Community Government

Group Denying Armenian Genocide Buys North End Billboard

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 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.

8 Replies to “Group Denying Armenian Genocide Buys North End Billboard

  1. If the Armenian Genocide has been recognized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, how is this billboard not illegal? Would it be legal to have a billboard denying the Jewish holocaust? Would it be legal to have a billboard denying slavery? Denial of Genocide is the final chapter in acceptance of genocide. This is heartbreaking and highly offensive.

  2. This article is wrong. The Republic of Turkey wasn’t actively involved. It was the Ottoman Empire (The Young Turks government to be specific) and the Republic of Turkey is being held accountable because it is considered the successor state to the Ottoman Empire.

    1. The Republic of Turkey is the legitimate “progeny” of the Ottoman Empire. Mustapha Kemal Ataturk modernized Turkey, however the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide were still active in the Turkish Army/militia in the 1920s, and 1930s. Turkey has a moral responsibility to recognize the Armenian Genocide (the Kurds do as well as they were also perpetrators of the Genocide). This billboard is plain propaganda, distortion of history -and possibly illegal- and needs to be removed.

      1. My issue is not with anything you’ve said, but with the historical inaccuracies in the article itself.

        Another example: “as part of their campaign to deny the 1915-1923 genocide of the Armenian people. ”

        The massacres by the Young Turks were committed in the time span of 1915-1918, which is usually recognized as the time of the genocide. To list the years after that, when the Turks under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk were involved with the Turkish War of Independence, serves no purpose other than to try and incriminate them in the genocide as well.

  3. Disgusting!

    And my aunt Rose seeing her sisters head on a stick and hundreds of others carried through the streets was not genocide?

  4. Unfortunately, this is the price we pay for freedom of speech. Just because MA recognizes the genocide doesn’t make it illegal to believe it never happened or say so publicly. The best thing we can do is ignore it (really, who actually reads billboards? Why call attention to it?) and continue to remember the victims with our memorial and commemoration ceremony. You fight propaganda by witnessing the truth. So let us bear witness on April 24th…

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