A group of demonstrators gathered in İstanbul's Taksim square on Sunday to protest racist slogans and banners in a rally at the same location on Feb.26, marking the 20th anniversary of the Khojaly Massacre.
The group was composed of members of a number of civil society organizations and marched along İstiklal Street holding a huge banner that read: “We are marching for the brotherhood of people against racism.” The group also held banners that read “Hate is yours, humanity is ours” and “We will not allow racism.”
Protestors delivered a statement to the press in Taksim Square, criticizing the offensive slogans used during the Feb. 26 rally. Tens of thousands of Turks and Azerbaijanis took to the streets in Taksim on Feb. 26 to stage what they called “an unprecedented massive rally” marking the 20th anniversary of one of the most tragic massacres in recent history.
A group of protesters held banners and chanted racist slogans against Armenians during the rally, which organizers said cast a shadow over the peaceful nature of the event. The slogans caused much outrage among the Turkish public.
A statement released by the Turkish Interior Ministry on Wednesday said it is impossible to justify “some slogans and banners” during the rally, referring to the offensive banners. The statement added that legal proceedings have been launched to find these people and groups, adding that the İstanbul Governor's Office is working to identify these people.