536) UK: No Armenian Genocide Took Place

Apparently, the British government does not regard the 1915-16 incidents during the Ottoman era as "Armenian genocide."

In a letter sent by the British Foreign Ministry upon the initiatives of a UK-based Turkish institution, it is stated the incidents do not fit the category of genocide. British diplomats speaking to Zaman also confirmed this. London refutes the claims in the Blue Book (Mavi Kitap) that caused a crisis between Turkey and UK. The book, said to be "the biggest support" for the so-called Armenian genocide, claimed more than 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered during the incidents.

The Committee for the Protection of Turkish Rights (CPTR) fighting against the claims of Armenian genocide with the participation of various non-governmental organizations has reached a new point in their works. The committee has been trying to annul the unilateral "so-called genocide" decisions of the municipalities of Gwynedd and Edinburgh and has obtained a letter from the Foreign Ministry about the result of a meeting it held with top level ministry officials.

According to the letter, the evidences on the incidents "are clearly far from convincing the British government." Therefore, "the 1915-16 incidents do not fit the definition of genocide in the UN Convention on Genocide in 1948." The letter also points out "it is very hard to fully understand the incidents that took place more than 90 years ago and developed under the circumstances of the First World War," and reasserts that the official view on this issue is quite "clear".

British diplomats Zaman met in London said the 1915-16 incidents are a massacre and tragedy, but confirmed they do not have sufficient evidence to describe the incidents as genocide, according to the UN Convention on Genocide in 1948.

British sources added both the present and former governments followed the same line for the 1915-16 incidents. The fact that the British Foreign Ministry clarified its attitude about the Armenian incidents has been appreciated by the Turks.

March 11, 2006


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