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Istanbul Memorial for Armenian Genocide Victims Passes Without Incident (PHOTOS)

On Apr. 24, in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, human rights campaigners, Istanbul Armenians and many others silently lit candles and placed flowers in the area to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915.

As told by Epress.am’s Istanbul correspondent, there were about 1,000 people gathered — among them not only Armenians, but also members of the Turkish, Greek and Kurdish communities. Note, the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review puts this number closer to 275.

Those attending the memorial each held a single red carnation flower in their hands, many on their knees and praying. Music by Komitas could be heard playing and a large banner was displayed which read “This pain belongs to all of us.”

At roughly the same time, a group of Turkish Kemalists organized an anti-Armenian demonstration across from the memorial. Epress.am correspondents on site said the group numbered around 200 people.

There was a police barricades between the two groups in order to prevent any incidents.

A little bit further down from Taksim Square was another group of around 100 people of Turkish radicals who were marching and chanting slogans even more loudly than the group of Kemalists.

Waving Turkish and Azerbaijani flags and holding placards, they were chanting such slogans as “We are going to take the Turkish flag to Armenia” and “Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan” as they marched toward Taksim Square. There were more than 200 police officers accompanying this group, attempting to maintain public order and prevent incidents. There were no incidents till 6 pm when those in attendance began to gradually disperse.