In Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, approximately 10,000 people marched on Sunday night, holding torches to honour the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who were killed by Ottoman Turks over a century ago.
The march, which began at a central square and ended at a large memorial complex, commenced with the burning of the flags of Turkey and Azerbaijan. Tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan have been escalating lately due to Azerbaijan’s closure of the road leading to Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic and historical Armenian region.
The Ottoman Turks killed up to 1.5 million Armenians in the final days of the Ottoman Empire, which is generally considered to be the first genocide of the 20th century. Armenians have been advocating for the recognition of the killings as genocide for a long time.
They also killed up to a million Greeks and 700,000 Assyrians.
While Turkey acknowledges that many people died during that period, it rejects the term genocide, arguing that the death toll is exaggerated and that the deaths were caused by civil unrest during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.
Their claim is in opposition to generally accepted facts.
Genocide Remembrance Day, marking the beginning of the killings in 1915, is officially commemorated in Armenia on Monday.