About twenty nationalist Turks “honored” the general perpetrator of the Armenian genocide, Talaat Pasha, on 15 March 2006 in Berlin. These Turks had previously declared that about 5 million Turks were going to participate in the “commemoration.” More people “counter-commemorated” the Turkish Hitler.

Below is a press release received from Tessa Hoffman (Germany), through Armworkshop.

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Berlin, March 15, 2006

Press Release

Berlin. – After the Administrative Court of Berlin lifted the ban of two manifestations by Turkish nationalists in Berlin, planned for March 15 and 18, the public commemoration of Mehmet Talat took place today at Berlin-Charlottenburg’s Steinplatz. About twenty Turks commemorated the assassination of Talat by laying a wreath on the snowy ground of a public square, not far from the place, where the previous Home Minister and chief of the Ottoman government, Talat, was shot 85 years ago.

At the same time about 40 participants of a vigilance, staged by the Arbeitsgruppe Anerkennung – Gegen Genozid, für Völkerverständigung (Working Group Recognition – Against Genocide, for International Understanding) protected the near by Memorial for the Nazi Victims, because this memorial had been misused by Turkish nationalists in 2005 in order to place a wreath for Talat. They gathered under the slogan “No Veneration of Turkish perpetrators of Genocide in Germany!” The vigilance lasted two hours and was supported by representatives of Greek and Aramean/Assyrian associations under the slogan “With one Voice against the Turkish Genocide!”

As the Working Group learnt from a legal expert of the Berlin Police Force, the head of the Berlin police force had meanwhile appealed to Berlin’s Supreme Administrative Court in order to have the ban of the demonstration on Saturday, the 18th of March, re-established. A court decision is expected on Friday morning.

The main question for Berlin’s legal decision is the culpability of genocide denial. So far, the German penal law prohibits the denial of the Shoah, the genocide of the European Jewry, but not the denial of other genocides.

This is a reason why our human rights organisation demands the penalization of genocide denial in national and international law.