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Turkey Escalates International Wave Of Armenian Genocide Denial

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  • 1.5 million

    German Parliament Criticizes Turkey Over Armenians

    June 16 (Bloomberg) -- Germany's lower house of parliament today approved a motion criticizing Turkey for failing to recognize that the Turkish Ottoman Empire was involved in the massacres of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in 1915.

    The extent of the massacres and deportations of Armenians is still being played down or denied by the modern Turkish government, contradicting the idea of reconciliation promoted by the European Union, according to the motion, which was submitted by all parliamentary groups. It stopped short of describing the killings as genocide.

    ``The lower house of parliament regrets that an extensive discussion of events in the then Ottoman Empire still is not possible and that academics and writers who want to look into this part of Turkish history are being prosecuted and defamed,'' the motion said.

    Turkey denies allegations that the Ottoman Empire's treatment of its Armenian subjects in 1915 was a planned genocide, arguing that an Armenian rebellion caused clashes and the resulting deaths. The European Union, with which Turkey is due to start membership talks Oct. 3, has said the dispute with Armenia clouds Turkey's bid to join.

    ``It's not possible to accept the notion of `genocide' without relying on documents and information,'' Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon today. ``We are proud of our history. Therefore we cannot stand by while this issue is being used as a political tool, as free political capital by lobby groups.''

    `Abundantly Documented'

    Turkey should take responsibility for the deaths because the evidence of genocide is ``abundantly documented,'' the Purdue University, Indiana-based International Association of Genocide Scholars said in a letter to Erdogan on April 6.

    During a visit to Turkey on May 4, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder urged the Armenian government to accept a proposal by Turkey that scholars from both countries study the genocide claims.

    More than 1 million Armenians died in massacres, on death marches through the Syrian desert or in camps, the German parliamentary motion said. Acknowledging the former injustice would help normalize the relationship between Armenia and Turkey and stabilize the Caucasus region, it said.

    The lawmakers said Turkey is showing some positive signs that it is beginning to address the issue, such as an invitation to Turks of Armenian origin by the Turkish National Assembly to talk about the crimes, an exchange of documents between Turkish and Armenian historians and Erdogan opening the first Armenian museum in Istanbul.

    Still, they criticized the cancellation by the Turkish Justice Ministry of a conference on the subject by Turkish academics that had been due to take place in May.

    The motion also expressed regret that the German government of the time didn't act to prevent the killings even though it was aware of what was happening.

    To contact the reporter on this story:
    Friederike Peters in Berlin at [email protected].
    Last Updated: June 16, 2005 10:36 EDT

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  • 1.5 million
    The cracks in the wall are widening...

    German parliament calls for Turkey to re-examine Armenian killings

    17:50 2005-06-16

    Germany's parliament on Thursday urged Turkey to examine its role in the killing of an estimated 1 million ethnic Armenians a century ago, an issue that could weigh on Ankara's hopes of joining the European Union.

    Lawmakers adopted a cross-party resolution asking the Berlin government to press Turkey to investigate the "organized expulsion and destruction of the Armenians" and foster reconciliation.

    "The motion is passed with votes from the whole house," parliamentary vice president Antje Vollmer announced after a show of hands.

    Armenia accuses Turkey of genocide in the killings as part of a 1915-23 campaign to force Armenians out of eastern Anatolia. At the time, Armenia was part of the Ottoman Empire.

    Turkey remains extremely sensitive to the issue. It denies that the killings were genocide and says the death count is inflated and that Armenians were killed or displaced along with others as the empire tried to quell civil unrest.

    The motion didn't mention Turkey's bid to join the EU, but said the Armenian issue was an example of how Turkey needs to guarantee freedom of speech - an area where Ankara has been told it must improve if it is to join the 25-nation bloc.

    German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has been one of Turkey's strongest backers in its membership bid.

    But the conservative opposition - which hopes to win elections this fall - argues that Muslim Turkey should be offered a lesser "privileged partnership."

    The German motion noted that "numerous independent historians, parliaments and international organizations" describe the killing as genocide, but stopped short of using that label itself.

    While there was no immediate reaction from Turkish officials, the country's foreign minister said in remarks released Wednesday that combating allegations of genocide was a "priority of its foreign policy."

    "We strongly challenge those countries whose parliaments have incriminated Turkey and the Turkish people of genocide," Abdullah Gul was quoted as saying on the Web site of Belgium-based Turkish magazine Anadolu. "We are questioning these countries on which criteria and factual documents do they base such decisions."

    To answer such questions, the German motion proposed the establishment of a commission of Turkish, Armenian and international historians to examine the killings. It complained that Turkish authorities were stifling debate at home.

    It said Germany had a special responsibility to bring Turks and Armenians together because the German Reich turned a blind eye to the actions of its Ottoman ally during World War I, and urged the German Foreign Ministry to release its records from the period.

    The motion said parliament was "convinced an honest historical review is needed and represents the most important basis for reconciliation."

    "This is particularly true in the framework of a European culture of remembrance which includes openly debating the dark side of each nation's history."

    STEPHEN GRAHAM, Associated Press Writer

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  • 1.5 million
    Originally posted by Hovik
    "But he will fail - despite all the millions of dollars and vast
    political capital he will expend. He'll fail - because of the powerful
    grassroots response he will face from Armenian Americans; because of
    the moral indignation of the American people as they learn more about
    how his government's values stand in stark contrast to those held
    by the vast majority of Americans; because he is finding himself
    increasingly isolated internationally as he loses his partners
    in denial, and - perhaps most importantly - because his years of
    hateful lies and deception will collapse under their own weight,"
    added Hamparian.
    Yes - he and Turkey will fail because of the utter moral bankruptcy of their position - the Armenain Genocide is fact - no amount of obstrufication can counter the great documentary evidence that indicts the Turks for commiting this great crime against humanity in the destruction of their own Armenian citizens Truth will prevail!

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  • Turkey Escalates International Wave Of Armenian Genocide Denial



    | 14:31:18 | 16-06-2005 | Politics |

    Activists from across the United States, throughout Europe, and around
    the world are streaming to the Armenian National Committee of America's
    (ANCA) website to take part in an on-line response to Turkish Prime
    Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recently unleashed international wave
    of genocide denial.

    In recent weeks, Erdogan has dramatically raised the stakes in his
    government's campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide, orchestrating
    the purchase of major media advertisements, applying intense pressure
    on foreign governments, and severely cracking down on dissidents
    within Turkey who seek to speak openly about this crime against
    humanity. Elements of this wave of denial include:

    Blocking the first-ever Armenian Genocide conference in Turkey,
    which was to have taken place in Istanbul this June.

    Spending over $1,000,000 to have Time Magazine include DVDs denying
    the Armenian Genocide in all of its editions throughout Europe,
    and placing a major genocide denial ad in the Washington Post.

    Pressing the U.S. government to withdraw the American Foreign Service
    Association's "Constructive Dissent" award to U.S. Ambassador to
    Armenia John Evans for speaking the truth about the Genocide.

    Pressuring President Bush, during their June 8th White House meeting,
    to oppose the Armenian Genocide Resolution before Congress. This
    legislation (H.Res.316) was introduced on June 14th by Congressmen
    George Radanovich (R-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Armenian Caucus
    Co-Chairmen Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), and Frank Pallone (D-NJ).

    Twisting arms at the State Department to continue to exclude any
    mention of the Armenian Genocide in the Department's official website's
    section on Armenian history.

    Imposing an effective "gag-rule," silencing any U.S. protests over
    Turkey's new Penal Code provision (Section 305) outlawing even the
    discussion of the Genocide.

    "The powerful response to our action alert reflects the seriousness
    with which Armenians worldwide are responding to Erdogan's escalation
    of his attacks on the truth, on the memories of genocide victims,
    and on the very security of Armenia," said Aram Hamparian, Executive
    Director of the ANCA.

    "But he will fail - despite all the millions of dollars and vast
    political capital he will expend. He'll fail - because of the powerful
    grassroots response he will face from Armenian Americans; because of
    the moral indignation of the American people as they learn more about
    how his government's values stand in stark contrast to those held
    by the vast majority of Americans; because he is finding himself
    increasingly isolated internationally as he loses his partners
    in denial, and - perhaps most importantly - because his years of
    hateful lies and deception will collapse under their own weight,"
    added Hamparian.