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For the second consecutive year, AGBU Europe, EGAM (European Grassroots Antiracist Movement) from France and Turkish DurDe (Say Stop to Racism and Nationalism) and IHD, a Turkish Human Rights Association, initiated a series of events in Istanbul and Armenia to commemorate the Armenian Genocide. Headed by these organizations, thousands gathered at Istanbul's Taksim Square on April 24 to pay tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Turkey. Following the events in Turkey, members of the international delegation headed to Armenia to visit the Genocide Memorial and Museum, meet with non-governmental organizations dealing with Armenian-Turkish relations and share their impressions and opinions during a press conference. On April 25, a delegation of 10 people representing AGBU Europe, EGAM, DurDe and IHD arrived in Yerevan. The series of commemoration events in Armenia began with a press conference by Benjamin Abtan, President of EGAM (France), Levent Sensever (DurDe, Turkey), Diana Hancaro (Hayk, Germany) and Hovik Eordekian, Interim Director of AGBU Armenia, at Armenpress Press Club on April 26. “It’s the second year that AGBU Europe, together with Turkish and European human rights organizations and NGOs, organizes a series of events in Turkey to commemorate the Armenian Genocide. The events attract more and more people, who come united for justice, human rights protection and recognition of the Armenian Genocide”, said Hovik Eordekian. EGAM President Benjamin Abtan said, “We are very often asked, why we, being non-Armenians, seek recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The answer is very simple: Genocide is not an issue of one nation or one ethnic group, it’s an issue for all mankind. Fighting against Genocide denial we fight against Genocide. Genocide denial is the main ideology of the Turkish government. But there are individuals and organizations in Turkey that have their own opinion on this and are by our side.” Speaking of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent statement Abtan said, “Erdogan’s statement means nothing to me. Of course, the tone is different, but there is denial in the statement, which is already violence against history and against mankind. No society is strong enough to stop the movement that is uprising in Turkey and no country is naive enough to be misled by Erdogan’s statement and ignore the facts”. Abtan stated that he expressed the same ideas and used the same words in Turkey.

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