Update: The billboard has been taken down. See this updated post.
A group identified as the “Turkic Platform, Istanbul” has purchased a large North End billboard along the Greenway as part of a campaign to deny the 1915-1923 genocide of the Armenian people. The controversial exhibition is located just steps away from the Armenian Heritage Park and its Abstract Sculpture honoring the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide.
The sign says “Truth = Peace” with links to the FactCheckArmenia.com website. The billboard has illustrated hands with the flags of the Russia and Armenia (crossed fingers) and Turkey (peace sign). A petition has been started to have the billboard owner, Clear Channel Outdoor, remove it.
The billboard purchase appears timed to coincide with several high profile events scheduled at Armenian Heritage Park on the Greenway. On Sunday April 10th, the Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur’s third annual Walk Against Genocide begins at the Holocaust Memorial and closes at Armenian Heritage Park. Then, on Sunday, April 24, the Massachusetts Armenian Genocide Committee holds its annual commemoration event at the park (see photos from last year). Also last week, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan made his first visit to Boston with stops in the North End, including the Old North Church and the Armenian Heritage Park.
The Armenian Genocide has been recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts but has yet to receive a Federal designation. Armenian Genocide recognition refers to the formal acceptance that the systematic massacres and forced deportation of Armenians committed by the Ottoman Empire and subsequently the Turkish Republic from 1915 to 1923 constituted genocide. As of 2015, governments and parliaments of 29 countries, including Russia, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy and Canada as well as 43 states of the United States of America, have recognized the events as a genocide. The governments of Turkey and Azerbaijan deny the historical factuality of the Armenian Genocide. [Source: Wikipedia]
Photo by @CarCarll.