Yerevan, thousands of Armenians commemorate the genocide

At least 10 thousand people marched through the streets of the capital. The crowd, holding torches and candles, gathered around the memorial to the victims. Turkish and Azerbaijani flags burned. Waiting for Biden's possible recognition of the genocide. A move that on the Turkish front would lead to the "irreparable" destruction of relations.

Yerevan (AsiaNews) - At least 10,000 people marched through the streets of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, last night to commemorate the 1915 genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. The crowd, holding candles or torches lit to symbolize the victims, gathered in the city center around the memorial built in memory of the massacre.

Some demonstrators sang patriotic songs, others still played drums. The march is held each year on the eve of April 24, a date that symbolizes the beginning of the genocide. Militants of the nationalist party and the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (FRA), at the head of the march, burned flags of Turkey and Azerbaijan, against which a war has been fought in recent months in Nagorno-Karabakh.

This year’s commemoration is marked by anticipation for the possible announcement by US President Joe Biden of the recognition as "genocide" of the massacre of Armenians during the "great war". Yesterday, a spokesman for the State Department said an announcement is expected for the day today according to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Asked about the issue, retired diplomat Şükrü Elekdağ, ambassador to the US from 1979 to 1989, stresses that any "recognition" by the White House "has the potential to" undermine and destroy Turkish-American relations in an irreparable way. "

The Armenian genocide is already recognized by about thirty nations and by the community of historians. It is estimated that between 1.2 and 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Empire during that controversial period. Ankara rejects the use of the term "genocide" and rejects the accusations of extermination, speaking of mutual massacres in a context of war and famine.

Any recognition by Washington would risk further complicating relations within NATO, an Atlantic alliance to which both the United States and Turkey are part. For years, Yerevan has been asking Turkey for financial compensation and the restoration of the property rights of the descendants of the victims of the massacres, known in Armenian as Meds Yeghern ("the great crime").