843) European attitude on the Armenian claims

The European Parliament has postponed debates on a draft report on "Turkey's Progress Towards Accession" till Sept. 4. The draft report has many criticisms of Turkey, including on the Armenian issues. . . .

On the Armenian issue, the EP urged Ankara and Yerevan to continue their process of reconciliation leading to a mutually acceptable proposal and asked Turkey to take the necessary steps, without any preconditions, to establish diplomatic and good neighborly relations with Armenia and open the land border as soon as possible.

These are positive demands, even though they put all the burden of establishing good relations on Turkey's shoulders. However, the EP only "took note" of a Turkish proposal to set up a bilateral committee of experts to deal with the tragic experiences of the past. In diplomatic language, "taking note" means nothing.

Then what's the all fuss about "the Armenian genocide claims"?

Isn't that the core of the issue?

If we don't agree on whether the genocide was committed or not, what problem are we going to solve?

I think the EP doesn't want to discuss the core of the matter. They want to say in effect that "the Armenian genocide is a fact, and we don't even have to try and discuss it."

To deal with an unproven case with prejudice should not be the way to go, especially for Europeans who teach everyone how to be logical. Because they know very well that in "genocide claims" they are going to lose the case.

Personally, I accept that massacres of Armenian took place during 1915. However I also contend that these do not constitute genocide. The first controversy about the matter is defining who committed the massacres, or in their words "genocide." In Western scholarship they call the Holocaust "the Nazi genocide of the Jewish people," but they call the Armenian massacres "the Turkish genocide of Armenians." In the first example, the West blames the political party ruling the Third Reich, but in the second they blame the entire nation.

Another problem is about the term "genocide." According to the Geneva Convention, genocide requires a planned, deliberate action to completely wipe out a race. There are many European reports and documents showing that during 1915, many of the Armenian population were not subject to the forced relocation activities and in fact stayed in their towns without any harassment. I do not want to dig out all the historical aspects of the issue in this article. All I want is to point out the double standards of our European friends.

On the other hand, what the Turkish government is doing on the issue is still a problem for us. Is the European reply satisfactory for the Turkish government? If the answer is no, what are they doing?

What kind of preparations have the government made to push the issue to finding historical facts?

How about the opening of Turkish archives to foreign researchers?

I hope we can get a satisfactory reply from the government before Sept. 4.

Recep Guvelioglu
17 July 2006


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