The Ankara Governor's Office on April 24 banned a panel titled "Don't Forget, Face: 1915," organized by the Ankara provincial assembly of the Peoples' Democratic Congress (HDK) to commemorate the 108th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.
Previously, far-right Victory Party leader Ümit Özdağ previously targeted the panelist; researcher and writer Kadir Akın, activist Kayuş Çalıkman Gavrilof and Green Left Party MP candidate Emirali Türkmenin, according to online news outlet Bianet.
In its statement on the issue, the governor's office used the word "so-called" when referring to the Armenian genocide. The event was deemed “inappropriate” as a threat to “peace and security, personal inviolability, safety, and public welfare.”
The Human Rights Association (İHD) Commission Against Racism and Discrimination's annual statement on the Armenian genocide, held in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square since 2005, was also banned. This year, the İHD had planned to hold the statement on the street where their building is located in Beyoğlu. However, the police prevented the rights defenders from holding the statement in the new location, forcing them to conduct it inside the association's building.
Turkey accepts that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces in World War One, but denies the killings were systematically orchestrated and constitute genocide.