1965 Yerevan demonstrations

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1965 Yerevan demonstrations
Medal created in Soviet Armenia. Obverse: "Eternal Memory to the Martyrs of the Holocaust" in Armenian. Dually dated 1915 and 1965. View of the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Tsitsernakaberd. Reverse: Flame in urn, 1915/1965 to upper left
Date24 April 1965
GoalsCommemoration and recognition of the Armenian genocide
Calls for annexation of Western Armenia[1]
Resulted inConstruction of Tsitsernakaberd
Lead figures

The 1965 Yerevan demonstrations took place in Yerevan, Armenia on 24 April 1965, on the 50th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. It is said that this event constitutes the first step in the struggle for the recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915.[2]

On 24 April 1965, for the first time for any such demonstration in the entire Soviet Union,[3] 100,000[4][5] protesters held a 24-hour demonstration in front of the Opera House on the 50th anniversary of the commencement of the Armenian genocide, and demanded that the Soviet Union government officially recognize the Armenian genocide committed by the Young Turks in the Ottoman Empire, and build a memorial in Armenia's capital city of Yerevan to perpetuate the memory of the victims of the Armenian genocide.

The posters said "Just solution to the Armenian question" and other nationalistic slogans concerning Western Armenia, Karabakh and Nakhichevan.

To the shouts of "our land, our lands," the major demonstration marked a substantial awakening of Armenian consciousness in Soviet Armenia. Taking into account the demonstrators' demands, the Kremlin commissioned a memorial for the genocide and the 1.5 million Armenians who perished. The memorial, located on Tsitsernakaberd hill, was completed in 1967, just in time for the 53rd anniversary of the beginning of the genocide. The building of this memorial to the fallen of the genocide was the first step in honoring important events and figures in Armenia's long history. Monuments honoring the Armenian victories in Sardarapat and Bash Abaran against the Ottoman Turks in 1918, among others, were later built one after the other.

Following the example of this demonstration[citation needed], similar protests were made throughout the world by the Armenian diaspora. Since the day of the protests, Armenians (and people from many of the former republics of the Soviet Union and all over the world as well) visit the memorial and make protests around the world to gain acceptance of the Armenian genocide by Turkey and to honor the millions of Armenian deaths during this sad period of Armenian history.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cornell, Svante E. (2001). Small nations and great powers: a study of ethnopolitical conflict in the Caucasus. Richmond: Curzon. p. 63. ISBN 9780700711628.
  2. ^ Lindy, Jacob D. (2001). Beyond invisible walls: the psychological legacy of Soviet trauma, East European therapists and their patients. New York: Brunner-Routledge. p. 192. ISBN 9781583913185.
  3. ^ Conny Mithander, John Sundholm & Maria Holmgren Troy (2007). Collective traumas: memories of war and conflict in 20th-century Europe. Bruxelles: P.I.E.P. Lang. p. 33. ISBN 9789052010687.
  4. ^ Shelley, Louise I. (1996). Policing Soviet society. New York: Routledge. p. 183. ISBN 9780415104708.
  5. ^ Beissinger, Mark R. (2002). Nationalist mobilization and the collapse of the Soviet State. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. p. 71. ISBN 9780521001489.

Further reading[edit]

  • Saparov, Arsène (2018). "Re-negotiating the Boundaries of the Permissible: The National(ist) Revival in Soviet Armenia and Moscow's Response". Europe-Asia Studies. 70 (6): 862–883. doi:10.1080/09668136.2018.1487207. S2CID 158299827.

External links[edit]