Home / Armenia / “Long Live the Brotherhood of Peoples”: March in Turkey Demands Recognition of Armenian Genocide (PHOTO)

“Long Live the Brotherhood of Peoples”: March in Turkey Demands Recognition of Armenian Genocide (PHOTO)

Several thousand people marched along İstiklal Avenue in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, Turkey, and held a demonstration in front of the French Consulate on Friday, April 24, the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. The participants of the action chanted "Shoulder to shoulder against fascism!”, "Murderers, you will pay!", "Long live the brotherhood of peoples!”.

According to the demonstrators, Armenians consider France their closest and dearest country: the French Consulate is where they traditionally assemble to feel safe.


"This attitude has a century-long history. Schools founded by the French, and Europeans in general, took in first of all Christian students, making them more educated,” one of the local Armenians said.

The participants of the march held portraits of Armenian intellectuals who were the victims of the Genocide of 1915, as well as portraits of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink who was assassinated in Istanbul in 2007, and Sevag Balıkçı, Turkish soldier of Armenian descent who was fatally shot during compulsory military service in 2011. Some of the posters demanded recognition of the Armenian Genocide; many demonstrators held placards reading “We are here”.


In an interview with an Epress.am reporter, resident of Istanbul Murat Kostanyan said this year’s march was different from those of previous years only in that it involved a number of people from various cities of Turkey.

“Probably because of the 100th anniversary there are more unfamiliar faces in the crowd. A lot of people came from Diaspora, mainly from France. There are a lot of journalists. That is the only difference,” Kostanian said.


The demonstrators made speeches in front of the French Consulate, condemning the Armenian Genocide, remembering the intellectuals who fell victim to the events of 1915, and called for the recognition of the Genocide by Turkish authorities on its 100th anniversary.

“We don’t see the speakers; we only hear their voices. That’s how it has always been done. It’s dangerous in Turkey. Those who speak at an event dedicated to the Genocide might have problems in the future. So we only hear their voices. I think that it is good not only in terms of safety, but also because faces are not important here. We have all gathered here with the same demand. Either we all chant together, or the voice of the anonymous person says what we all agree with,” demonstrator Z. B. said.


As in previous years, alongside the marches and protest actions demanding recognition of the Armenian Genocide, counter-demonstrations were being held in Istanbul by nationalists. These demonstrators held the flags of their nationalistic groups, as well as flags of Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Law enforcement officers surrounded the opposing groups on both sides, to prevent a collision.