19 March 2006
ISTANBUL - American historian Justin McCarthy has indicated that unfortunately, Armenians became a tool for killing millions of innocent Muslims who had lived in the lands of Ottoman Empire.
Different aspects of Armenian issue during and after the First World War were discussed at an international conference on ''New Approaches to Turkish-Armenian Relations'' at the Istanbul University.
McCarthy said that Armenian people caused a threat for Ottoman people because they were spies of Russia during the Russian occupation. Noting that Armenian people aided Russia during this period, he said that they contributed significantly to the losses of Ottomans and became a tool for killing millions of innocent Muslims. McCarthy added that Ottomans were right in their efforts to take under control the insurrection of Armenians.
Taking the floor at the conference, the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Sukru Elekdag has indicated that all facts showed that ''Blue Book'' was a good example of forgery and falsification. Recalling that in the meeting held on April 13th, 2005, Turkish parliament decided that Turkey and Armenia should establish a joint commission, make public their archives and results of their studies. Elekdag noted that it was a peaceful initiative, stating that Armenians should accept this initiative.
Elekdag stated that the parliament sent letters regarding the book to British House of Commons and House of Lords, asking them to apologize to Turkey for mistakes in the book. ''The book written by James Bryce and Arnold Toynbee includes 150 documents and reports. Eyewitnesses were mentioned in the book with their code names and they are not real persons,'' Elekdag stressed.
Noting that documents in ''Blue Book'' were groundless and false, he said that now Armenians only have this false book.
On the other hand, Ara Sarafian, the editor of Gomidas Institute, claimed that documents in the book could not be ignored.
Turkish History Institution Chairman Prof. Dr. Yusuf Halacoglu offered Sarafian that a joint project could be conducted. ''Let's conduct a project. What happened to Armenians in Anatolia? If there are any mass graves, we can excavate them. If such a project is conducted, many demagogical matters will be removed. We should search losses of Turks as well.''
Sarafian said that he accepted the offer.
Labels: Ara SARAFIAN