April 26, 2022, Brussels – The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) and Comité de Défense de la Cause Arménienne (CDCA Belgique) learnt with dismay about the act of vandalism committed on the cross stone (khachkar) dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in Brussels on April 26, 2022. The symbols and logos sprayed on the memorial cross stone suggest that this is an act committed by the Turkish neo-fascist nationalist movement, the Grey Wolves. Only two days ago, on April 24, the world commemorated the 107th anniversary of the Armenian genocide perpetrated between 1915 and 1923by the Ottoman Empire, the direct predecessor of the current Turkish state. Today, we discovered the memorial stone desecrated with insults and Grey Wolves logos.
In addition, FEAJD and CDCA Belgique recall that on April 23, on the eve of the Armenian Genocide commemoration day, the current Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, during his visit to Uruguay, brandished the “Grey Wolves” salute sign in front of a group of Armenians marching for the anniversary of the genocide. There is every reason to believe that the Grey Wolves may be state-sponsored, and it cannot be ruled out that the perpetrators of the vandalism were inspired by the Turkish foreign minister’s inappropriate behavior.
FEAJD and CDCA Belgique firmly and unequivocally condemn this heinous act of vandalism which is a clear reflection of Armenophobia and the consequence of what unpunished fascism looks like.
FEAJD and CDCA Belgique therefore urge the Belgian government and leaders of the European Union to :
- strongly and unequivocally condemn this heinous and Armenophobic act of vandalism against the memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in Brussels.
- immediately dissolve the Grey Wolves organization, which has a documented history of extremely violent actions, dissemination of violent threats and incitement to hatred against the authorities and Armenians;
- open an independent-led investigation on Turkish extremist networks in Belgium and across the EU;
- adopt a law criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide in Belgium
Impunity and denial create a breeding ground for new crimes against humanity as was the case in 2020 when Armenian native populations of Nagorno Karabakh / Artsakh suffered a large-scale military aggression by Turkey-backed Azerbaijan and Jihadist groups.
As European citizens, we believe that an ultra-nationalist and openly fascist organization such as Grey Wolves has no place in a free and democratic Europe. Therefore, we demand and expect action and justice from our leaders.
European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD)
Comité de Défense de la Cause Arménienne (CDCA Belgique)