|1965 Yerevan demonstrations|
|Date||24 April 1965|
|Goals||Commemoration and recognition of the Armenian genocide|
Calls for annexation of Western Armenia
|Resulted in||Construction of Tsitsernakaberd|
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.
On 24 April 1965, for the first time for any such demonstration in the entire Soviet Union, 100,000 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.
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, 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.
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