In the Iranian capital of Teheran, citizens of Armenian extraction took to the streets on Tuesday (24 April) to celebrate their national day, and remember the estimated six hundred thousand of their countrymen who were killed by the Turks during World War One.
GV PAN DOWN Armenians gathered outside St. Sarkisse Church in Teheran
TV PAN crowds gathered around monument outside the Church
TV & CU members of choir (TWO SHOTS)
CU PAN Armenian Church leader arrives in procession at monument surrounded by wreaths (THREE SHOTS)
CU people in crowd (TWO SHOTS)
CU machine-gun badge worn by those at anniversary
TV PAN crowd at ceremony
CU poster symbolising oppression of Armenia
SV Armenian demonstrators carrying banners and chanting (TWO SHOTS)
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Background: In the Iranian capital of Teheran, citizens of Armenian extraction took to the streets on Tuesday (24 April) to celebrate their national day, and remember the estimated six hundred thousand of their countrymen who were killed by the Turks during World War One.
SYNOPSIS: The Armenians gathered outside the Church of St Sarkisse as part of their commemoration activities.
Outside the Church is a monument to those who died in 1915, when the Turkish government, distrustful of the Armenians living within its borders, resolved to move the entire population of one-and -three quarter million people to Syria and Mesopotamia. These desert regions were ill-prepared, and the move was, in fact, a death sentence. Adolf Hitler is said to have consciously emulated the Turkish concept of a "final solution" in the Nazi pogroms against ethnic minorities.
It has been estimated that six hundred thousand Armenians died or were massacred during the resettlement programme.
The Turkish government attempted to justify its actions on the grounds that the Armenians had close ties with Russia, despite their pledges of loyalty to the Turks.
Many of those who escaped settled in Syria, France or the United States. Eventually, in 1922, Armenia joined Georgia and Azerbaijan to form the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic, which became part of the USSR at the end of the year.