17 August 2007

1885) Re-Airing Of The PBS Program "The Armenian Genocide"

PBS is re-broadcasting "The Armenian Genocide," which was first shown around 18 months ago. Last time, Turkish Americans sent several petitions with thousands of signatures and numerous comments expressing concern that the movie presented only the Armenian version of events. . .

Supporters of the Armenian resolutions (H Res 106 and S Res 106) will use this film to encourage passage of the legislation which they favor, which will then be used to pursue restitution and repatriation.

Armenian allegations of genocide provide a one-sided view of events which happened almost a century ago. Unlike the Holocaust, the numbers, dates, facts and the context associated with this period are all contested, and objective scholars remain deeply divided. The program is rife with errors, misrepresentations, exaggerations and unsubstantiated conclusions, with other widely accepted facts and interpretations conveniently omitted.

Recognizing the strong bias in the film PBS also produced a panel discussion to accompany the program consisting of experts with a range of views on this matter. Unfortunately, as The New York Times and The Washington Post reported, PBS buckled under the pressure of Armenian American groups who disagree with open debate and oppose the panel discussion which they view as genocide denial. Two-thirds of PBS affiliates responded by not airing the discussion.

Prime Minister Erdogan made an unprecedented proposal to Armenian President Kocharian to bring together scholars and open all archives for an impartial study through the establishment of a joint historical commission, but the Armenian side rejected the proposal.

Unless and the Turkish and Armenian peoples can begin an open, honest and introspective dialogue on this matter, genuine reconciliation will not begin. The circumstances surrounding the production and broadcast of this unfortunately demonstrate that we are nowhere close to reaching a shared understanding of our common history. Stifling debate and perpetuating a unilaterally established narrative may be expedient for some, but it will not bring about the closure that is needed to lay this difficult issue to rest.

You can contact your local PBS stations through information on their website at:

PBS Wants to Hear from You! : Online Form

PBS FeedBack

Thank you



http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SFLTURKS/message/19995
Meltem Birkegren


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