14 January 2010
French to English translation
14 January 2010, by Stéphane / armenews
Monday, January 4, evening in the Hall Gulbenkian Museum Cilicia, Professor Tamer Akcam has lectured on the topic "The Armenian Genocide and Turkish National Security." The Lebanese government officials, religious representatives and politicians, academics and representatives of nongovernmental organizations were present in the general audience. . . .
Dr. Taner Akcam began his lecture by stating that "In Turkey today, any attempt to openly discuss historical facts and gestures is denounced as a movement of a secret project to divide the country and is therefore against "the national security of Turkey". This is not just the view of some political elites or some ultra-nationalist organizations. It is also a legal decision making. " Then he mentions the trial in 2007 against two Turkish-Armenian journalist Arat Dink, son of murdered journalist Hrant Dink and Sarkis Seropyan, who sentenced to one year in prison suspended for using the term genocide. Dr. Akcam said the decision of the Turkish court, "the use of the term genocide in Turkey and other countries, not favorably affects national security and national interest. The claim of genocide ... became one hand and the means of special plans to change the geographical political boundaries of Turkey .. .. And a campaign to demolish its physical structure and legal ". The decision further stated that the Republic of Turkey is under a "hostile diplomatic headquarters consisting of resolutions on genocide ... acceptance of this claim may be undertaken in the coming centuries to a question of rights of sovereignty of the Republic of Turkey on land on which it is claimed that these events happened. "
Because of these national security concerns, the court stated that claims of genocide in 1915 is not protected speech. He cited "the use of these freedoms can be limited according to goals such as protecting national security, public order, public security" (Decision of the Court, 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance Sisli district - Number: 2006/1208, Decision Number: 2007/1106, Continuation No: 2006/8617).
According to Dr. Akcam "the situation is not that different in the United States. Although the joint statement by the Congress of September 9, 1975, April 24 was declared "National Day of Remembrance" for the Armenian genocide and has been authorized and requested the President of the United States issued a proclamation from when none of Presidents of the United States, except Reagan in 1981, used the term genocide. The main reason for this attitude is "the national security concerns of the United States in the Middle East."
S'aatardant on "the national security concerns," Dr. Akcam said that "in reality there are two sets of arguments which are mounted in opposition with each other," National Security "against" morality " 'or in other phraseology "realistic" cons "moral fundamentalists. "Realists emphasize the national security concerns of their country. On the other side "fundamentalist moralists" emphasize the supremacy of morality against the "real interests".
The main argument of Professor Akcam was this that put the national interest against morality as mutually exclusive is just a mistake. "In fact I do believe is that any security policy in the Middle East that excludes morality can not ultimately be a political" realism "that Merchant and that ultimately undermines the national security. Indeed, if we know the Turkey and the Middle East, we readily acknowledge that history and historical injustices are not just matters of the dead past, the past is the present Middle East. So morality is a very real and that realpolitik is successful in the region; moral values, in this case, the specific facts and recognize the historical bad gestures must be incorporated into a national security policy. "
Dr. Akcam has pointed that "there is a strong intercommunication between security, democracy and the confrontation with history in the Middle East. A simple look at the specific area that historical injustices and the persistent denial of the injustice by one group or another state or ethnic-religious are the main stumbling block not only for the democratization of the region, but also for the establishment of stable relations between different ethnic and religious groups. " In fact, his central argument was that "a failure to confront the story is honestly one of the main reasons for insecurity and instability in the region."
In concluding his lecture Dr. Akcam said that "the question for which I struggled to find an answer is why the discussion of historical injustices, something that goes to the heart of human rights is seen as a threat to Turkish national security? I took the argument of "national security" of Turkey very seriously and tried to examine the roots of this mentality and show reasons why it should be changed. "
After Professor Akcam has made its conference was an open question session with the audience. His Holiness Aram 1 has concluded the evening by describing Dr. Taner Akcam as one of those Turkish intellectuals who had the courage to raise the issue of genocide in the middle of Holocaust denial and call for its recognition by Turkey.
His Holiness then summarized his observations into four points:
1) "The intercommunication between human rights and the concept of national security is crucial. Any attempt to create the dichotomy or polarization between the two is a moral and political heresy, "he said and stressed" the need to develop a new perception of national security with a holistic approach. "
2) Speaking of history, His Holiness said that "history deals with facts, not fiction, therefore, a subjective interpretation of objective facts, may endanger the integrity and distorts the very nature of history. We can not escape history, we can not erase from the annals of history the Armenian genocide. Turkey must come to terms with his past, accept the truth. "
3) His Holiness recalled that "the Armenian genocide is not just for the fact of Armenian history is deeply rooted in the common memory and conscience of our people. The Armenians do not learn, they are trained by it it is the inseparable part of the very texture of being Armenian. The reaction of Armenians in what is called protocols Armenia-Turkey must be seen in this structure, "said Aram 1.
4) "There must be a clear distinction between the normalization and reconciliation" by His Holiness. He said that "reconciliation is made on the basis of truth and justice." In recalling the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, His Holiness said that the Armenians are "cons reconciliation cheap real reconciliation implies acceptance of the truth and restore justice." His Holiness Aram 1 has concluded his remarks by reminding "as Christians we believe in forgiveness, but forgiveness is given when there is faith. We are still waiting for the confession of Turkey. "
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