(Photo’s credits to Laura Zuffi)
Today I report news from the small city where I am currently living, The Hague (The Netherlands).
I bumped into a peaceful march of Armenian residents who were protesting against the non-recognition of the Armenian genocide from the Turkish government. Nonetheless to commemorate the victims of the genocide.
Although the official memorial day is tomorrow, 24 April, approximately one hundred people have already filled the streets of the city centre here today around 14:30.
Every year, thousands of Armenians protest on the anniversary to demand that the Turkish government recognize the genocide. One and a half million Armenians were massacred by Ottoman Turks in 1915.
Turkey’s policy on the Armenian genocide is the one of denial of the atrocities committed. Not only it openly does not recognize it, but it also obstructs the construction of memorial monuments and fuels false data and facts and thus, misinforms its own citizens.
“While Ottoman Turkey persecuted and sought to destroy the living Armenian population, Republican Turkey has been methodically erasing the physical record of an extinguished civilization with the goal of blotting out even the memory of its existence” as Rouben Paul Adalian reports in a document of the Armenian National Institute.
For a country as Turkey that claims democracy and has been on the “waiting list” to join the EU for years, the path to align the Copenhagen criteria of democracy, rule of law, human rights and respect of minorities, is still long and contorted.