Armenian Australians remember genocide
(Australian Associated Press) – Demonstrators have called for the Australian government to recognise as genocide the mass slaughter of Armenians in Turkey more than 100 years ago.
Hundreds of Armenian Australians marched from Sydney’s Hyde Park to Circular Quay on Sunday to remember the hundreds of thousands of people killed in the Ottoman Empire from April 24, 1915.
Turkey has denied that up to 1.5 million people were murdered, and the Australian government has not recognised the killings as genocide.
Marcher Ara Megerditchian said his grandfather was orphaned as a child in 1915 and years later it still affected his whole family.
He said he wanted Turkey and the rest of the world – including Australia, where he was born and raised – to recognise what happened.
“That’s the one government that I identify with as being mine, and I would like them to call a spade a spade and I would like them to refer to the historical events as what they were,” he said.
“Many other countries have … stuck their neck out and did it because they want to get on the right side of history and I think Australia should do the same.”
March organiser Haig Kayserian said that while Armenians wanted justice from Turkey, international pressure from countries like Australia had a role to play.
He said the community would “stand for justice until justice is done”.
“They want justice, they want closure, they want the person who passed away because of a crime to be able to rest in peace,” he said.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s office has been contacted for comment.