DIYARBAKIR (DIKRANAGERD), Turkey—On Saturday, November 30, an Armenian Revolutionary Federation Youth Organization delegation comprised of Sarkis Degirmenjian and Rupen Janbazian from Armenia, participated in the first youth congress of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). The congress was organized by the Youth Assembly of the BDP and was held in Diyarbakir’s Seyrantepe Sport Hall. The invitation was extended to the AYF as well as all other member youth organizations of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY).
The conference was attended by over 30,000 BDP members and supporters, as well as several representatives of socialist youth organizations from around the world. The representatives of the AYF addressed the crowd, outlining their view on a number of regional and international issues faced by both the Armenian and Kurdish people.
The speech, which was delivered first in Armenian and then in Turkish, focused on the shared history of the two peoples and how a cooperation based on mutual respect and understanding can be instrumental in today’s changing Middle East. After the address, the AYF representatives presented the BDP Youth Assembly members with a commemorative plaque.
The following day, on December 1, the AYF delegation participated in a forum organized by the BDP Youth Assembly with the representatives of all the invited organizations, during which a number of issues pertaining to socialist youth were discussed.
It is important to note that two other high-level meeting between delegations representing the ARF and the BDP were held over the past few weeks in Washington and Istanbul on October 29 and November 12 respectively. The November 29 meeting was the first time since 1923 that an official ARF delegation had visited Istanbul.
Turkey’s BDP, which was founded in 2008, has observer status in the Socialist International, and publicly urges the government of Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide.