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25 February 2018

A ceremony has been held in Bagchilar, Istanbul, to open Azerbaijan Friendship Park and Khojaly genocide memorial.

Participants in the ceremony included the Azerbaijani President`s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs Ali Hasanov, Azerbaijan`s consul general in Istanbul Masim Hajiyev, Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin, chairman of Istanbul Buyuksehir Municipality Mevlut Uysal, chairman of Bagcilar municipality Lokman Cagrici and other officials, diplomats and MPs, Turkish public figures, scientists and culture figures, local residents, NGO and media representatives.

Ali Hasanov described Khojaly genocide as one of the gravest human tragedies of the 20th century. He described the creation of the park and erection of the memorial as Turkey`s tribute to Azerbaijan`s grief. "I am confident that this memorial will become a symbol of friendship and brotherhood and represent a profound importance to nations, peoples and civilizations."

Chairman of Istanbul Buyuksehir Municipality Mevlut Uysal and chairman of Bagcilar municipality Lokman Cagrici said Turkey considers Khojaly as its own tragedy. "It is our moral debt to demand justice for this genocide and try our best so that it is never forgotten," Cagrici said.

Officials then cut the ribbon symbolizing the inauguration of the park and memorial, and planted a tree here.