Turkey continues to deny their responsibility in the crime committed against the Armenians, House President Demetris Syllouris said on Tuesday at a ceremony marking the 103rd Remembrance Day of the Armenian Genocide.
Cyprus, he said, was one of the ports-of-call for Armenian refugees, who began to arrive on the island in the late 19th century following the “intensification of the Turkish cruelty.”
The Armenian genocide is considered to have started on April 24, 1915 and to have lasted throughout WWI. Other ethnic Greeks and Assyrians that had lived in Turkey were also subjected to the same policies that forced the Armenians out and saw approximately 1,500,000 people killed.
Syllouris said that the survivors and refugees that arrived in Cyprus were made part of Cypriot society and have become a “vital part of it.”
Cyprus formally recognised the Armenian genocide in 1965, while on the 100th anniversary in 2015, parliament passed a bill to criminalise any form of denial of the genocide, Syllouris noted.
Armenian representative in parliament Varktes Mahdessian also spoke at the event, noting that Turkey continues to deny the genocide. “Turkey is not willing to pay even a cent to the survivors of the genocide or their offspring since that would mean that not only the Armenians could claim their share, but also the Greeks, the Assyrians, and maybe even the Kurds, the Cypriots, and the Alevites”.