Commemorating the centennial of the Armenian Genocide in Bitlis, Mutki and Diyarbakir

Commemorating the centennial of the Armenian Genocide in Bitlis, Mutki and Diyarbakir –

We are pleased to announce our programme for centennial commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. We have a full schedule in Bitlis, Mutki and Diyarbakir. Our focus is on a common understanding of the terrible events of 1915 and their legacy over the past 100 years. Our wish is also to build bridges between Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians and Turks for a better future together. We welcome all well-meaning participants who wish to join us. And we thank all organisations and others who made this trip possible.

Gomidas Institute, London.



April 18, arrive in Bitlis.
Meet co-Mayors, visit William Saroyan Street, Bitlis town and Armenian sites in the city. Visit Papshen village and its mediaeval church.
Evening: Meet locals.

April 19 (in Bitlis)
Meet with Bitlis Bar Association and Human Rights’ Association-Bitlis (IHD).
Visit Por village, its churches and unique khachkars.
Main Public meeting of Bitlis trip: “WHAT HAPPENED TO BITLIS ARMENIANS, 1915-2015?” This event is sponsored by the Bitlis Bar Association, Human Rights’ Association (IHD-Bitlis) and Gomidas Institute. Three speakers and open forum for discussion. Separate Press conference.
Evening. Screening of SaroyanLand.

April 20 (Mutki, Sassoon)
Visit to Mutki Municipality. Reception with Mutki Mayor.
Visit former Armenian villages in the region. Weather permitting, visit Aghperig monastery (40 minute ascent to mountain top).

Evening: In Tatvan.

April 21 (west Lake Van)
Several options for people to choose.
* Three churches and monasteries on Lake Van.
* Three churches and Nemrut Crater.
* Mush, Sourp Garabed and Arakelots Monastery.


April 22 (trip to Diyarbakir)
Morning. Leave for Diyarbakir.
Arrive in Diyarbakir mid-afternoon.
Visit old city, meet at Surp Giragos in the evening for informal meeting with local Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds and Turks.

April 23 (trip to Batman and Beshiri)
Visit massacre site (near Batman) and the grave of Mihemete Mishti (Elih).
The latter was the Reshkota Kurdish leader who opposed the mass murder of Armenians in 1915.

Evening 18:30: Lighting of candles at Sourp Giragos in memory of the victims of 1915. Candles donated by different parish in the diaspora and Armenia. This will take place at the same time as the cannonisation of the victims of 1915 in Echmiadzin.
Evening 19:30: “What Happened to Diyarbekir Armenians?” A panel discussion organised by Zan Foundation for Social, Political and Economic Studies.

April 24 (commemoration, rally and reception)
Mid-day. Gathering in the ruins of Sourp Sarkis – for Armenians and Assyrians, descendants of the victims of 1915.

Early afternoon. Rally with local Kurdish and Turkish organisations with the sponsorship and support of the Turkish Human Rights Organisation (IHD-Diyarbakir), Diyarbakir Bar Association, Greater Diyarbakir and Sur Municipalities, Zan Foundation for Social, Political and Economic Studies, and Nor Zartonk. Kurdish leaders, Armenian and Assyrian speakers. Press conference.

SOME DETAILS: Groups and individuals interested in joining us, please contact me directly at We have arranged block hotel bookings in Tatvan (Bitlis) and Diyarbakir. While nobody is obliged to stay with our main group, it would facilitate our common activities. We will also arrange local transport. Participants will be asked to share the costs of local transportation. Groups and individuals may also make their own alternative arrangements.
If people wish to join us in both Bitlis and Diyarbakir, they should ideally fly into Mush airport (for Bitlis) and out of Diyarbakir airport.

NOTE: Those who inform us of their wish to join our main group will be part of the events we are planning. Otherwise, if there is a lack of capacity (eg on a trip or at a particular event), we will favour those who have informed us of their participation beforehand.



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