Turkish communities in Australia protest NSW parliament decision

Australian Turkish communities including those of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Northern Cyprus and Central Asian republics have staged a rally in front of the NSW Parliament building in Sydney in a protest against the parliament’s official recognition of the Assyrian, Armenian and Greek genocide allegations, Azertac state news agency reported on June 18.

The motion claimed Armenians, Assyrians and Greek communities were subject to “qualitatively similar” genocides at the hands of the Ottoman Government between 1914 and 1922.

Involving more than 2,000 people, the rally started with a short visit to lay a wreath at the ANZAC Cenotaph in Martin Place.

Chanting slogans “Leave history to historians!”, “Parliament is not a court to judge!”, “Stop spread of hatred and lies”, “Protect your multiculturalism”, the participants called on the Parliament to promote peace and friendship, not the spread of hatred and lies among the multicultural Australian society.

Australian-Azerbaijani-Turkish Friendship President Imametdin Kassoumov said the main purpose of the rally was to raise awareness among the local communities and prevent the parliament from similar actions in the future.

“What we want is that all communities with different origin and ethnicity live in friendship and peace in Australia. We don’t want a decision made by the parliament based on false allegations to be presented to the future generations as historical facts to promote hatred. These things should be investigated by historians, taking into account the realities existed that time. We want the parliament to promote peace and friendship, not the spread of hatred,” he said.

The rally was organized by Australian Turkic Alliance in association with other partner organizations including Australian-Azerbaijani-Turkish Friendship Unity.