(AINA) -- The city of Glendale, a suburb of Los Angeles, California, hosted commemoration events on the Turkish genocide of Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks in World War One. Glendale is home to a large Armenian population as well as a population of Assyrians.
The events included lectures, poetry readings, performances and a candle light vigil and were attended by a large audience of Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and other interested persons. Speakers included Rebert Avetisyan, the Permanent Representative of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic to the United States, Mr. Sabri Atman, the director of the Assyrian Genocide Research Center, Paula Devine, Mayor of the City of Glendale, Ara Najarian, Glendale City Council member and Ara Aharonian, Glendale City Council Genocide Commemoration Committee member.
Related: The Assyrian Genocide
The Turkish genocide of Christians occurred during World War One, from 1915 to 1918, and claimed the lives of 750,000 Assyrians (75%), 1.5 million Armenians, and 1 million Pontic Greeks. Turkey denies the genocide and claims the victims were casualties of war.
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Mr. Atman gave a historical view of the Assyrian genocide, and explained what happened to Assyrians, in Van, Tur Abdin, Diyarbekir, Urmia and many other places in Turkey and Iran. He started his presentation by saying "I know many of you sitting here now, have children. I would like to ask you a simple question: Imagine your son or your daughter was killed and the murderers were still rooming free. How many of you could rest and forget what happened? This is what happened in 1915 to Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks. The Turks did not just kill one person, but they killed over two million people, and they are still free and denying what they did."
A second event is scheduled for Sunday, April 23 in Montebello, California. Mr. Atman will be one of the speakers together with US Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, California State Senator Anthony Portantino, and Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorrian, as well as Fethiye Cetin, Lawyer for Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink who was assassinated in Istanbul, Turkey. It will be community wide commemoration of the Armenian and Assyrian Genocide.