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Turkey's Erdogan Denies Armenian Genocide

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  • Turkey's Erdogan Denies Armenian Genocide

    Turkey's Erdogan Denies Armenian Genocide

    (dpa, Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday criticized parliamentary resolutions by European states honoring up to 1.5 million Christian Armenians who died or were killed in massacres and deportations by Ottoman Turks during 1915-23.

    Speaking at the Council of Europe Summit in Warsaw, Erdogan termed the killings the "so-called Armenian genocide" and said current discussions amounted to "lobbying" which Turkey would not support.

    "We say that we do not appreciate any lobbying efforts that do not find their basis in documents," he said, speaking through an interpreter. "By taking action in other parliaments, this will not have positive effects on the issue."

    But the Turkish leader also declared his country was prepared to open its archives and called on Armenia and other states to do the same to review the events of 90 years ago.

    "We opened our archives, one million classified documents. We ask Armenia to open its archives and we ask other countries to contribute too... If there are decisions to be taken after that, they will be taken. But not on the basis of lobbying and parliamentary decisions based on such lobbying," he said.

    Armenian President Robert Kocharian, who also attended the summit, called Monday for the 1915-23 killings to be recognized as genocide. Turkish media said Erdogan had cancelled a planned meeting in Warsaw with Kocharian, which had been designed to underline Turkey's desire for better ties with Armenia, as a protest against the reference to the genocide issue.

    While Armenia and most historians say between 1.2 and 1.5 million ethnic Armenians were died or were killed by Muslim Turks in a bloody wave of deportations and massacres, Turkey says there were no more than 300,000 dead and that the deaths were not deliberately planned or desired.

    Turkey insists the events are being used as a black mark against its bid for European Union (EU) membership. Ankara is due to start membership negotiations with the bloc in October but EU officials caution that talks could last some 15 years.

    A number of European parliaments have adopted resolutions honoring Armenian victims and which mainly define the killings as genocide including Greece, France, Sweden, Italy, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Poland and Cyprus.

    Germany's parliament plans to adopt a resolution by this summer but a draft text expressly leaves out the word "genocide." German sponsors say they do not want to make life more difficult for those in Turkey seeking an open discussion of the Armenian question.


    [CENTER][I][COLOR="Red"][B]"We must remind the Turkish Government that when they had Sultan Abdul Hamid, we had Andranik Pasha, Serob Aghbyur, and Gevorg Chaush. When they had Taleat pasha, we had Soghomon Tehleryan. New Hrants will be born, and our struggle will go on.” [/B][/COLOR][/I][/CENTER]

    [COLOR="Black"][CENTER][B]"Hrant Dink's murder is tragic proof that the Turkish government - through its campaign of denial, threats and intimidation against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide - continues to fuel the same hatred and intolerance that initially led to this crime against humanity more than 90 years ago."[/B][/CENTER][/COLOR]

  • #2
    Greek Church Head Urges Turkey to Acknowledge Armenian Genocide

    08.06.2006 14:08 GMT+04:00
    /PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Archbishop of Athens and Primate of the Church of Greece Christodoulos affirmed the need for Turkey to recognize the Genocide of Armenian and Greek Christians in Turkey during a press conference in the World Council of Churches on the last day of his official visit in Switzerland, reports the Representation of the Church of Greece to the EU. Invited to comment on the accession process of Turkey to the European Union and the issue of the Genocide of Armenian Christians in Turkey the Archbishop noted, «If modern Turks cannot be held responsible for the terrible acts of the past, it is for them a moral duty of honor to recognize the seriousness of these crimes». It should be noted that millions of Christians of Armenian and Greek heritage have been massacred in the last years of the Ottoman Empire. The recognition of these genocides is seen by many sides within the European Union as an indispensable condition of moral character for the eventual accession of Turkey in the European Union.
    "All truth passes through three stages:
    First, it is ridiculed;
    Second, it is violently opposed; and
    Third, it is accepted as self-evident."

    Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)