Co-chair of Turkey's Human Rights Association (İHD) Eren Keskin read a press statement on the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at the İHD building, which is followed by speeches from Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) MP Garo Paylan, European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) Chair Benjamin Abtan, and MP Mireille Clapot, the deputy chair of the Foreign Affairs Commission at the parliament of France, Bianet reports.
Before reading the statement, Keskin criticized the police response to the press statement on the Sultanahmet Square, saying, "As the İHD İstanbul Branch, we have been regularly holding statements on the Armenian Genocide and the genocide against Christian peoples in 1915 since 2005."
Keskin then read the statement for the commemoration of the genocide:
"Yes, the grave human right violations that were conducted and is being conducted in this country are the cursed legacy of the genocide which the Republic has been built on.
"The genocide against the Christian peoples, Syriacs/Assyrians, Greeks in the Asia Minor and in the Mesopotamia and its denial justified the state breaking its own laws and steering away from the law and this mind of the state maintained its dominance through the history of the Republic. What we call 'the cursed legacy of the genocide' is this mind of the state.
"We are again living under the power of unlawfulness. We are again getting through a period of grave human rights violations. The cursed legacy is continuing in new forms.
"Today is April 24th. The anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. But the reaction to commemorating the genocide is strong. Even declaring a day of commemoration is not tolerated."
"Yet we are at the city where the genocide was meticulously planned and where its first sign was given. Denial doesn't change this reality.
"Here, the place we are at now, is one of the hundreds, thousands of crime scenes in this country.
"The Armenians of İstanbul was gathered at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts you see there. From here, they were brought to Sarayburnu, then Haydapaşa. And from there, they were made to begin the journey of death."
"We once more respectfully revere before the memories of the victims of the Armenian, Syriac/Assyrian, Greek victims of the genocide; as the grandchildren of the perpetrators of the genocide, utter our shame for not being able to prevent the genocide to continue with denial and new destructions for generations."
April 24, 1915 is the day when a group of Armenian intellectuals was rounded up and assassinated in Constantinople by the Ottoman government. On April 24, Armenians worldwide are commemorating the 104th anniversary of the Genocide which continued until 1923. Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and international organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians as Genocide. Turkey denies to this day.