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NGOs in Turkey Ask World Leaders to go to Yerevan, not Gallipoli, on April 24

5 NGOs have urged world leaders “not to accept President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s invitation to Gallipoli on the 100th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide but to visit Yerevan instead” reported Bianet.org.

Previously, Turkish President Erdogan had announced that the defense of Gallipoli (Canakkale) would commemorated on April 24, a ceremony usually observed on March 18. Erdogan has invited over a 100 world leaders to the ceremony taking place in Canakkale, as well as Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan who swiftly denied the invitation due to the dishonorable decision of the date.

The 5 associations: the Human Rights Association (IHD)’s Commission Against Racism and Discrimination, Izmir Assyrian Friendship, Culture and Solidarity Association, Nor Zartonk,  www.suryaniler.com Culture Platform, and Zan Social, Political, Economic Research Foundation, made a statement protesting Erdoğan’s invitation at IHD Headquarters in Istanbul.

“April 24 worldwide symbolizes the beginning of Armenian Genocide,” IHD Vice Chairperson Meral Cıldır said in a statement.

“As the 100th anniversary of Armenian Genocide draws near, we, groups and peoples that struggle against the denial of the Genocide, protest the president’s invitation and urge world leaders to visit the genocide memorial in Yerevan, instead of Gallipoli in Canakkale.”

Following the press conference, IHD Vice Chairperson Eren Keskin stated that:

“The mentality that founded the Republic of Turkey is the very mentality that committed the Armenian – Assyrian Genocide in 1915.

“For us, 24 April 2015 has a huge importance. We want to face our history. We want this understanding to be questioned. We were told lies and raised our children with those lies; we want to question this. We know that the Genocide in 1915 is still not openly mentioned by many countries but we we are asking a bit of conscience.

“[This] invitation is mocking with victims of Armenian Genocide. Go to Yerevan where the real pain is.”