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Students remember Armenian genocide

Students from the UCLA Armenian Student Association placed red tape over their mouths as part of a silent protest, urging the United States and Turkish governments to recognize the 1.5 million deaths of Armenian people in Turkey as a genocide.

By Anaika Miller and Erin Donnelly

Feb. 1, 2013 12:50 a.m.

Members of the UCLA Armenian Student Association held a silent demonstration in front of Kerckhoff Hall on Thursday to educate students about the Armenian Genocide.

The Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire was reported to be two million in 1915, according to the Armenian National Institute.

An estimated 1.5 million were reportedly murdered in the next seven years, along with the masses that were forced out of the country, according to the New York Times.

Though the genocide occurred many years ago, it is still very relevant to many current Armenians because it is a part of their identity that has never truly been resolved, said Michael Morony, a history professor at UCLA.

The International Association of Genocide Scholars does classify the killings of Armenians at the time as a genocide, but the Turkish and United States governments do not classify the event as a genocide.

In addition to holding signs and passing out flyers, the students on Thursday wore red tape over their mouths to symbolize what they characterize as the political hurdles of getting the U.S. and Turkish governments to acknowledge the genocide.

Sevana Manukian, a second-year molecular, cell and developmental biology student, spoke of how her paternal great-grandmother survived the genocide with her brother because their mother hid them under her skirt.

Their mother was killed, but they survived.

Razmig Sarkissian, a fourth-year English student and member of the Armenian Student Association, said the students held the silent demonstration to encourage the U.S. government to recognize the deaths as a genocide, as a way to pressure the Turkish government to do the same.

Email Anaika Miller @ [email protected]
Email Erin Donnelly @ [email protected]

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