by Alexandr Avanesov
On April 24, 2014, Armenians worldwide mark the 99th mourning anniversary of the Armenian Genocide committed in the Ottoman Empire in 1915. Both Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora will pay tribute to the memory of the 1.5 million innocent victims of the tragedy. April 24 is black-bordered on the official calendar of Republic of Armenia.
On April 24, the Tsitsernakaberd Memorial (erected in 1967) traditionally becomes a center of pilgrimage. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the Memorial to pay their tribute to the memory of the victims of the first genocide in the history of the mankind. The majestic needle symbolizes the Armenian people's grief and the revival of the nation.
Commemoration events are held throughout the world on April 24. The Armenian Diaspora is the result of the Armenian Genocide: in the early 20th century hundreds of thousands of Armenians were scattered all over the world when fleeing the massacre and atrocities.
The fact of the Armenian Genocide has been recognized by many countries, but not Turkey. On April 23 2014, Ankara disseminated Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement. Erdogan expresses regret over the Genocide and admits that the last years of the Ottoman Empire were filled with bitter events. Erdogan also expresses his condolence to the descendants of the Armenians killed in the early 20th century. He suggests setting up a joint committee to inquire into the developments of 1915. Armenia immediately responded to Erdogan's statement. Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan believes that the Genocide cannot be considered to be over as Turkey continues denying the obvious fact.