10 April 2007

1597) Genocide Petition From 52 Nobel Laureates

 Elie Wiesel  - This content mirrored from TurkishArmenians http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com © pixThe U.S. Congress is in a state of anticipation…

A bill on the Armenian genocide allegations will be discussed once again after the return from the holidays. They will either vote and accept it or, most likely, postpone it until next year. Even though it is not a binding bill, just having it pass at the United States House of Representatives will encourage the parliaments of other countries and will initiate a whole new phase in the struggle against genocide allegations. . .

The Jewish lobby is the most prominent group that will affect the voting in the United States Congress. One of the most influential and infamous establishments of the Jewish lobby, which almost owns the patent of the word “genocide,” is the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. Under the direction of David L. Phillips, very well known in many circles in Turkey, this foundation, for the first time in history, has assumed an attitude regarding the Armenian genocide.

Following a balanced approach regarding the genocide as much as possible, the foundation got involved indirectly, and settled for publishing a petition signed by 52 Nobel Prize-winning scientists.

This was received with resentment by the Armenians. They accused the Jewish lobby of acting insincerely. They would have liked the lobby to say clearly “There has been a genocide and the Turks have done it.”

The fate of this last petition will be the same as others.

Most likely both Turkey and the Armenians will show their reaction against it. However, the foundation has both gotten involved in the genocide definition but also has avoided it by a small margin by making a series of interesting suggestions. While doing this, it employed a 2003 report by the NGO International Center for Transitional Justice.

According to this report, “The events between 1915 and 1918 can be defined as genocide. However, due to time out on the limitation of statute, the Turkish Republic cannot be punished due to these events.”

The report, which states the events could be described as genocide, is not a scientific study. Furthermore, when one reads the report, it becomes clear that the historical facts to come to such a conclusion have not been discussed sufficiently.

Whatever the circumstances, a petition signed by 52 Nobel prize-winning scientists will be echoed in the international public and will effect the U.S. House of Representatives one way or the other.

Even though this does not please Turkey, this petition also brings about a way to free itself of the burden that the genocide dispute has brought. It is asked that Turkey and Armenia take the following steps:

1. Open the Turkey-Armenia border. Put the agreements that acknowledge the borders and each other in application. Improve tourism and trade. 2. Encourage contacts, academic relationships, and student exchange programs among civilian societies. 3. Improve official contacts and establish diplomatic relationships. 4. Exercise principle rights. Turkey should abandon limiting elements such as Article 301. Armenians should abandon authoritarian exercises. They should conduct just and open elections, and should respect human rights. 5. Both countries should mutually try to get rid of their preconceptions.

It will be very beneficial to take heed of this petition.

I am sure Armenians would not pay much attention to it. However, the situation is different for us. If Turkey shows it regards this as a serious matter and takes the first steps, then the burden on her shoulders will be lessened.

Let's not forget that foreign policy is a game of chess.

Nobel laureates who have signed the petition:

Peter Agre, Sidney Altman, Philip W. Anderson, Kenneth J. Arrow, Richard Axel, Baruj Benacerraf, Gunter Blobel, Georges Charpak, Steven Chu, J.M. Coetzee, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Curl Jr., Robert F., Paul J. Crutzen, Frederik W. de Klerk, Johann Deisenhofer, John B. Fenn, Val Fitch, Jerome I. Friedman, Donald A. Glaser, Sheldon Glashow, Roy J. Glauber, Clive W.J. Granger, Paul Greengard, David J. Gross, Roger Guillemin, Dudley R. Herschbach, Avram Hershko, Roald Hoffman, Daniel Kahneman, Eric R. Kandel, Aaron Klug, Edwin G. Krebs, Sir Harold W. Kroto, Finn E. Kydland, Leon M. Lederman, Rudolph A. Marcus, Daniel L. McFadden, Craig C. Mello, Robert C. Merton, Marshall W. Nirenberg, Sir Paul Nurse, Douglas D. Osheroff, Martin L. Perl, John C. Polanyi, Stanley Prusiner, José Ramos-Horta, Richard J. Roberts, Wole Soyinka, Elie Wiesel, Betty Williams, Kurt Wüthrich.

April 10, 2007
Mehmet Ali Birand/TDN

Nobel Laureates call for Turkish-Armenian reconciliation
The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Huma-nity (EWF) released an appeal signed by 53 Nobel Laurates endorsing Turkish-Armenian reconciliation.

The appeal stressed on that the Genocide Conven-tion has never been applied retroactively and, therefore can not be used as the basis for reparations or territorial claims.

The appeal called on the Turkish government to end discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities and abolish Article 301 of the penal Code, which makes it a criminal offense to denigrate Turkishness. Laurates also called on Armenia to reverse its authoritarian course, allow free and fair elections, and respect human rights. Fifty-three Nobel Laureates, not including Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, who won the last Nobel prize for literature, call peoples of Turkey and Armenian for tolerance, contact and cooperation. The appeal urged civil society to advocate steps by the governments of Turkey and Armenia to overcome distrust and divisions that affect relations between the two peoples.

Laurates also urged the Turkish Govern-ment and Armenia to open the Turkish-Armenian border thereby improving economic conditions on both sides of the border and enabling human interaction, which is essential for human understanding. They called on the governments to accelerate bilateral contacts and the establishment of full diplomatic relations. They also supported practical projects between civil society representatives that address shared problems. In addition, the appeal suggested a legal approach to address the gap in national perceptions over the "Armenian genocide". It also noted that the Genocide Convention has never been applied retroactively and, therefore can not be used as the basis for reparations or territorial claims.


Organized by the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, which was established after Professor Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1986, the appeal of Nobel Laureates calls on Turks and Armenians to:

* Open the Turkish-Armenian border. An open border would greatly improve the economic conditions for communities on both sides of the border and enable human interaction, which is essential for mutual understanding. Treaties between the two countries recognize existing borders, call for unhampered travel, trade.

* Generate confidence through civil society cooperation. Turks and Armeni-ans have been working since 2001 on practical projects that offer great promise in creatively and constructively dealing with shared problems. The governments should support such efforts by, for example, sponsoring academic links between Turkish and Armenian faculty, as well as student exchanges.

* Improve official contacts. Civil society initiatives would be enhanced by the governments' decision to accelerate their bilateral contacts, devise new frameworks for consultation, and consolidate relations through additional treaty arrangements and diplomatic relations.

* Allow basic freedoms. Turkey should end discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities and abolish Article 301 of the Penal Code, which makes it a criminal offense to "denigrate Turkishness." Armenia also should reverse its own authoritarian course, allow free and fair elections, and respect human rights.

Today's Zaman İstanbul


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