Tags: Turkey | Armenia | history | genocide | Cyprus

Hundreds March in Cyprus to Recall Armenian Massacres

Friday, 24 April 2015 01:30 PM

Hundreds commemorated on Friday the centenary of the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks in the capital of Cyprus, which has made it a crime to deny this was genocide.

Around 800 people marched to the Armenian cathedral in a suburb of Nicosia and gathered at a monument to the dead, where a wreath laying ceremony took place. Afterward, a service was held in the church.

Earlier this month the Cypriot parliament unanimously approved a law making it a crime to deny that the killings amounted to genocide.

The law also establishes April 24, the date the killings began, as a national day of remembrance in Cyprus, much of whose Armenian community descends from survivors of the killings.

Cyprus itself was Ottoman until coming under British rule in the late 19th century. It has been at odds with Turkey, the empire's successor, since being invaded by it in 1974 after a coup aimed at uniting the island with Greece.

Armenia says an estimated 1.5 million people were killed by Ottoman forces in what it calls a genocide.

Turkey, which rejects the term "genocide," puts the death toll at 500,000, blaming it on World War I raging at the time and starvation.

Around 20 nations, including France and Russia, recognize the killings as genocide but Cyprus was the first European nation to do so.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades attended a centennial commemoration Friday in the Armenian capital.

"The presence of each one of us here today aims at keeping alive the remembrance of this despicable act, by paying tribute to the millions of lives lost a century ago, and constitutes our collective obligation to make known ... that impunity cannot go unpunished," he said in a speech.

"It is our duty to not turn our back or act in defiance of the tragic reality and a historical fact," he added.

© AFP 2021


   
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Hundreds commemorated on Friday the centenary of the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks in the capital of Cyprus, which has made it a crime to deny this was genocide.Around 800 people marched to the Armenian cathedral in a suburb of Nicosia and gathered at a...
Turkey, Armenia, history, genocide, Cyprus
311
2015-30-24
Friday, 24 April 2015 01:30 PM
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