The Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan - who spoke at today's event (Offical photo released by Armenian government).

Commemoration event marks anniversary of mass killings of Armenians

Posted on on 23 April 2015
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The commemoration event was held this morning (24th April 2015) in the Armenian capital, Yerevan to remember the killing of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey during 1915. The Armenians describe the killings in 1915 as genocide. The Turkish government rejects the use of the term.

The event was held at the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial Complex, and was attended by political leaders from around the world, including the French President François Hollande and the Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in a speech at the event: “We stand on Tsitsernakaberd Hill today to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide. On the 24th of April, this day a hundred years ago, the extensive enactment of one of the gravest crimes of the 20th century began with mass arrests of the Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople, the capital of the Ottoman Empire, and other cities of the empire. What subsequently happened in 1915 and the years that followed was unprecedented in terms of volume and ramifications.”

The Turkish Government continues to reject the use of the term genocide. It accepts that there were killings and atrocities, but maintains that there was no concerted attempt to wipe out Armenians, noting that many Turks also died during the conflict.

Eternal flame at the centre of the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day 2014. (Wikipedia Commons)

The commemoration in Yerevan comes the same day as Turkey's President will lead a commemoration at the Martyr's Memorial in Cannakale, ahead of the anniversary of the Gallipoli landings on April 25th. The Armenian President has accused Turkey of "trying to divert world attention" from the Armenian commemorations.

The full transcript of today’s speech by the Armenian President can be read here.

Further reading is also available here in a Centenary News article from May 2014