Project 2015 is calling Armenians from around the world to go to Istanbul in April 2015 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Project 2015, a US-based non-profit group, together with DurDe, a Turkish human rights organization along with other civil society groups and activists in Turkey will be organizing a series of events between April 22-24, 2015.
This new initiative is calling on Armenians from around the globe to “assemble together with citizens of Turkey in Istanbul to participate in these memorial events in April 2015. For many Armenians, this may be a first-ever visit to Turkey; for others, it will be an opportunity to return to Turkey for the centennial; and for the Armenians living in Turkey today it will be an occasion to be joined by a wider community for this historic commemoration.
“We are coming together in Istanbul to assert our presence in and our continued connection to the land of our ancestors a century after their disastrous expulsion. We see this journey as a means of standing for our rights, advocating for justice for our forebears, and pressing for equality for all people in Turkey, whatever their ethnicity, religious affiliation, or maternal tongue.”
The organizers hope that the events scheduled to take place in Istanbul will help to focus global attention on the unresolved question of the Armenian Genocide and provide an opportunity and platform for Armenias, dispersed around the world, to demand justice and accountability from the Turkish government. “We have not forgotten, and will never forget, the suffering of our people: we are eager to commemorate this event with the many people of conscience in Turkey who want to stand together in solidarity,” it states in their press release.
While Turkish groups have organized memorial events in Istanbul for the past several years, DurDe and Project 2015 are working to ensure that a large number of Armenians come to Turkey for the historic centennial commemoration.
“We encourage and welcome Armenians from around the globe to assemble with citizens of Turkey in Istanbul to participate in these memorial events,” said Levent Sensever of DurDe. “As Turks, we want to express our solidarity with Armenians as we pay our respects to the victims and survivors of this terrible crime, and press our government to recognize the genocide.”
“As Armenians, we are going to Istanbul to memorialize the brutal massacre of our family members, and to remind the world that 100 years later, we are still seeking justice and accountability from the Turkish government,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, board member of Project 2015. “For many of us, this is a first return to the lands of our ancestors, who lived here for thousands of years before their murders and expulsions 100 years ago.”