Candlelight procession in Yerevan, Armenia, to commemorate Armenian Genocide (video)
YEREVAN, Armenia — A traditional meeting and torchlight procession toward the Memorial to Armenian Genocide victims started in Yerevan at 8:00 p.m. local time (Photos).
Thousands of people, with Armenian national flags and posters calling on Turkey to admit the Armenian Genocide, gathered in front of the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts in Yerevan.
The people are protesting against Turkey’s policy of denying the Armenian Genocide, the first genocide in the 20th century recognized by dozens of nations.
Young people burned the Turkish national flag and marched toward the memorial.
During World War I, the Turkish authorities accused Armenians of showing favor to Russia and used it as a pretext for declaring the Armenian population the nation’s enemy. Many historians consider the events in 1915-1923 as a state-sponsored massacre, genocide. The Armenian side claims over 1.5 million victims, half of the Armenians early in the 20th century.
Many states have recognized the Armenian Genocide. Uruguay was the first to do it in 1965. The Armenian Genocide has since been recognized by Russia, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Canada, Venezuela, Argentina, as well as by 42 of the U.S. states. The Armenian Genocide has also been recognized by Vatican, the European Parliament, and World Church Council.