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If Titled 'armenian Genocide', The Resolution Would Not Pass

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  • If Titled 'armenian Genocide', The Resolution Would Not Pass

    AZG Armenian Daily #123, 06/07/2005

    Armenian Genocide


    Christoph Bergner Claims

    On June 16, the April 24 Group organized by the Central Board of Germany's
    Armenians held a dispute in Berlin to exchange thoughts on why the German
    Federal Parliament avoided the word "genocide" in its resolution. The
    lawmakers -- Christoph Bergner from CDU/CSU, Markus Meckel from SPD,
    representative of Green Party Weishuhn -- were to express their opinions.
    Views of the participants rather varied: Prof. Otto Luchterhandt, for one,
    called Bundestag's resolution "schizophrenia", pointing out at the
    difference of words "massacres" and "genocide" in the title and in the
    confirmatory part. Opposing professor, the lawmakers said that Luchterhandt
    bears no political responsibility and that makes it easy for him to
    criticize. Bergner reminded of the appeal on Armenian Genocide submitted to
    Bundestag back in 2000 and said that the main reason why it was voted down
    was due to the "genocide recognition" expression. If the resolution bore the
    heading "genocide recognition", it would not be also accepted even by
    CDU/CSU. We could pass a law condemning the Genocide but that would be of no
    avail, representative of Christian Democratic Union said adding that we aim
    at establishing mutual trust between the two states and launching a dialogue
    to improve their relations.

    The lawmakers stated that they understand that Turkey is simply gaining time
    and that they rely more on far-outer Turkish historians either in or out of
    the country. Asked whether the reason of eschewing the word "genocide" came
    because of the fear to lose votes of the Turkish electorate, deputies Meckel
    and Weishuhn gave no answer. Explaining why the Armenian Genocide issue
    appeared in the spotlight only a year ago, Christoph Bergner, head of the
    South Caucasian Faction of the Bundestag, said that he felt that a
    resolution should be adopted while visiting the region.

    Allegedly, this step was directed firstly at establishing relations with
    Armenia, secondly, many EU states have already adopted resolutions on
    Armenian Genocide and avoiding would set Germany apart. Not less important
    was the fact that the Genocide issue can be a precondition for Turkey's EU

    If the resolution of Bundestag has no force of law what can it provide? The
    vital thing, the German side thinks, is that it opens doors for Genocide to
    enter history textbooks of German Federative Republic. It must be noted
    though that the education ministries of 16 German regions are independent in
    setting their curriculums. Journalist Raffi Kandian thinks that all federal
    states will include the Armenian genocide in their history textbooks
    following the example of the State of Brandenburg. Kandian also said that
    Germany's self-condemnation in the resolution, being somewhat reserved,
    sends an appeal to its former ally Turkey to follow its example.

    Turkey is, certainly, very far from following in Germany's footsteps. In
    April of 2005, a khachkar (cross-stone) was erected in Bremen in memory of
    the victims of Armenian Genocide. Giving in to Turkish resistance, mayor of
    the town, Henning Scherf (SDU), promised to organize an Armenian-Turkish
    dialogue. On June 30, an Armenian-Turkish dispute took place at the
    initiative of the mayor with the participation of Turkish consul-general to
    Hanover, Emine Birgen Kesoglu, Ali Syoylemezoglu, Mustafa Colak and from the
    Armenian side -- Raffi Kandian and Otto Luchterhandt. The dispute proved
    that the Turks of Germany are far from revising their history. Mayor Scherf
    said in his turn that the Germans occupied their place in civilized world
    after having criticized their history.

    By Anahit Hovsepian in Germany
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