According to Turkish press reports, some 500 people gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square yesterday to protest the release of a Turkish soldier who is on trial in the suspicious killing of Sevag Balikci, a Turkish-Armenian soldier, on April 24, 2011.
The protestors say that the killing of Balikci was premeditated as it came on the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
Kivanc Agaoglu, the defendant, claims that his gun accidentally went off killing the Armenian.
Around 500 demonstrators began marching toward Galatasaray Square at 7pm behind a banner that read “Militarism kills.”
Sevag Balikci’s family also attended the demonstration along with anti-war and human rights activists.
The protesters chanted slogans in Turkish, Armenian and Kurdish throughout the entire march.
“We are all Sevag, we are all Armenians,” “The murderous state will be called to account,” “Do not enlist in the military, do no spill a brother’s blood,” “Sevag, we will not forget you,” “Never to kill or die, never to become anyone’s soldier,” “Long live the brotherhood of peoples,” the demonstrators shouted.
The demonstration was organized by the Nor Zartonk initiative.