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Istanbul remembers Metz Yeghern victims

ceremony with hundreds people

The ceremony

The ceremony

"Hundreds of Turks rallied in downtown Istanbul on Sunday to remember more than one million Armenians massacred in the Ottoman Empire nearly a century ago. Kneeling on the ground in the city’s central Taksim Square, they silently lit candles and held red carnations to the accompaniment of Armenian melancholy music played through loudspeakers. They then laid the flowers on a big banner that said “This pain is our pain"".

"Speakers at the rally organized by Turkish intellectuals and human rights campaigners read out the names of more than 250 Armenian political leaders, intellectuals and artists in Constantinople who were rounded up by the Ottoman government on April 24, 1915 and subsequently executed. It was the second public commemoration of the genocide anniversary ever held in Turkey’s largest city. The first such gatherings in April 2010 drew a considerably smaller crowd".

"As the Taksim rally went ahead a smaller group of Turkish nationalists rallied at the other end of the square to condemn the remembrance ceremony and deny that the last Ottoman rulers sought to wipe out the Armenian population of the crumbling empire. Riot police were deployed between the two crowds to prevent possible clashes between them".

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30 May 2011

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Metz Yeghern

the genocide of the Armenians

In the framework of first world war (1914-1918), in the area of the Ottoman Empire, in Turkey, we witness the unfolding of the genocide of the Armenian people (1915 – 1923), the first of the Twentieth century. Through it the government of the "Young Turks", which seized power in 1908, carried out the elimination of the Armenian ethnic group, which has inhabited the Anatolic area since the Seventh century b.C..
In the memory of the Armenian people, and also according to the historian's estimates, two thirds of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire, nearly 1,500,000 people, perished. Many were the children forced to convert to Islam and the women sent to the harems. The deportation and extermination of 1915 were preceded by the pogroms of 1894-96 planned by Sultan Abdul Hamid II and by those of 1909 carried out by the government of the "Young Turks".

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