What ghosts of Armenia could tell us about the migrant crisis
Published 29/08/2015 | 02:30
Avenue 24 April 1915 runs through a neighbourhood of my adopted city of Marseille, where the names on many local businesses betray their Armenian origins. This district in France's second-largest city is known affectionately as 'Little Armenia'. The avenue that bisects it is named after the date when what many historians and a growing number of countries now call a genocide began in Ottoman Turkey.
An estimated 1.5 million Armenians were subsequently killed against the backdrop of World War One. The legacy of those mass killings and the forced deportations that accompanied them - which Turkey still insists was not genocide - remains a running sore in the region and beyond.
On April 24 this year, Armenia's president Serzh Sargsyan described the killing of Armenians a century ago as "unprecedented in terms of volume and ramifications" at that stage in history. "Around 1.5 million human beings were slaughtered merely for being Armenian," he said.