Thousands Protest at Turkish Embassy in Ottawa

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Commemoration Held at Parliament Hill

OTTAWA, Canada—More than 3,000 activists from across Canada gathered in Ottawa on April 24, to commemorate the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and protest the Turkish government’s ongoing denial of the crime.

The demonstrators gathered at the steps of Parliament Hill to thank the Canadian government for recognizing the Armenian Genocide, and to call on it to exert pressure on its NATO ally, Turkey, to come to terms with its past and put an end to its ongoing policy of genocide denial.

A scene from the Armenian Genocide commemoration in Ottawa (Photo: Ishkhan Ghazarian)

Demonstrators then marched via Rideau St. to the Turkish Embassy to protest against Turkey’s ongoing denial policies and human rights violations, and to demand justice and reparations for the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide.

The Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) of Canada stressed the need for recognition and reparations in their annual speech. “We are here to tell this embassy that we will never accept an apology from the Turkish Government, which offers no recognition, accepts no responsibility, expresses no regret, and suggests no reparations for the crimes committed”, read the statement.

A scene from the Armenian Genocide commemoration in Ottawa (Photo: Ishkhan Ghazarian)

AYF Canada members read information about the lost churches and cultural centers, as well as the traditions of the confiscated provinces of Western Armenia, making clear the Armenian losses are tangible and reinforcing the importance of reparations in any resolution for their cause.

Protest organizers also highlighted the various human rights abuses committed by the Turkish government today. “President Erdogan’s infamous regime not only shamelessly continues to deny the Armenian Genocide, but actively suppresses freedom of speech and continues its notorious mistreatment and marginalization of minorities in Turkey, with minimal regard to human rights and democracy,” read a part of the statement.

A part of the display used during the protest in front of the Turkish embassy (Photo: AYF Canada)

Founded in 1934, AYF Canada is the largest and most influential Canadian-Armenian youth organization in Canada, working to advance social, political, educational, and cultural awareness among Armenian-Canadian youth.

Source: Armenian Weekly
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