April 24 2010
Ceremony in Istanbul’s Taksim Square honors Armenian deaths
More than 200 people gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Saturday
evening to honor the Armenians who died during the events of 1915.
About 75 intellectuals and 200 supporters attended the demonstration,
which was organized by Initiative to Say Stop to Racism and
Armenians claim that the 1.5 million of their kin were killed under
Ottoman rule and that the events constitute genocide. Turkey rejects
the genocide label, saying that thousands were killed on both sides
during civil strife.
The event on Saturday was overseen by almost a thousand police
officers, who were called to secure the area because of threats
received from nationalist circles.
A counter-demonstration that numbered in the dozens was stopped by a
police barricade. The group booed the other gatherers, who clapped in
The demonstration was silent during the commemoration in Taksim
Square, where they lit candles and threw flowers in the air. But the
protesters began to chant ‘ "The brotherhood of Armenians, Turks and
Kurds" and "Shoulder to shoulder against fascism" ‘ as they marched
down Ä°stiklal Avenue.
They dispersed a few hundred meters later.