besieged Sarajevo, Executive director of the association “Education builds Bosnia and Herzegovina” (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Murat Çelikkan, Journalist (Turkey), Valentina Poghossian, Member of the board of AGBU Europe (UK), André Glucksmann, Philosopher, writer (France), Ümit Kivanç, Journalist, writer (Turkey), Elena Gabriielian, Journalist (France), Richard Prasquier, Vice-president of the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah (France), Ferhat Kentel, Professor (Turkey), Hrant Kostanyan, Associate Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies (Belgium), Karim Lahidji , Yusuf Alatas and Antoine Bernard, President, Vice-president and Director general of the International Federation of Human Rights – FIDH (France), Korhan Gumus, Architect (Turkey), Eduardo Lorenzo Ochoa, Secretary General, EU Friends of Armenia (Belgium), Gilbert Dalgalian, Linguist (France), Angela Scalzo, Secretary General of SOS Razzismo (Italy), Cafer Solgun, Writer and journalist (Turkey), Vartkess Knadjian, Former President of the International Armenian Jewellers Association (Switzerland), Mario Mazic, Executive Director of Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Croatia), Sanar Yurdatapan, Musician, Initiative for Freedom of Expression (Turkey), Ina Van Looy, Center of education to citizenship (Belgium), Ahmed Moawia, President of the Greek Forum for Migrants (Greece), Ferda Keskin, Professor (Turkey), Harout Palanjian, President of AGBU Holland (the Netherlands), Oana Mihalache, Project Manager at Romani Criss (Romania), Sinan Özbek, Professor (Turkey), Mato Hakhverdian, Chairman of Federation of Armenian Organizations in Netherlands (the Netherlands), Anetta Kahane, President of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation (Germany), Nurcan Kaya, Lawyer (Turkey), Seta Papazian, President of Collectif VAN – Armenian Vigilance against genocide denial (France), Inge Drost, 24 April Committee of the Federation of Armenian Organizations in Netherlands and Secretary of Abovian Armenian Cultural Association (the Netherlands), Jane Braden-Golay, President of EUJS (Switzerland), Zakariya Mildanoglu, Architect and writer (Turkey), Oncho Cherchian, President of the AGBU Young Professionals (Bulgaria), Claudia Schäfer, COE of ZARA (Austria), Taner Akçam, Professor, Clark University (USA), Lydia Van de Fliert, International Human Rights Expert (Ukraine), Deyan Kolev, President of the Roma Center Amalipe for interethnic dialogue and tolerance (Bulgaria), Dominique Sopo, President of SOS Racisme (France), Dogan Akhanli, Writer (Germany), Jette Moller, President of SOS Mod Racism (Denmark), Yildiz Onen, Spokesperson Global Peace and Justice Coalition (Turkey), Sandra Vokk, Director of UNITAS foundation (France), Merle Haruoja, Board member at Estonian Institute of Human Rights, Roni Margulies, Writer and Poet (Turkey), Hristo Ivanovski, President of the Alliance for Human Rights in Macedonia (Macedonia), Cagla Oflas, DurDe activist (Turkey), Erika Muhi, Director of NEKI (Hungary), Atilla Dirim, Translator (Turkey), Anita Mitic, Executive Director of Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Serbia), Ayse Gozen, Professor (Turkey), Jovana Vukovic, Associate Professor of Chernivtsi National University, Chairman of the Armenian community of Chernivtsi (Serbia), Witold Klaus, President of SIP (Poland), Zeynep Tanbay, Choregrapher (Turkey), Mariam Mandache, Executive Director of Romani Crisis (Romania), Krassimir Kanev, President of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (Bulgraria), Ayse Demirbilek, DurDe activist (Turkey), Miroslav Broz, President of Konexe (Czech Republic) , Sezai Temelli, Professor (Turkey), Alma Mazic, Director of Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Croatia), Rene Danen, President of Nederland Bekent Kleur (Netherlands), Faruk Sevim, Engineer (Turkey), Rune Berglund Steen, Director of the Norwegian Antiracist Center (Norway), Sahika Izmen, Documentary Director (Turkey), Raba Gjoshi, Director of Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Kosovo), Ümit Izmen, Professor (Turkey), Boris Raonic, President of Civic Alliance (Montenegro), Ahmet Kiraz, Lawyer (Turkey), Jean de Mirindi, Coordinator of AERG (Rwanda), Hakan Yücel, Professor (Turkey), Charles Habonimana, President of the Group of the Former Students Survivors of the Rwandan Genocide (GAERG) (Rwanda), Jan Herczynski, President of the Open Republic Association (Poland), Jülide Yasar, Entrepreneur (Turkey), Corentin Durand, President of UNL (France), Celal Inal, Poet (Turkey), William Martiner, President of UNEF (France), Garo Kaprielyan, Miner (Turkey), Nordine Idir, President of Young Communists (France), Ahmet Kuzik, Photographer (Turkey), Geraldine Guilpan, President of Young Radicals (France), Ahmet Demirel, Professor (Turkey), Sacha Reingewirtz, President of the French Union of Jewish Students – UEJF (France), Ahmet Özden, Consultant (Turkey), Zoia Gushlauder, President of FIDL (France), Gonca Sahin, DurDe activist (Turkey), Laura Slimani, President of Jeunes Socialistes (France), Alain Daumas, President of UFAT (France), Jale Mildanoglu, Activist (Turkey), Pierre Tartakovsky, President of the Ligue des Droits de l’ Homme (France), Jale Mildanoglu, Activist (Turkey), Muhammadi Yonous, President of the Greek Forum of Refugees (Greece), Tolga Tüzün, Proffesor Bilgi University (Turkey), Betul Tanbay, Professor in Bogazici University (Turkey), Cumhur Oranci, Writer (Turkey), Ahmed Samih, President of Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-violence studies (Egypt), Henriette Asseo, Professor in FMSH Paris (France), Kerem Kabadayi, Musician (Turkey), Bernadette Hetier, Co-President of MRAP (France), Nihat Kentel, AKEBİ (Germany), Shalom Amos, Film Maker (Europe), Hülya Karci, AKEBİ (Germany), Ahmet Insel, Profesor (Turkey), Erkin Erdogan, AKEBİ (Germany), Pascal Bruckner, writer and essayist (France), Alain Jakubowicz, President of LICRA (France) Cathrine Wenden, Director in research at the CRNS (CERI- Sciences Po) (France), Michel Kichka, Designer, caricaturist, cartoonist for peace (France), Yvan Le Bolloc’h, musician and actor (France), Balasz Denes, Human Right Activist (Hungary), Pap Ndiaye, Historian and professor (France), Pierre Henry, Director France Terre D’Asile (France), Marek Halter, Writer (France), Yves Ternon, Historian (France), Robert Rustem, Head of European Roma and Travellers Forum (Europe), Joel Gombin, Researcher in political sciences, CURAPP- University de Picardie (France), Merle Haruoja, Board Member Estonian Institute for HR (Estonia), Bruce Clarke, Artist (France), Edin Koljenovic, Program coordinator, Civic Alliance (Montenegro), Caroline Mecary, Lawyer (France), Lina Gidlung, Director Antidiscrimination Bureau Upsala (Sweden) Jacky Mamou, President of Urgence Darfur (France), Catherine Coquio, Professor de literature and Presidnet of the International Association of researcher on crimes against the humanity and genocides (France), Kamal Hachkar, Movie director (France), Massira Baradji, General director of DILD (France), Guy Konopnicki, Journalist and writer (France), Federeric Encel, Geopolitical scientist (France), Lucas Nedelec, and Laura Chatel, federal secretaries (Jeunes Ecologistes) (France), Rosalie Salaun, representative (Jeunes Ecologistes) (France), Lucas Nedelec, V Jeunes Ecologistes (France), Henry Rousso, Senior Research Fellow in CNRS (France), Vincent Niore, Deligate coordinator of the spokesperson of the Bar in Paris, president of the Institution Penal Law of the Bar in Paris, member of the National Council of the Bars (France), Alban Perrin, Coordinator of the Formation Service, Memorial of Shoah (France), Hans Lukas Kieser, Profesor, Historian (Switzerland), Estelle Amy de la Breteque, Anthropologist and musician (France), Helene Dumas, Historian (France), Laurent- Olivier Mallet, Professor in the University of Galatasaray, researcher in IFEA (Turkey), David Gaunt, Historian (England), Dickran Kouymjian, Professor in Emeritus,California State University, Fresno,Armenian Academy of Sciences, Erevan,Accademia Ambrosiana, Milan, (America), Patrick Donabedian, Profesor in Aix-en Provence University, researcher (France), Hira Kaynar, Doctor in sociology EHESS University (France), Dominik J. Schalker, Historian, researcher in Heidelberg University (Germany), Pascaline Marre. Photographer (France)…
MEPs and political leaders:
Traian Ungureanu, MEP for EPP (Romania), Nicola Caputo, MEP for S&D (Italy), Tunne Kelam, MEP for EPP (Estonia), Brando Benifei, MEP for S&D (Italy), Tomas Zdechovsky, MEP for EPP (Czech Republic), Fernando Ruas, MEP for EPP (Portugal), Demetris Papadakis, MEP for S&D (Cyprus), Costas Mavrides, MEP for S&D (Cyprus), Jan Keller, MEP S&D (Czech Republic), Julie Ward, MEP S&D (UK), Liadh Ni Riada, MEP for Sinn Fein (Ireland), Susanne Melior, MEP for S&D (Germany), Martina Anderson, MEP for Sinn Fein (Ireland), Meltem Oral, Spokesperson of DSIP (Turkey), Takis Hadjigeorgiou, MEP for European United Left-Nordic Green Left (Cyprus), Lynn Boylan, MEP for Sinn Fein (Ireland),Terry Reintke, MEP for Greens (Germany), Matt Carthy, MEP for Sinn Fein (Ireland), Kostas Chrysogonos, MEP for SYRIZA (Greece), Bart Staes, MEP for Flemish Greens (Belgium), Senol Karakas, Spokesperson of DSIP (Turkey), Noel Mamere, Deputy of Gironde –Ecologist Group (France), Jean- Louis Touraine, Deputy of Rhone (France), Maurice Leroy, Former minister deputy of the Loir-et-Cher (France), Frank Engel, MEP for … (Luxembourg), Ufuk Uras, Former MP (Turkey), Sia Anagnostopoulou, Historian and Deputy in the Greek Parliament (SYRIZA) (Greece), Victor Thomas, Parliamentrary assistant of Noel Mamère, deputy of Gironde- Greens Party (France), Luigi Morgano MEP for S&D (Italy), Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal, MEP for ADLE (Spain)