Thousands march through Los Angeles towards the Turkish Consulate to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Thousands in Los Angeles took to the streets on Friday (April 24) to march towards the Turkish consulate on the 100 year anniversary of mass killings of Armenians. Los Angeles is home to the largest population of Armenian Americans, and early estimates put the crowd participating in Friday's march at roughly 25,000 people. Many people, like Bruce Darian, expressed anger at Turkey for not acknowledging its role in the Armenian genocide. "And the continual denial of Turkey denying these atrocities and not returning the lands of Armenia, and paying reparations is really just a matter of continuing the crime. Turkey must acknowledge and pay reparations and return the lands of Armenians," said Bruce Darian, participating in the march. "We are marching for justice, to show to the whole world, that we are here - we demand our rights," said Seda Khojayan. Others expressed anger towards U.S. president Barack Obama, who, since becoming president in 2009, has not yet referred to the killings as genocide, despite making it a campaign promise during the 2008 election. "This is our history, and we need the acknowledgment. We need all the world to recognize the Armenian genocide," said Aida Babyan. "I hereby ask Mr. Obama to keep his promise." The nature and scale of the killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces during World War One remain highly contentious. While a number of countries define the massacres as genocide and while Turkey accepts that many Armenians died in partisan fighting, the Turkish government denies that up to 1.5 million were killed and that it was an act of genocide. Last year, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan made unprecedented condolences to the grandchildren of Armenians killed at the time, but the legacy remains an obstacle to reviving frozen relations between Turkey and neighboring Armenia, a small former Soviet territory.