2498) TUSIAD’s Report on the Armenian Bill

Turkish Industrialists` & Businessmen`s Association (TUSIAD) has released a report on an Armenian bill which was put forward at the U.S.

At the written statement of the Turkish Industrialists` & Businessmen`s Association (TUSIAD), it was expressed that a report on an Armenian bill regarding the World War I incidents, which was adopted last year by the Committee on Foreign Relations of the U.S. House of Representatives but was turned down by the general assembly, was being drawn up by researcher and specialist in law David Saltzman.

It was stated that TUSIAD’s report, "U.S. House of Representatives Resolution 106: Legal and Factual Deficiencies," was presented during a conference entitled “The Foundations of US-Turkey Relations in the 21st Century” which taken up yesterday at a Washington conference on Turkish-U.S. relations.

The preface of the report which was signed by the TUSIAD executive staff, it was expressed that TUSIAD wished to create a platform for discussing the incidents that the Armenian citizens of the Ottoman Empire had experienced in the period of the World War I.

It was stressed that the extreme political character of the disagreement and discussions on this issue effects Turkey’s relations with her closest allies and the influence area of the anti- Western reactions at the Turkish public opinion.

It was also stated in the report that some politically influential circles, academicians and most of the Armenian Diaspora organizations insist on calling the tragic incidents of the period as “genocide”, and moreover, it was noted that the insistence for recognizing genocide as a precondition for Turkey, is an obstacle in front of the discussions of the issue.

Indicating that to execute this discussion, which includes the most serious accusation against a nation in such a narrow perspective, would lead the politicizing of the issue, following were specified:

"The global public opinion is focused on this one-sided view. Political opportunism directs the parliamentarians of democratic countries and the Turkish nation to locate elsewhere. And the rejection to acknowledge facts and the failure to consider the historical background of the incidents help this view attain a continuity," the report said.
Secret or uncovered censorship is applied to the ones, who have enough information or courage to oppose the militant comment of the incidents. The researchers, who are called as “Deniers” are exposed to violence or physical assaults in some cases. The careers of these researchers are put in jeopardy by these fanatics, who prefer political gaining to enlightening the truth.
The report, "U.S. House of Representatives Resolution 106: Legal and Factual Deficiencies," said that there had never been a legal opinion that can justify the 1915 incidents as "genocide", and those who contended the allegations had never brought them before an international court.

The body text of the report says that the materials on Armenians’ relocation, on Armenians’ rebellions and on other factors of reduction of Armenian population are open public research. This pleasing development is threatened by exceedingly politicized attitudes and most of the Turkish public opinion regards these attitudes as evil-intended, unfair and hostile towards their national identity. While Turkish government opens her archives to the use of the researchers, it is not possible to reach related sources like Armenian Tashnak archives.

Pointing out in the report that under these circumstances determination of the historical truth and normalization of Armenia-Turkey relation is impossible, it was noted that the future generations will grow up with more hostility and hatred and also the two neighboring countries would not be able to benefit from the economical and human resources of each other.

The following was also noted in the report:

“As TUSIAD, we believe that a more logical method should be found for to be able to go down the core of the issue. During the confusing and agitated periods, we feel deep grief primarily for the Ottoman Armenians and also for the victims of war, violence, hunger and contagious diseases. Turks and Armenians have co-existed for almost a thousand years; they have developed a mutual history, culture and social attitudes and shared a land, which they were connected with love.

Armenian society has raised many statesmen, who served the Ottoman Empire successfully. When the relocation decision was taken Armenian origin soldiers were fighting in the Ottoman army who were defending the Gallipoli lands. We should preserve the lives, which were lost because of the tragedy, accept that the relations many of the society, which had coexisted, has now ended, and mourn for our loses. Nevertheless, while doing all these we should avoid from reading the history single sided and accusing a nation.”

The report, which expresses that TUSIAD wishes to promote initiative on creating a platform, where the issue would be discussed objectively, calm and in multi-dimensions, it was stated: “This report makes a modest contribution to a broad base discussion, and constitutes the first step of our interest to the matter. We are not historians or judges. Searching for the truth in the Armenian question, we only believe that we should oppose to an ascription, which is accepted as a historical truth by many.”

Source: Anadolu Agency-16.05.2008