08 January 2008

2274) Deepening The Opposition by Dr. O. Firat Bas

Abstract: This article discusses probable political reasons behind the Polish Parliament’s resolution recognizing the events of 1915-23 as the Armenian genocide (2005, April 18). Additionally, claim of the Armenian genocide is presenting a tactical conception, that is, . “deepening in opposition.” Opposition can not be formulated by counter-claims, saying “You also killed my people” against those accusing you by the same way. To the contrary, it means to be similar in behavior. An actual opposition would be created by putting humanism against fanaticism – rationalism against sentimentalism – high standing language of science against an insulting manner.

Key Words: Turkey, Poland, Polish Parliament Resolution, Stefan Meller, Aleksander Kwasniewski

Öz: Bu çalismada, Polonya Parlamentosu’nun, 1915-23 olaylarini Ermeni soykirimi olarak taniyan kararinin (18 Nisan 2005) olasi siyasi nedenleri tartisilmaktadir. Diger yandan, Ermeni soykirimi tezi “karsitliginda derinlesmek” gibi bir taktik anlayis ortaya konuyor. Karsitlik, seni ayni sekilde suçlayan birisine, “Sen de benim insanlarimi öldürmüstün” diyerek olusturulamaz. Aksine, bu davranista aynilasmaktir. Gerçek bir karsitlik bagnazligin karsisina insancillik, duygunun karsisina akil, hakaretâmiz bir üslubun karsisina bilimin üstün dili çikartilarak yaratilabilir.

Anahtar Kelimeler: Türkiye, Polonya, Polonya Parlamentosu Karari, Stefan Meller, Aleksander Kwasniewski

INTRODUCTION

The Polish Parliament legislated an act recognizing the Armenian genocide, on April 18, 2005. It was exactly one year before that a monument of genocide of the Armenian Cross was opened in Krakow, on April 17, 2004 with a great uproar, although it was not heard in Turkey. This decision of the Polish parliament was naturally faced with reaction in Turkey and led a great disappointment. Additionally, historical amity between Poland and Turkey further deepened feelings of reaction and disappointment.

Friendly attitude of Turkey towards Poland in uneasy periods in its history was not certainly to the interest of Turkey – as some may argue. Considering the following instance is beneficial in this regard. On the eve of the World War II, German ambassador to Turkey Franz von Papen demanded the residence of Polish Embassy from the then President Ismet Inönü, who rejected this offer despite his cautious foreign policy designed to keep Turkey out of World War II. This rejection of von Papen’s demand for the Polish Embassy building by Inönü reflects a personal amity and friendly concerns. Yet the question remained unanswered considering why this warning came with regard to the Polish embassy rather than Czechoslovak embassy. Moreover, if we consider the fact that von Papen was ambassador of a powerful state capable of shaking the world in 1939, we can assess the greatness of risk. In conclusion, the Polish embassy in Ankara one of the few legations remained open in Europe throughout the WW II and performed utmost important activities.[1]

CHANGING POLITICAL LANDSCAPE IN POLAND AND THE RESOLUTION OF RECOGNITION OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

Some of the comments in Turkey on the resolution of the Polish parliament were about to view it as a means for internal politics in Poland. While some shared this comment at least because of high probability of this assessment, certainly some of them were aware of the fact that rate of conservative right has been increasing in Poland. This assessment was confirmed during visits of former politicians or the opposition (like former Prime Minister Marek Belka)[2]. The resolution was sponsored by a few rightist deputies through a coalition, representing conservative right. That is, the resolution was decision of the right and it seriously damaged bilateral relations between Poland and Turkey. However, high level visits of the Polish officials to Turkey succeeded the resolution which clearly displayed how Poland attaches an important place to Turkey in its foreign policy (and, as expected, to restore bilateral relations). Although these leading politicians and statesmen were representatives of the idea that sponsored the resolution in power[3], they were reluctant to assume responsibility for a resolution accepted in the previous parliament. All of them, without exception, underlined the great importance of bilateral relations, and expressed their hope that the resolution would not damage the bilateral relations. They reiterated complete support for Turkey in his endeavors to be member of the EU, yet they have not went beyond a framework could be viewed in expressions of Marek Jurek, Speaker of the Parliament of the Polish Republic who is the recent Polish statesman visited Turkey.

“Poland does not view historical events as a condition for Turkey’s accession to the EU. It is not favored affiliating this issue with the EU, as well. Yet, compliance of all countries to be members of the EU with the Copenhagen criteria is crucially important for us. The condition, which is asked all countries, of course including Turkey, within the framework of these criteria is to provide freedom of expression on history.”[4]

Yet, even these measurable statements were not free from critics by a faction in Poland. For instance, the former Polish foreign minister, who assumed many duties in foreign affairs[5] and a respected professor of history, Stefan Meller’s approach[6] during his visit to Turkey was criticized by a Polish citizen in his comment for an article titled “91st Anniversary Activities of the Armenian massacre”[7] and published on internet, as following: “Foreign Minister of the Polish Republic Stefan Meller, when he was asked…, said that the resolution of the parliament does not bound the government. Turkey has no place in Europe unless it admitted the genocide. (…) One more thing – when authorities in the capital city will decide to build a khachkar (the Armenian cross erected in memorial to the ‘genocide’). Wroclaw, Krakow, Rzeszow, Elblag have already khackars for along time; when Warsaw will have it?”

It is possible to see many comments in the same line with the comment mentioned above, in short surf in internet. Of course, such a simple search does neither provide digital data as certain as public opinion poll, nor represent common view of all Polish citizens. Yet it provides some clues to understand existence of a practical ground to appeal to the Parliament resolution on the Armenian genocide in internal politics, and a practical ground, which brought the Catholic rightist movement of Kaczynskis’[8] in Poland. A more certain digital data could be attained through polling rates of political parties that are members of the nationalist-conservative coalition. The coalition of parties[9] including Law and Justice Party, Self Defense of the Republic of Poland, League of Polish Families represents 46,2 percent of total Polish people, and one may observe gradually increasing discontent with the government among the greater parts of the Polish society. Unwillingness of Polish society towards non-western societies, the east, and particularly towards the Islamic east could be understand through some political (i.e. loss of credibility of the left; participation to a supranational organization like the EU), economic (the EU policies and occupation of labor market by cheap labor coming from the east, particularly from Ukraine which narrows the market for Polish labor), geopolitical (eternal rival, Russia), historical and socio-psychological (some complexes of superiority or inferiority that solidified in the Polish mind, deriving from certain historical experiences), and conjectural – that is valid for almost all western world – (September 11 attacks) reasons.

TRANSITION TO A NEW INTELLECTUAL GROUND: “TO DEBATE TO UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER RATHER THAN FIGHTING”[10]

By the way, we should make particular emphasis on former Polish Foreign Minister Stefan Meller. In his visit to Turkey in the last year, Meller suggested research of claims in the Armenian issue by a working committee consisting Polish and Turkish academics. As it is reported in the Turkish press, Turkey welcomed this suggestion. Abdullah Gül, the Turkish Foreign Minister said “we considered positively,” and reproached Armenia; “(…) of course, it is important what will Armenia say. We made some suggestions to them. Unfortunately they did not take a constructive stance, even they did not reply.”[11]

It seems through the statements of Meller that Poland will continue to support Turkey’s bid for the EU membership; nevertheless, this time it extended support with a new suggestion of opening to be conclusive. What he meant to say could be considered as endeavoring to improve Turkey’s image, as well. Although it is unpleasant to hear, considering the fact that claims for the Armenian ‘genocide’ though it is baseless, blemishes Turkey and the Turkish people – with a reason deriving not from its own faults – and causes a misperception in the world public and particularly in the West, his suggestion should be viewed as a ascertaining an objective case and as a good-will sign. When Meller told Poland was ready to share its experiences, he meant to share Polish experiences throughout the process of normalizing its relations with its once bloody neighbors (like Germany and Ukraine). Thus, it could be viewed as Meller called Turkish intellectuals, academics and opinion leaders for a transition of intellectual thinking to assess history and people. This indicates a new ground in which, above all, Polish intellectuals started to devise ideas, saving from the bears of history as far as possible in order to create today and tomorrows that is free of problems; and thereby led to arise of similar reactions in their counterparts (or otherwise).

Philosophical bases of this call – it may be estimated that Meller, as an historian, know it well – could be summarized as following: It is possible to appeal two approaches in understanding relations between human and history. Some argue that human is an outcome of history (with a more rough word; human is a product of history). (That is, when one claims that the Turks killed my ancestors; today, they should pay spiritual and material compensation to me for that crime, he is constructing today according to history, and, it means that because he identified himself with this construction he started to perceive himself as an outcome –product – of a far history in which he was not exist, and thereby he had no influence to affect developments.) The other approach argues that human creates history, as well, as much as history created human. Human being has a superiority to history within this conception, since solely human has an invisible power to determine the course of history, today and tomorrow, in a way or in another way (more comfortable or more problematic, more peaceful or more bloody etc.). If someone criticizes the second approach to interactions between history and human to be individualistic (and if someone argues that history could not be read by this way), it would be appropriate remind them the fact that the Turkish Republic was projected individually by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk with its all concepts and institutions.

Nevertheless, Turkey’s suggestion to Armenia to set up a joint research commission composed of historians and to open the Ottoman archives to this commission in 2005 – which was rejected by Armenia – proved that the Turkish intellectuals has already directed towards an intellectual ground that may lead conciliation, without the suggestion of Meller. It is key to this article, since on that point an actual opposition started to be constructed and be deepened that would be in favor of Turkey. Opposition cannot be formulated by counter-claims, saying “You also killed my people” against those accusing you by the same way. Opposition does not mean responding the claim that “1,5 million people killed” – an amount that objective historians also acknowledged as exaggerated – in an way measuring human as a digital data with a counter claim suggesting that number of victims is about “300.000” – undoubtedly which is based on actual numbers – in a way that is not more humanitarian than the former. To the contrary, it means to be similar in behavior. An actual opposition would be created by putting a completely opposite approach against a propaganda, which is far from science and rationalism, insulting, obsessive and reactionary (some instances of which will be dealt with below). Opposition means putting reconciliation against intransigence; reason against sentiment; high standing language of science against an insulting manner; humanism against hatred etc.. By that suggestion Turkey, unlike Armenia, captured the first hand to deepen opposition for solution of the issue, and to affect it in favor of its interests. Any progress in this way would marginalize those advocating the Armenian causes with a strict and intransigent approach, have them deepened, which would increase credibility of the Turkish part in view of international public.

We should also note that, by the way, Turkey is the only party capable of maneuvering in such a way. It seems that there is an ossified and obsessed hatred impeding reason among many proponents of the Armenian arguments – of course not all of the Armenian people and intellectuals. Indeed, only an idea without obsession may maneuver according to circumstances. However, there is no such a deep-rooted hatred in the Turkish community[12] - at least among the great majority - (in spite of ASALA terror in the 1970s and 1980s), which is an evidence weakening the genocide claims. Otherwise, there must be a deep and pervasive hatred in the communal subconscious of a nation that attempted genocide, against the other people.

THE RUSSIAN FACTOR

In this section of the article, it is attempted to explore whether the resolution of the Polish Parliament recognizing the genocide has a mean in terms of foreign policy strategy, independent of internal politics in Poland. We will appeal to an interview of the Polish TV with the former Polish President, Alexander Kwasniewski, in order to analyze this aspect of the matter. That interview has a such background: Debates on whether the Polish President should participate in the 60th anniversary celebrations of the end of World War II, to be held in Moscow, just prior to the celebrations, was prevailed in the Polish public last year, because in case of his participation there might be some problems with regard to protocol (if Poland took a back seat in the protocol). It was realized as expected and even more than it. Throughout the parade, the Polish President had sit on a back seat; and then Putin, even did not pronounced the name of Poland while he was counting states that struggled against Hitler one by one and parried Poland among the “anti-fascist forces.” Whereas Kwasniewski experiencing difficult times, Putin honored General Jaruzelski, the last president of the People’s Republic of Poland (that is the communist Poland known as the second Republic) with the medal of 60th anniversary of the victory. Kwasniewski came to TV screen to advocate his reasons to participate in celebrations in Moscow as well as some other criticized activities. It is worthy to praise the Polish democracy tradition on this issue, since two journalists’ asked questions to the president in harsh tone that it was unusual to ask a president. Kwasniewski’s self-reliance and intellectual readiness should be praised. He was not irritated with the toughest questions. He posed an impression that he had contributed intellectually to foreign policy strategy of Poland, at least he was completely masterful of that strategy which was drawn by, of course, high level officials of the foreign ministry (that may be took several years to draw, and which should be above party politics and ideologies). For instance, he advocated a principle that reason, rather than sentiments should be decisive in foreign policy making (thereby he explains why he went to Moscow), when he said; “It is necessary to be inside a reality, in order to change it.” Yet, how this reality perceived in Poland with regard to Russia? Former Polish President talked about the existence of a group of anti-Poland intellectuals in Russia. It was difficult to estimate its capability to influence public opinion and how it prevalent was. It had some publication organs and Kwasniewski had read Polish translation of a long article published in a newspaper with the same line with this group. The article was full of critics to Poland (somewhere insulting Poland) and concluded as: “we prefer those in Istanbul to make business rather than these ones (Polishes), at least they are as men!” It was the sentence that Kwasniewski attached particular importance and viewed as dangerous. He commented as: “we should prevent Russia to make business directly with Istanbul or Germany. If it will make business, it should make it with the EU as a whole. Europe should have a common policy towards Russia. We demand it, and we are working for it.”

He meant by that statement, Poland demands from the EU a common foreign policy structure. One of the leading reasons why Poland supports Turkey’s bid to the EU is the expected role of Turkey to be assumed if the EU manages to establish a common foreign policy structure, as Poland demand. Contrary to this explanation, the same strategy is also explaining the resolution of the Polish Parliament recognizing the Armenian genocide. Poland joined the EU Parliament, France, Italy, Greece, and Switzerland etc. to have a joint approach to the issue, by accepting that resolution. So, while demanding common policy towards an issue, it should also join a common policy towards another issue or situation.

Yet, there is another contradiction here, because the resolution enjoining Poland to the genocide choir of Europe[13] and world (similarizing its position particularly with the EU) was taken by a nationalist-conservative movement distressing the EU members[14] through its discordant discourse and activities with the EU. For instance, appointment of Anna Fotyga to replace Meller as foreign minister was evaluated by the “International Herald Tribune”[15] as a victory of President Lech Kaczynski, who is more nationalist and less European oriented in comparison to Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz.[16] “Poland's conservative president, Lech Kaczynski, opened a battle to wrest control of foreign policy from his prime minister on Wednesday by appointing one of his closest advisers as foreign minister.” The report, fed up by comments of many Polish and German foreign policy analysts, projected that “increasingly nationalist policies” of President that is different from Marcinkiewicz’s European oriented foreign policy and his initiatives to improve Poland’s relations with particularly Germany, would cause troubles in Poland’s relations with Germany and the EU. Some German politicians argue that “If these nationalist trends continued, Poland would have little chance of winning support inside the EU for its Eastern policy (that is EU’s enlargement to include Ukraine and Belarus).”

To sum up, the Russian factor remains to be decisive not only in Poland’s relations with Turkey, but also in many instances (i.e. the EU’s enlargement policy). Since Poland cannot change its geographical location (or unless Russia does not adopt confidence building policy towards Poland), it seems that, it will continue to be so.

TEXT ANALYSIS

Armenians had a position and role in history Poland that has a multi-ethnic society, until the late 18th century, resembling their position and role in the Ottoman history. They were successful in trade, diplomacy, and occupations necessitating intellectual competence and they were reliable people for the state. We can give an example to this analysis indicating Gregor, one of the first Polish ambassadors delegated to the Ottoman state in 15th century was an Armenian. Poland have many Armenian originated citizen some of whom came to Poland centuries before and considered there as country keeping their cultural and national distinctions, and some of whom (about 40.000) came through a second wave of immigration after 1989. It is not mistaken to say Armenian society in Poland initiated lobbying activities against Turkey, as in the United States and Europe, in the 1990s (after the end of the Cold War)[17], since the communist government in Poland before 1989, affiliated with the Soviet policies, tried to build a supra-national identity (belonging to labor) above the national identity, did not permitted such nationalist establishments with the exception of special Party politics. Armenian community in Poland, today, has got around the Armenian church cultural associations that have websites, publishing houses publishing books, articles etc. about the ‘genocide’, and is organizing exhibitions, conferences, and commemorative ceremonies for the ‘genocide’ in every April 24.

Acceptance of the resolution in the Polish Parliament recognizing the ‘genocide’ proves how these organizations influence the Polish people. They are transformed into pressure group affecting politics. It is the phenomenon, what Meller meant to say when he said “the Armenian origined politicians were influential in Parliament’s decision on this issue,”[18] or when former Speaker of the Senate praised himself stating “the Polish Parliament could have not bore on pressure of the Armenian lobby, yet he did not complied with that pressure.”[19] However, it would me a more appropriate approach to evaluate source of the power of the Armenian community in Poland as it is not derived from itself, rather from its’ being part of the Armenian Diaspora that have political and economic power, probably even beyond Armenia, in all over the world.

Statements of the Armenian arguments in Polish is based on certain texts; an analysis of the discourse of that statements independent of its meaning (so, it is the business of historians what they mean) indicates that these statements have a style to disadvantage of Turkey, moreover there is a stylistic entrapment for Turkey. These texts are heavily involves Christian ideology and consciously aims at building an emotional subtext raising supporter. However, it is not necessary to appeal an emotional address to tell a fact like shining of the sun from the east in every morning. Then, what is the mean of that subtext numerously referring “Christian suffering”? Whether are the claims of Armenian massacre not real as objectively as the shining of sun, or has it some obscure points to be overcome by faith?

“Call on Poles and Armenians”[20] of the Armenian Organization Committee to arrange various commemoration activities in 2005 announces that “Armenians will celebrate anniversaries of two important events” in the 1455th year of born of Armenians, and in the 2005th year of born of Jesus. The former is the date, St. Mesrops Mashtots invented the Armenian alphabet; after then “the Bible and the writings of Church Fathers were translated into “Grabar”, the old Armenian language.” That is, with the exception of holy books, everything realized with that alphabet is less important, which deepens meaning of succeeding paragraph. “The latter of them is the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide by the Turkish government. At the end of that crimes against humanity which was started in April 24, 1915, 1.5 million defenseless Armenians, 4.000 of whom was bishops and pastors of the Armenian traditional Catholic Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church, were killed.” Author of these statements absolutely knows how the crime against humanity is significant whoever the victim, yet he was also aware how the front will widen when he started his statement as “Christians were massacred, bishops were killed” (thereby putting the case in the context of clashes of civilizations, and wars of religion). He also knows such kind of statements would provoke an emotional reaction surpassing the reason in a heavily Catholic community as in Poland (who is also increasingly becoming conservative as mentioned above).

He knows more. He tries to appeal psychological repression as an effective instrument through presenting the case as if it is a problem of faith, a problem of all Christian communities to which every Christian should unconditionally oppose by writing the Armenian Genocide Monument in Krakow was opened “despite an attacking campaign against the Armenian community (…) initiated by Jan Truszczynski, Undersecretary of the Polish Foreign Ministry, and despite hesitant stances of Jacek Majchrowski, Mayor of Krakow, Governor Jerzy Adamik, and Janusz Sepiol, Speaker of the Assembly of Malopolskie Province.” The final blow came through praising the Polish Pope who has a very remarkable place in Polish view as well as his being spiritual leader of all catholic world. Pope Jean Paul II (that is, he is the Pope that Turks tried to assassinate) was presented by gratitude of the Polish Armenian community, because he had visited the Armenian Genocide Monument in Yerevan, and signed a declaration with Katolikos Garegin II, proclaiming that the Armenian Deportation of 1915 was the first genocide of the 20th century in 2001.

Another text written against “the Turkish barbarity”[21] made references to deeps of the religious and national subconscious of the Polish people. It highlighted that Armenia “is the first country to officially recognize Christianity and carried out the first fighting to defend it” and stated that Armenia “remained loyal to its faith for centuries” standing against the pressure of barbarian Islamic communities throughout history as “an island in the ocean of Islam.” It also quoted from writings of Anatol France, French author, in 1915: “Reason behind the murder of Armenia is its being sister of Europe in Asia; however Europe denies that sisterhood and washing its dirty hands.” All of them could be attributed a subtext to be tied with the myth of “Jesus of Peoples” that was adapted by national poet of Poland, Adam Mickiewicz (when Poland was under captivity) from suffering of Jesus on the cross for the forgiveness of sins of humanity, which could be summarized as: the Armenian people was, also, on the cross for the continuance of Christianity, as the Polish people on the cross for the forgiveness of imperialist European states.

Another argument that is appealed by such kind of texts that demand ensuring justice, reveal of the facts, and bear sufferings of Armenia people on mind, is Hitler’s statement prior to his attack on Poland: “kill women, and olds mercilessly – Hitler ordered – who remember the Armenian massacre today?” However, Hitler is not a good reference point. It should be remembered that, as history clearly proved, he was mistaken in his thoughts. That is why, those exercising history today, would remark surpassing Hitler being aware of the fact that his remarks would be remembered at least for 67 years. That text was certainly written with that concern.

The texts that were analyzed above indicate that Turkey has disadvantages to advocate her causes, since the Turks would not talk to the Polish people with a language appealing common symbols as close as Armenians. However, there are some advantages, as well, for Turkey, because they necessitate creating stylistic opposition. So, these texts mainly aimed at construction of new texts outside, complementary to their arguments to support their cause (as well as aimed at molding public opinion inside). In a simple way, an accusation like “you killed our bishops” needs a response like “you had already killed our people.” Such a complementary is not beneficial neither for solution of the issue, nor for Turkey and Armenia, even for the entire world. It indicates that Hitler’s world could not be passed over.

CONCLUSION

This article is written to address reasons behind the resolution of the Polish Parliament recognizing the Armenian genocide. However, probably it has modestly passed its limits, and focused on a tactical conception could be summed up as deepening in opposition to the Armenian claims, or creating an opposite approach. Such a new approach would increase credibility of the Turkish arguments. In order to draw attention of everyone to that new approach, it welcomed suggestion of former Polish Foreign Minister to establish a joint commission, and the idea of conducting joint research with voluntary researchers from all over the world.

A well-known philosophical argument turn towards elements that is complementary and similar to each other. So, a claim like “you killed our bishops” needs to be complemented with another accusation like “you had already killed our imams.” It is uneasy to estimate, to what extend a change in approach would attract similar elements in other side, Armenia and even in the Armenian diaspora, that is, intellectuals who does not indulge in propaganda approach and aimed at revealing only the facts. Only such kind of complementary and joint research would provide the level in which those texts are saved from ideology. Thus, for instance, such an approach may provide us with an opportunity to reach many data and document in Russian archives, which were assumed very important for the arguments of Turkey. Additionally, stepping together to a new goal means experiencing a new history. Nevertheless, history is made by human as far as human is an outcome of history; and secret power to materialize a better history (at least better than Hitler realized) lies here.


[1] Piotr Nykiel, Katarzyna Biernat and Osman Firat Bas, (eds.), Lehistan’dan Bugünkü Polonya’ya [From Lehistan to Poland Today], Ankara: Embassy of Poland, 2003, p.18.
[2] Marek Belka, professor of economics, paid a one-day visit to Turkey throughout his efforts to raise support for his candidacy for the general secretariat of OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), at the end of his premiership on October 25, 2005
[3] In a news report after the pass of the resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide in the Polish Parliament, the Armenian Committee “presents its gratitude and thanks to those including Kazimierz Ujazdowski, Speaker of the Parliament, and deputies Marek Jurek and Zbigniew Ziobro who contributed to pass of the Parliament resolution.” Ujazdowski is among the leading figures of Kaczynski twins’ party (Law and Justice) heading the rightist coalition in power today, and is Minister of Culture and National Heritage. (He paid his first official visit to Turkey after he become minister, for a cultural activity, on December 25, 2005.) Marek Jurek is, now, Speaker of the Parliament and Zbigniew Ziobro is Minister of Justice, in the cabinet.
[4] Quoted in Erhan Akdemir’s interview with him, http://www.abhaber.com/haber_sayfasi.asp?id=12523. The Parliament Speaker visited Turkey on July 5-8, 2006
[5] Professor managed a key legation for Poland as ambassador to Moscow. He had so distinguished place as an experienced person coming from the bureaucracy of the foreign ministry and with a good reputation that he was appointed to Marczynkiewicz cabinet in spite of he was outside politics. When A. Lepper (Head of Self-Defense Party), who has an extreme nationalist and populist discourse, involved in the cabinet as minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Meller resigned from his position in the cabinet declaring that he could not be in the same cabinet with a person like him, on April 28, 2005.
[6] Meller stated: "It is aimed at commemorating the misery of thousands of people in the last century by the resolution. It is the resolution of parliament, not the official position of our government.” Ferai Tinç, “Polonyali bakandan, Ermeni sorunu girisimi” [the Armenian question initiative of the Polish Minister], Hürriyet, 14.04.2006. In this essay, Tinç published excerpts from her interview with the minister.
[7] This comment was published in a Polish news site in April 24, 2004, in http://wiadomosci.wp.pl. It is also published in internet “Gazeta” of the Polish diaspora in Toronto, Canada, www.gazetagazeta.com. It is written by Michal Tyrpa, president of the foundation of Paradis Judaeroum (Paradise of Jews)
[8] President Lech Kaczynski and his twin Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the Prime Minister
[9] Voting rates of these parties are as following: Law and Justice Party 26,9 per cent, Self-Defense 11,4 percent, League of Polish Families 7,9 percent.
[10] An excerption from statements of Meller. F. Tinç, “Polonyali bakandan (...)” [The Polish Minister …], “Hürriyet”, 14.04.2006. “My dream, as an historian, is to debate this issue with The Armenian and Turkish historians drinking raki and wine. To debate to understand each other rather than fighting. I believe in our bitter and difficult experiences with Germans after the WW II would beneficial. We also experienced meetings in which we discussed our hardly issues with the German and Ukrainian historians. In every meeting, initially blood was mentioned, and then sufferings; yet as far as we debated we approached to realities.”
[11] Deger Akal, “Özel-Polonya'dan Türkiye ve Ermenistan arasinda arabuluculuk önerisi” [Exclusive: Polish suggestion for intermediation between Turkey and Armenia], AB Haber, 02.05.2006: http://www.abhaber.com/ haber_sayfasi.asp?id=11343.
[12] Murat Belge mentioned on conclusions of of a polling conducted in Armenia by Kevork Bogosyan, and in Turkey by Ferhat Kentel for TESEV, in his column titled “Turkish-Armenian polling,” in Radikal, 29.03.2005. So, “(…) one may conclude that gravity of prejudice is intensified among the Armenians. For instance, when they asked what kind of idea did the have about the “other,” rate of the Turks who said “negative” was about 30.8 percent, “very negative” was 6.6 percent. The rate for answers to the same question were 47. 2 percent, and 27.8 percent respectively.
[13] It should be bear in mind that the Russian Duma has also recognized the genocide. It will be more appropriate to understand reasons behind the resolution should be viewed in special alliance relationship between Armenia and Russia.
[14] About the time this article written, Kaczynski brothers “Shakened Brussels initiating a campaign to reinvigorate death penalty in whole Europe.” The EU Commission reacted as “It is reactive. Do not mind it!” “Hürriyet”, 5 August 2006.
[15] Judy Dempsey, “International Herald Tribune”, 11.05.2006
[16] Marcinkiewicz, resigned his post in on July 8, 2006. Jaroslaw Kaczynski, twin of President, succeeded him. J. Kaczynski was appointed as Prime Minister on July 10, 2006. Marcinkiewicz is, now, mayor of Warsaw, the capital city, since July 20, 2006.
[17] Actually, efforts of the Armenian lobby started to be conclusive after the end of the Cold War in the Western bloc, as well. Initially, the European Parliament decided to recognize the genocide in 1987, and then it was succeed by many parliaments of the member states. It could be explained by decreasing strategic importance of Turkey in the NATO after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
[18] F. Tinç, “Polonyali bakandan (...)”, “Hürriyet”, 14.04.2006.
[19] Speaker of the 5th Polish Senate Prof. Dr. Longin Hieronim Pastusiak visited Istanbul during the Polonezköy “Cherry Festival” on May 20, 2005 and met with Ismail Alptekin, Deputy Speaker of the TGNA.
[20] Taken from the URL: http://www.albert.krakow.pl/ormianie/apel.htm
[21] Taken from the URL: http://www.przk.pl/archiwum.php
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Dr. O. Firat Bas*
* Doctorate of Polish Language - polska@ttnet.net.tr
- Review of ARMENIAN STUDIES, Number 11-12, Volume 4 - 2007