Hundreds of people had amassed outside the Turkish consulate this morning, divided by press and Police protesting both for the recognition of the Armenian and Assyrian Genocide and its denial.
Armenians, Assyrians and other Human Rights Activists brought signs and their voices to the Sydney suburb of Woollahra – protesting against atrocities committed during the early 20th century. The issue was the genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire against (a reported) two and a half million people made up of predominantly Armenian, Assyrian and Greek people.
The two sides took up their place outside the consulate and there was a bitter and heated shouting match between the two groups. There was evident tension as the controversial and disputed genocide issue was contested. Among their chants, the Armenian and Assyrian empathisers asserted their desire to have justice for the atrocities committed in 1915 - shouting that justice was yet to be done for those murdered and that their quarrel was not with the Turkish Australian community in Sydney but in the Ottoman perpetrators, instigators and officials that oversaw the mass slaughter, rape and destruction that characterized the closing phases of the Ottoman empire in Anatolia.
The opposition to the genocide recognition included anti-Armenian chants, jeering and attempts to provoke the demonstrators into retaliation. Though separated by a strong police presence, Turkish, flag-bearing deniers took to insisting that this first group was lying, that there was no evidence and more summarily and inflammatorily that the fathers of those that were demonstrating were Turks (possibly alluding the rape of women and children during the same, alleged genocide). It seemed relatively evident that there was little substance to the Turkish denial, whose entire presence reveled in chanting slander, inciting violent retaliation and otherwise ridiculing the attempts at pressing the cause for recognition and acceptance of the otherwise forgotten genocide of 1915 - 1920, encompassing Seyfo.
If anything this demonstration reflects a resurgence of consideration of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocide in contemporary world politics, as progressively there is pressure being placed upon the Turkish state to consider its history and in a sense “come clean.”
The evidence is clear however, that Turkey both nationally and abroad is intent on denying and avoiding liability and admission of the genocide.