ISTANBUL (Bianet) — İstanbul’s ban on commemorating the Armenian Genocide continues this year, as the governor’s office has once again prohibited an event planned to be held in the Kadıköy district.
The April 24 Commemoration Platform stated that the reason for the ban was that it was deemed “inappropriate” to hold the event.
Last year’s commemoration was also banned by the governor, and in the two previous years, the event was held online due to the pandemic.
The genocide is remembered every year on April 24, which marks the arrest of more than 200 intellectuals in Istanbul in 1915, widely considered as the start of the genocide.
The April 24 Commemoration Platform, which has organized remembrance events since 2010, criticized the governor’s ban, stating that the commemoration events have always been held without any issues despite being targeted by various powers since 2010.
“There is no reasonable reason for our commemoration event to be banned this year, as it was last year. In a climate where racist meetings and demonstrations are freely organized, where those who continue to demonize the descendants of the Armenians and Assyrians who were killed in 1915 and continue to alienate minority communities with racist hate speech are walking around freely, the ban on this event, which we respectfully and calmly remember those we lost in 1915, is unacceptable.
“Confronting 1915 is a necessary step to build democracy, equality, and peaceful coexistence on solid foundations today. Without this confrontation, no democratic move can be permanent, and no social relationship can be egalitarian.
“The Governor’s Office has clearly shown that it is against the dynamics of democratization by banning our commemoration event. We call on the Governor’s Office to abandon this decision.”
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Association (IHD) is preparing to hold a commemoration event in the Sultanahmet quarter in İstanbul’s historical peninsula as they do every year.