Commemorating


Concerning the annual commemorations in Armenia, interviewees state that 24th of April is the official day of remembrance in which the whole country and the Armenians all over the world unite in the memory of their lost ones. Almost all of the interviewees attend to commemorations regularly in Tsitsernakaberd, the genocide memorial in Yerevan, which is the primary site of memory of the Armenian Genocide. As stated by one interviewee, it is as if the memorial is the place where the lost souls of the genocide are buried. Some interviewees state that they visit the memorial more often than they visit church.

In Turkey, 24th of April is also the date of commemoration for Armenians since 1919, when the first genocide monument was erected in Taksim, Istanbul. After the foundation of Turkish Republic, these commemorations ceased to exist, only to resurrect in 2000’s. Today, these unofficial commemorations continue in different places and cities throughout the day. Almost all of our interviewees stated that they attend to at least one of these commemorations each year.

It is essential to note that 24th of April is not the only day that marks the genocide commemoration in Turkey; also, the 19th of January, the day when Hrant Dink was murdered, has a special symbolic meaning. It is on this particular day that not only Armenians but also Turks, Kurds, and others come together to condemn the assassination. Encouraged by this solidarity of different ethnic groups, Armenians in Turkey seized the opportunity to express their long-denied past to public. Therefore, for the young generation of Armenians in Turkey, 19th of January has become a day of commemoration as well.