826) You shouldn`t confuse the concepts of insult and freedom of criticism

``You shouldn`t confuse the concepts of insult and freedom of criticism,`` said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after claims of Danish radical left parliamentarian Rune Lund following the meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg.

Lund claimed that under the freedom of expression he must have the right to say that ``Turks committed genocide on Armenians, occupied Cyprus and outraged Kurds``.

Erdogan, in return, reacted strongly and said, ``you should not fail to distinguish between the concepts of insult and freedom of criticism. Danish parliamentarian claims that there is so-called Armenian genocide, but his statements must be based on scientific data.``

Erdogan stressed that Turkey proposed historians to research so-called Armenian genocide in a scientific way, but has not received a response yet.

29 June 2006, Resource : Turkish Press

Karine Asatryan

"I can curse but I won't. But I can't help saying that in 1915 the Turks massacred the Armenians and do not accept it. I can't help saying that Turkey has occupied part of Cyprus", announced Danish deputy Run Lyund after the speech of the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan who considered certain restrictions of the freedom of speech normal.

According to Erdogan, there are sacred values - national, religious and others stirring of which causes terrorism. Erdogan considered the fuss and mass rallies in connection with the caricatures of prophet Mohammad natural. According to him, there is growing tension between the West and the Islamic world.

Erdogan called on Europe to take into account the fact that 10-15% of the population of the European capitals is Turks and their rights must be respected.

Referring to the speech of Mr. Lyund, the Turkish Prime Minister mentioned that the discussion of the Armenian Genocide is neither criticism, nor offence.

But it is the concern of the historians and not the politicians. According to him, Turkey called on Armenia to discuss what took place in 1915 on the scientific level, but Armenia refused. By the way, Erdogan referred to the Jewish Holocaust mentioning that as a true Moslem he is convinced "that their God would not have allowed anything of the kind".

During the discussion of the report on "Freedom of Speech and Respect for Religion" Armenian delegate Artashes Geghamyan made speech. He reminded how the Turks destroy Armenian monuments, how the Armenian pupils in Turkey are deprived of the possibility to study the history of Armenia and the Armenian Church, and, which is most important, that Turkey keeps Armenia in a blockade.

The discussion is under way, there are still many amendments offered to be made. Nevertheless, according to delegate Yurgens from the Netherlands, if the amendments are adopted, the balance of the report will be violated.

A1+ [04:01 pm] 28 June, 2006

Erdoğan says all freedoms have a limit

‘Nobody has the right to attack religious and cultural values of societies. All freedoms have a limit. You cannot have unlimited freedoms, there has never been unlimited freedom of expression in history,’ Erdoğan says in an address to Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday that insulting a religion cannot be justified under the name of freedom of expression, apparently referring to a recent crisis over the publication of Prophet Mohammed cartoons in a number of Western newspapers.

“Nobody has the right to attack religious and cultural values of societies. All freedoms have a limit. You cannot have unlimited freedoms, there has never been unlimited freedom of expression in history,” Erdoğan said in an address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, France.

Erdoğan said the cartoon crisis revealed the need to prevent extremists from exploiting a growing polarization along religious lines.

“Islamophobia and xenophobia are gaining ground in the West. In the Muslim world, on the other hand, there is a widening perception that it is besieged and its values are under attack. The combination of these trends threatens to turn the West and the Islamic world into adversaries,” he said.

“The way we see anti-Semitism as a crime against humanity we need to see Islamophobia as a crime against humanity,” he added.

The caricatures, which include a portrayal of Prophet Mohammed wearing a bomb-shaped turban and one showing him as a knife-wielding nomad flanked by two women shrouded in black, were first published in the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten in late September; however, they sparked harsh reactions after being reprinted in other European dailies in defense of free speech. Muslims worldwide denounced the drawings. Furious anti-Danish protests spread across the Muslim world and rioters torched Danish embassies.

“Is freedom of expression unlimited? We argue freedom of expression can be restricted, and this has to be defined. All societies have certain limits in terms of their civilization and culture, they have a certain approach to religion, so we can't ignore these things,” Erdoğan said.

The prime minister called for more religious and cultural tolerance to mend what he called a deepening rift between the West and the Islamic world. Erdoğan said the future cannot be built upon fears, stressing that it was time to make the voice of common sense heard.

As the co-chairman of a U.N.-led Alliance of Civilizations initiative urging national and international action against prejudice, misperceptions and polarization between cultures and civilizations -- particularly between Islam and the West, Erdoğan also said differences between people and societies should not lead to hierarchy, adding that the Alliance of Civilizations initiative recommended in that regard a cultural pluralism model that considers differences as richness.

“If the world is determined to maintain global peace, I believe that it is a condition to form an alliance of civilizations but if it will open the way for global terrorism, then I say we'll continue to remain bystander to a clash of civilizations. I'd like to express belief once more that we'll not be alone in our efforts for an alliance of civilizations and the entire international community, especially the Council of Europe and the member countries, will gather under the roof of this goal,” he added.

Erdoğan criticizes Danish lawmaker's remarks on alleged genocide :

Erdoğan leveled harsh criticism against statements made by Rune Lund, radical leftist member of PACE who took the floor after the prime minister and claimed that he has the right in the name of freedom of expression to say, “Turks committed genocide against Armenians.”

Retaking the floor after speeches made by political groups, Erdoğan said: “The Danish deputy acknowledges the alleged Armenian genocide. What he says on this issue should be based upon scientific data, otherwise this shows his weakness.”

Erdoğan mentioned Turkey's proposal to the Armenians for research into the issue by academics and said the Turkish proposal has remained unanswered so far.

June 29, 2006


The matter of respect of religious confession and freedom of expression was discussed at the PACE summer session on June 28. According to the report of PACE Committee on Education, Science and Culture, Finnish MP Snikki Hurskae's report was heard. Following him Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke about religious record, tolerance and freedom of expression in Turkey. Then he answered questions of the MPs. Danish MP Rune Lund accused Turkey in committing the Armenian Genocide, occupying Cyprus and violating rights of Kurds. In response the Turkish PM called him «helpless man, who cannot speak basing himself on historical facts.»

Erdogan noted that he supports research of the Genocide by historians and underscored Armenian historians are invited to take part. When asked by a deputy, «why Allah admitted commitment of the genocide, Erdogan noted there is no concept of genocide in Islam and added Allah likes all people created like he does himself.»

30 June 2006,
Resource : Panarmenian


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