At the initiative of the Co-ordination Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF), a memorial to Soghomon Tehlirian authored by Tavit Yuzani was opened in the Soghomon Tehlirian Square in Marseille on June 23, 2018.
The opening of the memorial was attended by the Armenian Consul in Marseille Ruben Gharazyan, the prefect of the 4th and 5th districts Marin Pustolino, the representative of the chairman of the regional council Madame Campanella, members of the city council, and representatives of the Armenian community.
According to “Nor Arach”, local prefect Yves Maurin gave an introductory speech. After him spoke the young chairman of the Southern Region of CCAF Aurélie Prunet.
Aurélie Prunet touched upon the Armenian Genocide of 1915 carried out by the Ottoman Empire and the historic verdict of the Berlin court of June 1921 that recognized Tehlirian’s innocence. Soghomon Tehlirian defended the honor of his people who had suffered from humiliation for centuries. In conclusion, Prunet mentioned the countries that recognized the Armenian Genocide.
Then spoke Ashken Harutyunyan, a winner of the 2017 competition of human right defenders organized by the Cannes Memorial (Mémorial de Caen).
Prefect Yves Morin concluded the meeting, also touching upon the verdict of the Berlin court. He stressed that the verdict of the Berlin court influenced Rafael Lemkin to coin the term “genocide”, which would later serve as the legal basis of the Nuremberg Trials.
The prefect also mentioned the current situation in Turkey, noting that if people forget the past, history will certainly repeat itself. After the ceremony, a youth choir performed the national anthems of France and Armenia, as well as several revolutionary songs.