Armenia seeks Turkish apology on genocide anniversary

April 24, 2020

YEREVAN — Armenian prime minister has condemned what he called crimes against "civilization" and demanded an apology from Turkey as the country on the the 105th anniversary of the World War I-era massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

In a televised address to the nation broadcast live from Yerevan's Tsitsernakabert Memorial Complex PM Nikol Pashinian said: "The Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire was a crime not only against our ethnic identity but also against human civilization."

Commemorative events were scaled back this year due to the coronavirus restrictions imposed throughout the country, and the Yerevan memorial was closed to the public.

Pashinian, along with President Armen Sarkisian, parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan, and Catholicos Garegin II, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, visited the hilltop memorial separately, observing social-distancing rules aimed at stopping the spread of the virus in the country.​

"More than a century has passed but the consequences of the genocide have not been eliminated," Pashinian said. "Turkey has not yet apologized for what it did." He added that Yerevan "demands" that Ankara officially recognize the massacres as genocide.

Armenians say up to 1.5 million people were killed as the Ottoman Empire was collapsing during World War I which Armenia and some 30 other countries call it genocide.

Turkey fiercely rejects the genocide.

Yerevan has long demanded Ankara provide financial compensation and restore property rights to the descendants of those killed in the 1915-1918 massacres, which Armenians call Meds Yeghern or the Great Crime. — Agencies

April 24, 2020
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