YEREVAN (YERKIR)–The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) Black Sea Area Cooperation conference adjourned on June 18 in Istanbul–Turkey–the ARF Youth Office reported.
Delegates from Georgia–Russia–Ukraine–Azerbaijan–Turkey–Bulgaria–Moldova–Serbia–Sweden etc. participated in the meeting titled–"We all are Minorities."
The Armenian delegation consisted of Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) members.Karen Mnatsakanyan and Zinavor Meghryan (Armenia)–Talline Tachdjian (France) and–Khatchik Mouradian (Lebanon).
The AYF delegation members participated in the "Self-determination Right and Minorities" and "Minorities and Wars" commissions. In both commissions–the AYF delegates raised the Artsakh and Armenian genocide issues. The Artsakh issue spurred debates between the Armenian and Azeri delegates.
At the closing of the conference–in a speech on behalf of the AYF delegation–one of the Armenian youth said–"In your speeches you stressed the fact that this conference was very well organized and you thanked the hosts for that. For the AYF delegation–the success of this conference has yet another dimension. Our organization is participating in an event in Turkey for the first time–90 years after the Armenian genocide–which the Turkish government denies and falsifies to this day.
We spoke freely and openly about the Armenian genocide and they were good listeners–I would like to thank our hosts for their openness to discussion. Currently–there is a movement in Turkey that calls for challenging the official government stance on the Armenian genocide. The time has come for Turkish youth not only to be tolerant when this issue is raised–but also to join forces with that movement and help Turkey face its history. Dialogue has started but the road to reconciliation starts at the crossroads of truth."
After the speech–the delegates distributed booklets on the Armenian genocide and Turkish denial–causing the Turkish delegates to protest.
The meeting was officially closed by IUSY General Secretary Enzo Amendola.
AYF delegates returned to their countries on June 21. The delegates from Armenia will conduct a news conference on June 23 at 1 p.m.–at the Congress hotel in Yerevan.