The annual Armenian Genocide commemorative event that the Istanbul branch of Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD) and the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) planned to hold on April 24 — which they have been holding every year since 2005 — was blocked by police, who seized the placards and banners about the genocide and carried out criminal record checks on participants. Three human rights activists were detained and then released.
In an exclusive interview with Gatestone, Ayşe Günaysu, an activist with the IHD’s Commission Against Racism and Discrimination, said that “on their way to police station, the detainees were made to listen to racist songs containing hostile words concerning Armenians.”
The annual event commemorates the April 24, 1915 round-up, imprisonment and eventual slaughter of more than 200 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Istanbul by Ottoman authorities — and the unfolding of the Armenian Genocide. The victims were brought to a prison, now a building that houses the Museum of Turkish Islamic Art (Türk İslam Eserleri Müzesi). The Armenians were then taken to the Haydarpaşa railway station, where they were transported to Anatolia for their ultimate extermination. According to Günaysu: