By Khatchig Mouradian
If you were one of the few hundred people in Istanbul who publicly commemorated the Armenian Genocide on April 24, 2010, you probably heard the sound of footsteps.
I am not referring to the footsteps of the defiant Turks, Kurds, and Armenians who gathered at open-air commemoration events. Nor am I referring to the footsteps of the counter-demonstrators who held placards that read ?The Armenian Genocide is an imperialist lie? and who yelled, ?Death to the Armenian Diaspora!?
Daniel Varoujan – the prominent Armenian poet who was arrested on April 24, 1915 and eventually killed, like hundreds of his fellow Armenian intellectuals?said in one of his poems that he could ?hear the footsteps of a rose-flooded dawn? of victory. From a distance of 95 years, you, dear friend, were probably were hearing the sounds of the very same footsteps.
I know I was.
And the sounds of footsteps were gradually becoming louder.
I was hearing those footsteps as I watched Kurdish women hold pictures of their ?disappeared? sons and pictures of Armenian intellectuals murdered in 1915. I was hearing those footsteps as I attended the commemoration at Haydarpasha Station. I was hearing those footsteps as I delivered a genocide commemoration lecture in Beyoglu. And I was hearing those footsteps during the vigil on Taksim Square.
The footsteps of Varoujan?s rose-flooded dawn of victory. The victory of memory over amnesia, affirmation over denial, and action over indifference.
On April 24, 2010, I was in Istanbul for you, Varoujan.
For all that your work, your life, and your murder means to me. And I, too, heard the footsteps.
The Turkish version of this article appeared in this week?s issue of Agos.
1) Activists holding photos of murdered Armenian intellectuals during the Genocide commemoration at the Haydarpasha Station in Istanbul on 24 April 2010. (Photo by Mujgan Arpat)
2) An activist holding Varoujan's picture at one of the commemoration events in Istanbul on 24 April 2010. (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian)
Source: Armenian Weekly, 30 April 2010 (URL)