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“This day, 93 years ago, by detaining (and later shooting) the top Armenian intellectuals and politicians in Istanbul, the Ottoman government started the massive effort to uproot its entire Armenian population ordering it to march from the historic Armenian lands into the Syrian desert. The result was the mass killings, rapes, death by starvation, and exodus of survivors. The Armenian Genocide was accomplished. Practically no Armenians live now on the lands populated by their ancestors for at least two millennia…
April 24, Yerevan © Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia 2008
I don’t forget. And I don’t forgive the perpetrators and executioners of this crime against my people.…” – this is how Artashes has expressed the feelings of many Armenian bloggers. Others have applied to the Armenian poets, publishing extracts from Shiraz and Tumanyan.
Athanatoi blog has carried out a massive amount of research and collected in one chronological list from 1915-2008, all the formulations adopted by various countries, effectively recognizing the Armenian Genocide. It becomes clear from this list, that France, United Kingdom and Russian Empire have issued a declaration already on May 24th, 1915 about the mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, and that the US Senate has adopted a condemning resolution on February 9, 1916.
March with lanterns, April 23, Yerevan © Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia 2008
A wide review of Armenian Genocide related publications in international and Turkish media as well as Armenian blogs on April 24th is posted by Blogian, also detailing the populous marches held in Holywood and Yerevan.
The two different marches to Tsitsernakaberd: one by the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun youth with lanterns and the other by opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian’s supporters, without lanterns, were covered by
Onnik Krikorian on his renamed blog – The Caucaus Knot:
At first the police refused to allow Ter-Petrossian’s supporters to walk on the road and demanded they stay on the sidewalk. The police also backed down with participants of the walk and they took over one lane of traffic. To be fair, the night before, ARF-D youth had also taken over one side of Baghramian Avenue so it’s not as if the police always work to keep the road open. Of course, it is unknown whether the march was legally sanctioned or not.Although there were many police escorting the protesters, they were unarmed and not decked out in riot gear.  As it was, apart from whistles and the near-constant shouts of “Levon, President,” there were no incidents.
March without lanterns, April 24, Yerevan © Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia 2008
Of course, April 24 is not about the Armenian Revolutionary Federation — Dashnaktsutyun (ARF-D), the government or the radical opposition. It is about Armenians worldwide and so, to end, some photos of other citizens who also made the journey up to Tsitsernakaberd to pay their respects to the memory of those that died in the Armenian Genocide.
April 24, Yerevan © Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia 2008
“I am a claimant”, Moonlight has written, while 517design blog has published a series of posters with the stamp “We’ll get these back”, displaying the map of Armenia presented by the US President Woodro Wilson, as well as scenes from Ani, Bitlis, Kars, Trapizon cities and Lake Van. The initiative turned into a sponteneous flashmob – a large number of bloggers republished the posters at their own blogs.
Ahousekeeper blog has posted an interesting analysis, stating his concerns with the fact, that by focusing all attention on the single date of April 24th, we – Armenians are thus feeling, that our responsibility ends with this, whereas:
a range of very serious issues are connected with our perception of the Great Genocide. For example, many are complaining, that over time we have developed a fixation on our image of the victim, and have thus wrapped ourselves into our pains, without attempting to save our land from the enemy’s paws and punishing the criminal state. On the other hand, certain forces (using the same approach of “enough mourning”), are trying to persuade, that it is time to forget everything, because weeping and anger, however justified, are destructive. “Move on, enough clining to the past. It is time to finally start a dialogue with neighbors”, such people are saying. There is another numerous group, who are saying “We remember, we mourn and we would like to return the lands of our fathers, but what can we do against a mighty adversary like Turkey?” In other words, there are many opinions, many more unanswered questions, but no solutions, or solutions which are unrealistic and directed more to diverting attention from serious matters.
Speaking of the statement made by the newly appointed RA Foreign minister Eduard Nalbandyan at the Armenian Genocide commemoration event marked in the Paris City Hall, where the RA FM has said: “It is impossible to imagine the future of Armenians and Turks without reconciliation”, Nazarian says, that such approaches were named “defeatist” in the past and notes his surprise for such strange change of foreign policy priorities.
Hrag Vartanian has recalled the protest/performance staged by the Armenian American artist Onnig Kardash on April 24, 1969 in front of the St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral in Manhatten’s Murray Hill neighborhood. The artist stood with a poster “Un-hate a turk”, thus “underscoring the need for love in the face of hate”, the blogger writes.
Mark Grigorian has recalled the times, when the Armenian Genocide memorial was not built yet. “The shock caused by the Genocide was so strong, that perhaps every Armenian continues to feel it”, the blogger writes, expressing conviction, that the issue of Genocide recognition can only be settled by the joint efforts of Armenians and Turks. “There cannot be winners and losers in this matter.” Mark Grigorian says, “recognition will bring victory both to Armenians and Turks” he concludes.
The Podcast of this post, made by the Echannel.am team is available here.