03 October 2006

1068) When it comes to accepting genocide claims, no way

French President Jacques Chirac's visit to Armenia went as expected. Despite the fact that the media reported that Chirac had placed Turkey's recognition of the genocide claims as a precondition to European Union membership, things are very different. When one reads the entire press conference, the facts become clearer. . .

Chirac does not set acceptance of the genocide claims as a precondition. He says if Turkey comes to terms with the genocide tragedy, it would relax and things will become easier for its EU process. He also displays a negative attitude towards the bill that criminalizes the denial of the Armenian genocide. He says parliament has already accepted it as fact and argues that criminalizing its denial will only create more polemics.

Actually, Chirac is between a rock and a hard place.

Elections are coming and he finds it hard to utter certain statements due to the fact that he is the first French president to visit Armenia.

No matter what he says, there is one thing our European friends need to understand, and that is the fact that Turkey will never acknowledge the genocide claims.

Turkey may be made to accept a lot of things, but nothing, not even EU membership, will make Turkey say it committed a crime like genocide.

A tragedy occurred 90 years ago. There were deaths on both sides. Our harm on the Armenians may have been more. However, we can never accept this being defined as genocide.

We know we can't act as if nothing happened in 1915, but when it comes to accepting genocide claims, no way.

Mehmet Ali Birand
Oct 2, 2006
© 2005 Dogan Daily News Inc.


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