Armenians 24 April remember the victims of the 1915 genocide in Ottoman Turkey, which killed more than 1,5 million Armenians.
This year, events will be held against the backdrop of mass protests leading to the resignation of Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan.
It was expected that the protests will be held on Tuesday at the memorial of the victims of the "Tsitsernakaberd" genocide, however the opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan stated that their action will be devoted only to a mournful date.
By tradition, this day the leaders of the country, cultural figures, representatives of the diplomatic corps visit the memorial.
Representatives of secular and ecclesiastical authorities appealed to compatriots with a call for unity.
"The day of 24 of April is a holy day for all Armenians, civilized humanity.This day no Armenian can come out against another.For more than 100 years this date has been a day of remembrance, sorrow and unity against Turkey's injustice, and now it is a day of protest against those who deny genocide ", The statement posted on the website of the Armenian president says.
Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II, Armenian President Armen Sargsyan and the President of the unrecognized Nagorno Karabakh Republic Bako Sahakyan at the ceremony of laying flowers at the Eternal Fire at the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide in Yerevan. 24 April 2018
The document calls for respect for the memory of ancestors and for the future of the nation.
"We will keep the support and solidarity provided to us by 24 April, when we remember the victims of the genocide together with us and remember those who helped the survivors," the appeal says.
By 1914, around the world there were about 4,1 million Armenians. Of these, 2,1 million resided in the Ottoman Empire, 1,7 million in Russia, 100 thousand in Persia and 200 thousand in other countries.
In 1915-1923 years, according to Armenian historians, about 1,5 million Armenians were destroyed in the Ottoman Empire, more than 60 Armenian cities and 2,5 thousand villages were burned and looted. About 1 million fled or were evicted by the Turks in Mesopotamia, Lebanon, Syria.
"The true purpose of deportation (Armenians) was robbery and destruction, this is really a new method of massacre." When the Turkish authorities ordered these expulsions, they actually endured the death sentence of the whole nation, "wrote the US ambassador to Turkey at 1913-1916 Henry Morgenthau .
The genocide caused the dispersal of the Armenians, who today in the majority live outside the historical homeland. In today's Turkey, except for Istanbul, where approximately 50-thousand Armenian community was preserved, there are practically no Armenians left.
For more than 100 years, Armenian public and political organizations have been fighting in various countries for the official recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. In 1987, the European Parliament adopted a relevant resolution. Of the countries, the first genocide was recognized in 1965 by Uruguay, followed by France, Italy, Holland, Belgium, Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Canada, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Vatican, Bolivia, Czech Republic , Austria, Luxembourg.
The State Duma of the Russian Federation adopted in 1995 the decree "On the condemnation of the genocide of the Armenian people 1915-1922 in its historical homeland - in Western Armenia."
The Armenian Church recognized the Armenian Genocide as well. From 50 US states 44 state officially recognized and condemned the Armenian Genocide, and also announced 24 April as the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Genocide of the Armenian People. The issue of recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the US Congress was repeatedly raised, but so far this has not happened.
The issue of recognition of genocide is one of the main obstacles in the normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey. In modern Turkey, the mass deportation of Armenians during the First World War is not denied, but categorically refuse to recognize this as genocide. As a result, Yerevan and Ankara have not yet established diplomatic relations, and the border with the length of 330 kilometers is closed from 1993 year on the initiative of Turkey.
The process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations began on the initiative of the President of Armenia Sargsyan only in the autumn of the year 2008. On September 6 2008, Turkish President Abdullah Gul visited Yerevan for the first time at the invitation of Sargsyan to jointly watch the football match between the national teams of Armenia and Turkey within the framework of the qualifying cycle of the 2010 World Championship.
There was also a meeting of the heads of two neighboring states, which in Turkey was called a historic event. This visit was named "football diplomacy" and widely covered in the world press. In turn, Sargsyan 14 October 2009 visited Turkey to watch the return match between the football teams of the two countries.
Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin II and Armenian President Armen Sargsyan at the ceremony of laying flowers at the Eternal Fire at the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide in Yerevan. 24 April 2018
At the same time, in October 2009, the Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Turkey Edward Nalbandian and Ahmet Davutoglu signed in Zurich a "Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations" and a "Protocol on the Development of Bilateral Relations" to be ratified by the parliaments of the two countries. However, 22 April 2010 Sargsyan signed a decree to suspend the process of ratification of the Armenian-Turkish protocols, saying that Turkey is not ready to continue the process begun.
On March 1, 2018, Sargsyan canceled the protocols. He said that Armenia has done everything to not leave the issue of the settlement of the Armenian-Turkish relations to future generations. However, in his opinion, Ankara "has not made a single step for the ratification and entry into force of the documents."
He added that after signing the decree, none of the commitments undertaken under the agreements has legal force for the Armenian side.