FRANCE URGES TURKEY TO RECOGNIZE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:07 AM
Well, I didn’t feel happy even not honored, as it’s obvious the personal gains for such games!
And what was driving me crazy, the way they were talking about the issue, by putting the reality of the Genocide under suspect, thinking about respecting the liberty of expression, as if it’s a theory!!!!!
Anyhow, we keep concentrating ALL of our power and time on such issues, related to the other countries, their acceptance, their laws regarding our painful past! Which may change nothing for our FUTURE… no one will give us any land, nor money! And the current pressure on Turkey is for their own interior and exterior politics, not for the sake of the Armenians…
We must think more about our REAL future, about our country, which is becoming more miserable daily, few personalities who represent whole the government are crashing over the people! No more Armenians will be there within few more years!!!
We have many pressures to do, so much to ask our own government, to build a real country, a strong one, and not a one for SALE!!!
Apricots, pomegranates, duduk, dhol, kochari… the nostalgie by the vernisage is sooo sweet, but those tiny details won’t make our country REAL… few colorful songs and some souvenirs are just superficial, the cute mask of a hidden chaos…
ALL WE NEED IS A REAL FUTURE… let’s first keep this small part of our land… the successful big projects start by the smallest real steps…
The easiest way is to escape from our painful reality of today, and go beg on the others’ door, looking back in the past… It’s good to keep asking for JUSTICE, but it must not be our ONLY HOPE!
Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:46 AM
Վաղ առավոտից Հայաստանում Ֆրանսիայի դեսպանատան առաջ մարդիկ ծաղիկներ էին տեղադրում` դրանով իրենց շնորհակալությունը հայտնելով երեկ` հունվարի 23-ին, Ֆրանսիայի Սենատում ցեղասպանությունների ժխտումը քրեականացնող օրինագծի ընդունման առթիվ: Այս մասին հայտնեց NEWS.am-ի թղթակիցը: Իրենց երախտիքը հայտնելու էին եկել բազմաթիվ երիտասարդներ, այդ թվում` ՀՀԿ երիտասարդական թեւի ներկայացուցիչները, «Միասին» երիտասարդական շարժման անդամները:
Ներկաները ֆրանսերենով վանկարկում էին «մերսի» բառը, ինչպես նաեւ պաստառների վրա գրված էին «Կեցցե Ֆրանսիան», «Շնորհակալ ենք Ֆրանսիային», «Ֆրանսիան մեր բարեկամն է» եւ այլ արտահայտություններ: Ծածանվում էին Հայաստանի եւ Լեռնային Ղարաբաղի դրոշները:
Հավաքվածները դեսպանատան փոստարկղ էին գցում նամակներ, որոնցում անհատական շնորհակալություն էին հայտնում Ֆրանսիային: ՀՀԿ-ական երիտասարդները մոմեր էին վառել:
Հայաստանում Ֆրանսիայի դեսպանը Անրի Ռենոն դուրս եկավ հավաքվածների մոտ, նրան ընդառաջ եկավ սեւազգեստ մի տարեց կին, որն արցունքներն աչքերին` շնորհակալություն հայտնեց եւ գրկախառնվեց դեսպանի հետ: Անրի Ռենոն, իր հերթին, շնորհակալություն հայտնեց հավաքվածներին նման ուշադրության համար եւ պատմական ակնարկ ներկայացրեց օրինագծի անցած ճանապարհի վերաբերյալ:
Դեսպանի գալն ու հեռանալը ուղեկցվում էին շնորհակալական խոսքերով: Քիչ անց հավաքվածներին միացավ նաեւ ՀՅԴ-ի երիտասարդական թեւը, որոնք նույնպես շնորհակալական խոսք հայտնեցին Ֆրանսիային` շեշտելով օրինագծի ընդունման գործում Հայ դատի ներդրումը: Երիտասարդ դաշնակցականները իրենց հետ բերել էին ոչ միայն իրենց կուսակցության, Հայաստանի դրոշները, այլեւ Ֆրանսիայի դրոշը եւ օրինագծի հեղինակ Վալերի Բուայեի լուսանկարը: Հավաքավածները շեշտեցին, որ նման միջոցառումները ցույց են տալիս աշխարհին, որ մենք միասնական ենք ցեղասպանության ճանաչման գործում եւ սա կարող է ազդակ լինել մյուս երկրներին` ընդունելու Ցեղասպանությունը:
Հիշեցնենք, որ Ֆրանսիայի Սենատը մոտ ութ ժամ տեւած ծանր քննարկումներից հետո 127 կողմ եւ 86 դեմ ձայներով ընդունեց ցեղասպանությունների ժխտումը քրեականացնող օրինագիծը: Նշենք, որ դեկտեմբերի 22-ին Ֆրանսիայի Ազգային ժողովը ընդունել էր օրինագիծը: Ըստ կանոնակարգի՝ Ֆրանսիայի նախագահը 15-օրյա ժամկետում կհաստատի այն: Նա իրավունք ունի նշված ժամկետում նաեւ խնդրել խորհրդարանին վերանայել օրենքը, կամ դրա առանձին կետեր: Օրենքի նախագիծը ներկայացրել էր իշխող «Միություն հանուն ժողովրդական շարժման» (UMP) կուսակցության անդամ Վալերի Բուայեն: Նրա ներկայացրած օրինագիծը պաշտպանել էին Ֆրանսիայի Ազգային Ժողովի պատգամավորների մեծ մասը: Օրենքը ցեղասպանությունների մերժման դեպքում նախատեսում է տուգանք 45 հազար եվրո, եւ մեկ տարի ազատազրկում: Հիշեցնենք, որ Ֆրանսիան օրենքով ճանաչել է երկու ցեղասպանություն՝ Հայոց ցեղասպանությունն ու Հոլոքոստը: Թուրքիան մինչեւ օրինագծի քննարկումը բազմաթիվ սպառնալիքներ էր տեղացել Ֆրանսիայի հասցեին, իսկ Ֆրանսիայում ապրող թուրքերի հիմնական թիրախը դարձել էր օրինագծի հեղինակ Վալերի Բուայեն, ում սպառնացել էին սպանել:
Posted 24 January 2012 - 11:48 AM
Հունվար 24, 2012 | 16:06
Հայաստանի նախագահ Սերժ Սարգսյանն այսօր` հունվարի 24-ին, նամակ է հղել Ֆրանսիայի նախագահ Նիկոլա Սարկոզիին՝ Ֆրանսիայի խորհրդարանի վերին պալատի՝ Սենատի կողմից ցեղասպանությունների ժխտումը քրեականացնելու մասին օրինագծի ընդունման կապակցությամբ:
Նամակում, մասնավորապես, ասված է.
«Մեծարգո՛ պարոն նախագահ,
Այսօր Ֆրանսիան վերստին ապացուցեց իր մեծությունն ու ուժը, իր նվիրվածությունը համամարդկային արժեքներին:
Այսօր բացառիկ օր է բոլոր նրանց համար, ովքեր պայքարում են մարդու իրավունքների պաշտպանության եւ մարդկության դեմ ոճիրների դատապարտման ու կանխարգելման համար:
Այսօր պատմական օր է աշխարհի բոլոր հայերի համար` ինչպես Հայաստանում, այնպես էլ Ֆրանսիայում եւ ամենուր:
Վերջապես, այս օրն անմոռանալի է եւ ոսկե տառերով կգրվի հայ եւ ֆրանսիացի ժողովուրդների բարեկամության դարավոր պատմության մեջ:
Մեծարգո՛ պարոն նախագահ,
Շնորհակալ եմ Ձեր անձնական հանձնառության, Ձեր անգնահատելի ավանդի համար, առանց որի անհնարին կլիներ ցեղասպանությունների ժխտումը դատապարտող օրենքի ընդունումը: Երախտագիտության իմ խոսքն եմ ուղղում Ձեզ` մաղթելով նորանոր հաջողություններ` հանուն Ֆրանսիայի եւ ֆրանսիացի ժողովրդի լավագույն ապագայի:
Ընդունեք խնդրեմ, մեծարգո՛ պարոն նախագահ, խորին հարգանքներիս հավաստիքը»:
<br style="font-family: 'Arian AMU', 'Arial AMU', 'Arial Unicode', 'Tahoma Armenian', Sylfaen, sans-serif; line-height: 14px; ">
Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:03 PM
16:29, January 24, 2012
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has labeled the French Senate vote to criminalize the denial of the 1915 Genocide as "racist and discriminatory."
Erdogan urged the 86 French Senators who voted against the bill to appeal the decision at the country's highest court. The court has the power to block the bill if it considers it unconstitutional.
The Turkish Prime Minister added that if the law is ratified then Turkey will adopt further sanctions against France.
Ankara has already cancelled all economic, political and military meetings between the two countries, according to euronews.
Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:06 PM
Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:06 PM
13:03, January 24, 2012
The following is the official Turkish response to last night's passage of a genocide denial bill in the French Senate. It appeared in today's Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
The law proposal presented by deputies of the governing Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), aiming to penalize in France any challenge to genocide allegations regarding the events of 1915 was adopted by a vote in the General Assembly of the Senate today (23 January). We strongly condemn this decision, which is problematic in every aspect and constitutes an example of irresponsibility, and declare that we will express our reaction against it in every platform.
A similar law proposal was rejected earlier by the General Assembly of the Senate on 4 May 2011 by 196 votes against 74, in line with the opinion of the Commission of Laws of the Senate which had concluded that the proposed law was in breach of the Constitution. Although the Commission of Laws of the Senate once again concluded that the latest proposal was in breach of the Constitution, the Senate adopted it. Since there has not been a change in the substance of the matter in the meantime, this development is a blatant indication of how such a sensitive issue can be exploited for domestic political purposes in France. This has been an entirely unfortunate step for French politics. Politicization of the understanding of justice and history through other people's past and damaging freedom of expression in a tactless manner are first and foremost a loss for France.
It is obvious that the interpretation of historical events cannot be determined by the attitude of French politicians who see in themselves the right to judge other nations on the basis of one-sided views and declare a judgment on a serious allegation of crime such as genocide, thereby ignoring the principles of international law. In fact, no Parliament has such a right or such a competence. The decision in question goes further and delivers a blow against the freedom of expression and scholarly research. At a period when we need positive examples for the dissemination of universal values throughout the world, it is disconcerting to see narrow political calculations producing such a result even in a country which plays a role in the advancement of such values and which takes pride in rule of law.
It is further unfortunate that the historical and multi-dimensional relations between the Republic of Turkey and France have been sacrificed to considerations of political agenda in spite of all our initiatives and warnings, as well as the opinions of prominent French institutions and jurists. It is quite clear where the responsibility for this lies.
The circles which consider that Turkey has overreacted on this matter or think that its reaction will only remain in words neither comprehend the essence of the matter, nor understand Turkey and the Turkish people. We find it useful to remind all parties that, in case of the completion of the finalization process for the law, we will
not hesitate to implement, as we deem appropriate, the measures that we have considered in advance. Similarly, it must be also known that we will continue to strongly use our right to defend ourselves on a legitimate basis against unfair allegations. No one should doubt our Government's principled approach in this issue.
On the other hand, we share the calls for common sense of those who, during this process, have admitted the error being committed in French politics, appealed to return from this error and opposed to damaging relations with Turkey in such a tactless manner.
It is clear that all avenues need to be explored for the finalization of the present process in a way which will avoid this being recorded as part of France's political, legal and moral mistakes.
Turkey is determined to take every step required against this unjust action, which disregards basic human values and public conscience.
Posted 24 January 2012 - 12:07 PM
Foreign Minister Nalbandian Thanks France for Genocide Bill Passage
11:10, January 24, 2012
RA Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said that yesterday’s decision by France’s Senate to pass the genocide bill is the logical continuation of the law recognizing the Armenian Genocide adopted by France in 2001.
“This day will be written in gold not only in the history of friendship between the Armenian and French peoples, but also in the annals of the history of the protection of human rights worldwide, and will further consolidate the existing mechanisms of prevention of crimes against humanity. France re-affirmed its pivotal role as a genuine defender of universal human values,” FM Nalbandian stated
Nalbandian then conveyed his government’s thanks to the President of the French Republic, the Senate, the National Assembly, the Government and the friendly people of France.
Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:55 AM
January 21, 2012 | 03:49
Armenian News-NEWS.am publishes an extract from the interview of the
Turkish sociologist and historian Taner Akcam in the French blog of
In response to the question what he thinks of France and the bill
criminalizing denial of genocides and, in particular, the Armenian
Genocide, he said that the bill was accepted in Turkey very negatively,
as it was a short term effect, while the long term effects will be
more positive. Turkey may try to prohibit and force to keep silent
on the truth within its borders, while the international agencies
will constantly remind it of the issue, which Turkey must face and
Besides, the French initiative is not a law for France. To the joy
and sorrow, it has become a part of the international campaign for
the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Turkey's hysteria, anger and negative events will soon be forgotten,
while heavy reality of the serious indecisiveness of the issue will
remain. It will, hence, strengthen positions of those who ascertain
confrontation with the historical memory is closely linked with the
creation of a democratic society in Turkey.
Regardless of France's final goal, Turkish society and elite are again
claimed the necessity to make a decision on the fundamental issue.
As for it is effectiveness, he said that everyone should acknowledge
the fact. Turkey is irritated by being reminded of its memory. The
memory, like a ghost, pursues it for decades.
"I have been discussing the Armenian Genocide issue for many years
and the truth is that I felt alone. I even had to explain my closest
relatives the meaning of the 1915," Akcam said.
To comprehend Turkey's denial policy, one should realize that denial
is a structure
Denying the 1915 events, Turkey reproduces institutes, public relations
and mentality. Denial also fuels the continuing policy of aggression
inside and outside Turkey towards anyone daring to speak against
mentality of denial.
Denial of genocide is an industry in Turkey and public policy of utmost
importance. As far as Turkey continues state policy of denial through
its institutes and mentality, Ankara will be sensitive to the outside
pressure, meantime, the pressure should be increased.
In response to what are Akcam's expectations of the pressure and where
it would lead to Turkey, he said that as far as the West allows Turkey
to run the policy of denial, it will go on.
"We must reach global comprehension of the Genocide and its prevention
equally. Struggle against Genocide denial is an issue of global
democracy and human rights. Recognition is essential for humanity,"
Posted 25 January 2012 - 11:57 AM
JANUARY 24, 2012
YEREVAN, JANUARY 24, ARMENPRESS: By passing of the Armenian Bill,
it will be easier for Turks to turn the page of the history, French
publicist, scientist Bernard-Henri Levy said in an interview with
Nouvelles d'Armenie, Armenpress reports.
"The memory of that horror can only impede self-recognition and
shaping the own destiny," Bernard-Henri Levy said, stressing that a
larger number of intellectuals, journalists and just ordinary people
already understand this in Turkey, but they are still a minority.
The intellectual expressed confidence that the passing of the bill
cannot impede historians in their work in any way, just that work
will be already without dirt. "Actually denial is dirt of spirit,"
the publicist underlined.
Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:04 PM
JANUARY 24, 2012
YEREVAN, JANUARY 24, ARMENPRESS: There is nothing unexpected in the
adoption of the bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide
by France's Senate, it was an expected event, Alexander Tsinker,
director of East European States & CIS Institute in Tel Aviv, told
Armenpress. He said Turkey's threats worth nothing.
"These threats are of no danger for France. The same happened in
2001 when France officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. All
these threats lasted for one or two months. As to the opinion that
the adoption of the bill is a pre-electoral step, it is not serious
either. The number of Armenian and Turkish voters in France is almost
the same. You win half a million, you lose half a million. So, it
is not an explanation. It is another step toward the international
recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The recognition process, though,
moves forward slowly," Tsinker said.
He also noted that in Israel the process of recognition of genocide
moves slower. "We should have been among the first to recognize this
crime committed in the Ottoman Empire. But we are going to it very
slowly. But I am an optimist, and I think that this year certain
changes will be registered in the process of recognition of the
Armenian Genocide by the Jewish state," Alexander Tsinker said.
Posted 25 January 2012 - 12:07 PM
Story from Lragir.am News:
Published: 13:15:12 - 24/01/2012
Evidently, the penalization of public negation of the Armenian
genocide is France's affair rather than Armenia's. What does France
want? Experts already say that Turkey is thus turned out of the "world
government". Turkey has recently displayed too much initiative. It
interfered and tried to mediate in every issue, though no one agrees,
the Turkish press has been writing that Turkey holds a key role in
world politics. The great powers which are reluctant to share power,
especially with Turkey which lives according to different civil rules
would hardly like this.
There is one more reason which is hidden in the complicated knot of
the Western "multiculturalism". Last year, the leaders of leading
European countries announced about the failure of multiculturalism.
They were worried about the increasing population of non-Europeans in
Europe rather than rejection of local laws and values by migrants. The
issue of demographic expansion is brought up more and more frequently.
Perhaps, by passing the law, France hopes that the angry Turks will
recall not only their ambassador but also their numerous citizens
living in ghettos in France and Germany. Not only Turks but also many
This is a very difficult process, no universal approaches to the
ethnic issue has ever been worked out in the world. Multiculturalism
was considered progressive, that is the existence of all nations but
on the condition that the "guests" will accept their rules. However,
such elementary quotas as certain percentage of migration of people
of one country or another can be acceptable and which is the limit
beyond which it is considered as demographic expansion.
These issues are especially urgent in Russia and Vladimir Putin
included the national issue as a key one in his election program. In
his article in the Izvestiya, he speaks about the national issues,
accusing Western "multiculturalists" of attempts to enable assimilation
of migrants. At the same time, he notes that 80% of the population
of Russia are Russians, apparently hinting that other peoples cannot
exceed 20% of the population of a country.
This is a very difficult issue which requires a non-ordinary solution.
Certainly, it is possible to carry out an ethnic cleansing, like Turkey
and Azerbaijan did, it is also possible to apply "ethnic divorce"
during military conflicts, like it happened in Armenia and in Karabakh
from where the entire Turkic-speaking population left. It is possible
to live in different quarters of the city, like in European Bosnia.
But such methods cannot be applied everywhere. Multiculturalism
will be substituted by new instruments. The adoption of the law on
the Armenian genocide can be considered as the first application of
these instruments. By the way, in this connection, after the Arab
revolutions, an opinion was expressed that the Arab population of
Europe received the right to return to their homeland. However,
after the revolutions, no flow of Arab migrants has been noticed.
Judging by all, the demographic expansion, though not voiced yet,
is a serious issue for the European countries and Russia.
Posted 26 January 2012 - 10:10 AM
by Michael Kambeck
The hysteria in Turkey over the French bill prohibiting the denial
of the Armenian Genocide could hardly be more self-damaging or more
revealing. Readers of the official Turkish official statement of 24
January will be struck by a tone unworthy of a strong and mature nation
and rather be reminded of speeches of some of those Arabic leaders,
who have recently been ousted by their people.
France is allegedly "damaging the freedom of expression in a tactless
manner", says Turkey, which has just today (25 January 2012) received
another condemning report from Reporters Without Borders for its
further weakening media freedom, dropping down to place 148 out of 178
(France is on 38, Armenia on 75, Azerbaijan on 162). The French law
does the opposite of what the Turkish government claims. It protects
freedom. France has, together with the country I know best, Germany,
for many years had such laws against the denial of the Holocaust..
This has neither stopped researchers on this issue nor journalistic
freedom, even where journalists took views which I personally would
find inappropriate. But such laws DO protect against blatant hardliners
and their propaganda, who generally practice the politisation that
Prime Minister Erdogan so loudly condemns these days. He accuses
Sarkozy of fishing for Armenian votes, while omitting the large
number of voters with a Turkish background but a French passport. The
Armenian Genocide has long been recognised by France, as by many other
European states and the European Parliament. This has been done in
view of overwhelming evidence, while in Turkey archives still remain
closed, documents still disappear and journalists writing about 1915,
like Hrant Dink, face the opposite of freedom. The new French law
simply brings the prosecution in line with the earlier recognition
decision. The German Bundestag is allegedly considering a similar move
and should do so. The European ideal of tolerance needs intolerance
vis-Á-vis intolerance. Genocide is the ultimate intolerance. Free
democracies need to be strong in their defence against those who seek
to undermine that freedom.
While the law does not mention Turkey and President Sarkozy even sent
a conciliatory letter to the Turkish government, Erdogan's reaction
was a whole list of threats, calling the law "an unjust action,
which disregards human values and public conscience"... "No one
should doubt our Government's principled approach in this issue"
the MFA refers to the announced retaliation measures. Such words
do not sound like the communication of a mature and proud nation,
it sounds like a vexed child in a sand box, saying "He started
first!". Turkey kills its relations with France and blames France
for it. Instead, Turkey would have had the chance to run a different
policy, even a very nationalistic one (which I would deem wrong but
at least clever): Turkey could have opened the border with Armenia
and with that started a process of debating the issue, which no
international player would have liked to interfere with. Turkey
could state, how ever they classify the "events of 1915", that this
was during the Ottoman Empire and hence only indirectly concerns
modern Turkey. Turkey could have focussed on its national interests
by gaining support from the international community for securing a
deal which limits possible Armenian damage claims and embarking on a
course of a genuine zero-problem-policy with its neighbours. Instead,
that zero-problem-policy has visibly failed all around and Turkey
is today mainly known for being "loud". It destroyed its interests
with the EU and sends enraging and mobilising signals to the Armenian
Diaspora around the world and to its own minorities, especially to
the Kurds in its poorer East.
All this has a high price for Turkey and all this has been dominated
neither by Turkey's Foreign Minister nor by the President. In the
interest of the Turkish nation, you would have to call upon Prime
Minister Erdogan to resign. And as even long-standing friends of
Turkey, like MEP and Turkey rapporteur Oomen-Ruijten, become publicly
more and more frustrated and critical, France and the EU seem to
have little to lose, as long as Mr Erdogan is in power. The only
light comes from the Turkish intelligentsia, which means that civil
society is today our best hope for saving Turkey's modernisation.
*Dr Michael Kambeck is Secretary General of the Brussels based NGO
European Friends of Armenia (www.EuFoA.org). These views represent
Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:16 AM
Jan 26 2012
BY Robert Badinter.Ancien senateur et Garde des sceaux
The law punishing the denial or outrageous minimization of the Armenian
genocide of 1915 has been adopted by the French parliament.
In this pre-electoral period, the Senate has decided to reconsider
its earlier rejection of a text whose purpose was identical. Let us
hope that the passage of this law by the French parliament will soothe
the moral wounds that the Turkish authorities' obstinate refusal to
recognize the Armenian genocide of 1915 has caused the victims. I
know, from my own personal experience, how cruel negationism is for
the descendants of the victims of a genocide. But apart from this
therapeutic function, I believe this law will bring only difficulties,
including those that will afflict the Armenian community itself.
Let us suppose, for example, that a Turkish high official or specialist
of public law questioned, in France, about the Armenian genocide
should offer the official Turkish version of events. The Armenian
associations will file suit in the French courts. The individual
prosecuted will not fail to point out that the law is unconstitutional
as it conflicts with his liberty of opinion and expression, as based
upon the QPC (Priority Question of Constitutionality). In the debate,
the Constitutional Council will necessarily be obliged to consider
the question of the constitutionality of the memorial law of 2001
recognizing the Armenian genocide, as it has never been compelled
to do so before. If, as a number of jurists, particularly the doyen
Vedel, who expressed his viewpoint in 2002, believe this law of
2001 is tainted with unconstitutionality, both the memorial law of
2001 and the current repressive law will disappear from our legal
statutes at the same time. This judicial boomerang will turn against
its authors. Law will prevail and take vengeance on politics.
Parliament does not have the competence to dictate history, as was
excellently expressed by Pierre Nora and the members of the Liberte
pour l'histoire association. Only totalitarian regimes accept
an official line of history, determined by the powers that be and
imposed by the judge. French justice offers others means of condemning
those who would forge history, who fail in their scientific duty to
intellectual honesty, rigor, and objectivity in their work. But it
is not up to French legislators to put themselves in the place of
historians and judges by proclaiming, in a French law, that a crime
of genocide was committed in Asia Minor a century ago.
Judicial authority is the only one competent to declare if a crime
has been committed and who its perpetrators are. Thus the Jewish
genocide by the Nazis was established by the International Military
Tribunal at Nuremberg. This tribunal, in which French magistrates
participated, was the result of the London Accords, signed by France
in 1944. The judgments of Nuremberg were considered res judicata,
hence authoritative, in France. The same is true of crimes against
humanity that occurred in ex-Yugoslavia and Rwanda and were judged by
international criminal courts. No such thing exists for the Armenian
genocide of 1915, committed before the international community became
conscious of the moral imperative that butchers of humanity should
not go unpunished. But this mission is the duty of international
jurisdictions, first of all the International Criminal Court. The
French parliament has no competence whatsoever in this respect and
cannot set itself up as a universal judge, capable of proclaiming
by French law the existence of crimes that, since they are historic,
are in no way within the realm of their competence.
This hubris on the part of the French parliament shall not fail to
inspire reactions against France. First of all, in the international
domain. The Turks are a great people who play a great role,
particularly in the Middle East. They are proud of their history,
even though it bears the stains of crimes and exactions of all kinds,
just like that of all conquering peoples. We can call upon the Turkish
authorities to go back over their history, as other European states
have done. But to condemn (for that is the implicit meaning of the
law of 2001) the Ottoman predecessors of a Turkish state that is
our friend, to register this condemnation in our laws, this measure
intended to soothe the pain of one will inevitably cause the furor of
others. Since we're talking especially about Franco-Turk cooperation
that currently flourishes in university and cultural spheres, we are
bound to feel the weight of Turkish resentment against this legislative
intrusion into an already long ago past.
I do not know if the Turkish constitution allows the parliament to
vote on laws concerning history, including that of foreign nations. If
such is the case, we should prepare ourselves for a rejoinder on
the part of Turkish nationalist legislators proclaiming that France
is the author of crimes against humanity committed in its former
colonies, especially in Algeria during the war of independence. Will
we protest that these tragic events do not concern Turkey? But what
did the French parliament do with regard to her yesterday? Our long
and tragic history should place us today on the side of international
justice. It does not qualify us to appoint ourselves the judge of
universal history and the moral conscience of the world.
Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:17 AM
By James Morrison
The Washington Times
January 25, 2012 Wednesday
Armenian-Americans predict that Washington will be the next diplomatic
battlefield after the French Parliament approved a bill that would
make it a crime to deny that the Turkish massacre of Armenians during
World War I was genocide.
"The spotlight is on President Obama," said Aram S. Hamparian,
executive director of the Washington office of the Armenian National
Committee of America.
Turkish-Americans, however, say the French bill will have no impact
on the U.S. debate because France is "criminalizing thought," said
Gunay Evinch, a former president of the Assembly of Turkish American
The bill would impose a penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine
of $57,000 for denying that the killings amounted to genocide -
the deliberate attempt to eliminate an entire people.
Mr. Hamparian criticized Mr. Obama Enhanced Coverage LinkingObama
-Search using:Biographies Plus NewsNews, Most Recent 60 Daysfor
failing to recognize the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in the
Ottoman Empire as genocide.
When he was a U.S. senator, Mr. Obama supported congressional
resolutions on the Armenian issue. As a presidential candidate in 2008,
he promised Armenian-Americans, a small but powerful bloc, that he
would declare the massacre a genocide if he won the White House.
"He supported legislation as a senator that he opposes as president,"
said Mr. Hamparian, adding that Armenian-Americans will use the French
action as leverage to get Congress to adopt an Armenian resolution.
A House resolution is awaiting action in the House Foreign Affairs
Committee. A Senate resolution was sent to the Foreign Relations
Committee last year, but Chairman John F. Kerry, Massachusetts
Democrat, took no action.
Mr. Hamparian said he hopes that the Senate sponsors, Democrats Barbara
Boxer of California and Robert Menendez of New Jersey, will introduce
another resolution this year.
He praised the French bill as a "very principled stand."
Mr. Evinch said that Turkish-Americans see the French bill as an
attempt to prohibit any independent research into the facts about
the Armenian massacre.
Turkey disputes Armenian claims of 1.5 million deaths. It insists
that about 500,000 Armenians were killed in an uprising during and
after World War I and that Turks and Kurds died at the hands of
Asked whether the French action would affect the debate in Washington,
Mr. Evinch said, "I don't think so. ... It puts the issue in a
"As an American," he added, "I can't envision criminalizing thought."
In Turkey on Tuesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced
the French bill as "discriminatory and racist."
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu over the weekend threatened
France with "permanent sanctions" if the assembly adopted the bill.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which represents 57
Muslim-majority nations, accused the French of approving the bill for
"political and electoral gain" to win support from some 500,000 ethnic
Armenians in France.
"We reject this law and consider it to be inconsistent with historical
fact," the group said.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy plans to sign the bill within two
weeks, his office announced in Paris on Tuesday, while Foreign Minister
Alain Juppe appealed to France's "Turkish friends" to stay calm.
Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:24 AM
Why is it that these SOB's don't write about the freedom of speech in turkey?
LET GO OF FRANCE, WRITER IS TRIED IN TURKEY FOR SAYING "GENOCIDE" - TURKISH DAILY
January 26, 2012 | 11:14
Turkey is accusing France for its bill that criminalizes the denial
of genocides, including the Armenian Genocide, stressing that this
is a violation of the freedom of speech, but it disregards the fact
that renowned Turkish writer Temel Demirer is currently being tried
for saying "genocide" in Turkey.
In its article entitled, "Let go of France, look at Turkey," Taraf
daily of Turkey informs that the trial of Demirer is still continuing,
and that he is being tried with the Turkish Criminal Code's infamous
On the first-year anniversary of the murder of Hrant Dink-the founder
and former chief editor of Istanbul's Agos Armenian weekly, who was
killed in 2007-Temel Demirer had stated that Dink was killed because
he had said genocide was committed in this country (Turkey).
"Yes, genocide was committed in this country," the Turkish writer
had said, and subsequently Prosecutor Levent Savas brought a case
against him on charges of "denying Turkish arguments."
What is more, Turkey's Justice Minister asserted that Demirer will
continue to be tried with Article 301, on charges of "degrading the
Republic of Turkey."
Posted 27 January 2012 - 09:46 AM
AKCAM: GENOCIDE RECOGNITION IS ABOUT JUSTICE, NOT FREEDOM OF THOUGHT
by Taner Akcam
January 25, 2012
The following interview with Prof. Taner Akcam, the Robert Aram,
Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marion Mugar Chair in Armenian
Genocide Studies at Clark University, appeared in Le Monde on Jan. 7.
The interview was conducted by Guillaume Perrier. Below is the
interview in English.
Taner Akcam Q. What is your opinion, not about the genocide denial
law itself, but about the effects it can have on the debate among
intellectuals and civil society in Turkey?
A. As the saying goes, there's no such thing as bad publicity.
Although, in the short run, the French law has been very negatively
received in Turkey, I believe that in the long run, the effect will
be positive. Within its own borders, Turkey can try and continue to
suppress, and muzzle, and deny the truth, but internationally there
will be continual reminders (such as the French law) of an issue that
Turkey must confront and ultimately resolve.
Even if one opposes this legal initiative, it shows that Turkey cannot
escape by sticking its head in the sand. For this reason, the French
initiative cannot be considered as a simple "law" in the technical
sense of the term for France. For better or worse, it has become part
of the international campaign to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
Turkey's hysteria, and anger, and temper tantrums will pass and
some of the negative developments that have occurred will be quickly
forgotten. What will remain is the heavy reality of a very serious
unresolved problem. Such an outcome will, I expect, support the
position of those intellectuals who assert that confronting and
remembering history is strongly connected to the creation of a
Regardless of France's ultimate aims or intentions, Turkish society and
its educated classes are once again reminded that we need to resolve
this very fundamental issue. Some may object that "this should have
happened some other way," but if you don't solve your problems on
your own, often enough someone else will force a solution on you.
That's the way it's always been in this world.
Everyone has to realize this basic fact: On the subject of 1915,
Turkey has followed a politics of purposeful amnesia and delaying
tactics. Turkey has swept the issue under the rug, buried it and
pretended it didn't exist, all in the hopes that everyone's memory
would be short and the whole thing would be forgotten. This is what
they've been doing for about a hundred years.
Every year after April 24th, the commentary in most of the daily
newspapers is something along the lines of "Whew, great, we got
through another year of this." With 2015 approaching, the tactic is
the same. They know the subject is going to be brought up, especially
abroad, and everything is geared towards getting through 2015 with
the least amount of damage. That's why there's so much anger towards
France's law. Turkey is angry at being reminded. Such memory is a
ghost that has haunted them for decades.
I've been dealing with the Armenian Genocide topic for many years now,
but when it comes up with other Turkish intellectuals, I've always
sensed a certain lack of interest, as if to say, "Where'd you come up
with this problem, anyway? Don't we have enough issues to deal with?"
For them the subject has always seemed a bit unreal, inauthentic,
and imposed from the outside.
My international colleagues speak of my "courage" to pursue this
subject in the face of "threats and dangers" from Turkey. However,
that has never really been my problem. My biggest challenge was
loneliness. I have had a hard time trying to explain the significance
of 1915 even to my closest friends in Turkey. In 1997, I wrote an
essay titled, "Walking around like a leper in my own country." That's
how I felt-like a leper, a pariah. It wasn't a matter of "fear" and
"courage." What bothered me the most was their indifference, their
lack of interest, and the resulting alienation and loneliness I felt.
When I'd depart from Turkey, since my flight usually took off at
around 5 a.m., I would stay up all night talking with Hrant Dink.
Every one of those conversations revolved around our loneliness. We
felt that no one seemed really interested in understanding and
listening to us. The question that we most often struggled with was,
"How can we reach our friends and acquaintances so that they see
just how important this subject really is?" One of Hrant's biggest
challenges was isolation. In the end, his alienation by and from us,
Turkish intellectuals, was a contributing factor in his murder.
Hrant's death was a turning point. Turkish intellectuals took more
interest in the events of 1915. We began to understand that 1915
has even more to do with today than with the past. Gradually, the
connection between democracy-building and human rights, on the one
hand, and remembering and confronting history, on the other, became
clearer and more acceptable across a broader swath of Turkish society.
The civil-democratic activism that coalesced after Hrant's death played
an important role in this change. However, this emergent opposition
is still lacking in strength. I believe that we still need much more
external pressure. That is where the French law comes in.
Q. Do you think international pressure is positive or negative on
Turkey? Don't you fear it will lead Turkey to a more nationalist,
A. I am reminded of an incident on Jan. 4 or 5, 2007. The prosecutor's
office at Sisli, in an effort to put pressure on Hrant's legal defense,
had targeted me for investigation because of an article in which I'd
used the word "genocide." After giving the prosecutor my statement, I
headed over to the Agos newspaper office. Hrant and I were chatting. As
in the past, he was criticizing France's initiatives.
"Stop, Hrant," I told him. "If France weren't taking this initiative,
no one here would be holding a microphone to your mouth. Don't forget,"
I added, "the only reason people know who you are is because France
keeps up this business with the law. If people outside the country
weren't doing this you'd have a lot of trouble finding anyone willing
to listen to you."
"You're right," he admitted. "The only time it's remembered is when
there is outside pressure."
This is something that the West needs to realize. It just isn't
possible to change Turkey's position regarding the subject of 1915
based solely on internal democratic opposition. Turkish democratic
and civil society activists don't possess that kind of strength. The
assassination of Hrant Dink is evidence of this weakness. Today,
there's a very genuine activist movement that goes by the name
"Friends of Hrant" that has gained significant public support in
Turkey, yet Hrant's real murderers still roam the country freely.
Those countries that condone and enable Turkey's politics of denial
for their own economic, political, and strategic advantage should
understand one thing: "Denial" is a structure. To understand why
Turkey continues to deny what happened in 1915, you should compare
it with the racist regime of South Africa. The institutions, system,
and mindset of apartheid were established upon racial differences, and
the denial of genocide is similar. By denying what happened in 1915,
Turkey reproduces the institutions, social relations, and mindset
that created 1915.
Genocide denial goes beyond the defense of a former regime whose
institutions and mindset were realized as genocide in the past. Denial
also fuels a politics of continuing aggression, both inside and
outside Turkey, against anyone who opposes the denialist mentality.
This is why Hrant Dink's actual murderers are still at large. This
is why attacks are organized against Armenians and their memorials
in Europe. This is why in America campaigns of hate and hostility
are organized against me and other intellectuals.
What should be clear to everyone is this: In Turkey, genocide denial
is an industry. It is also a state policy of primary importance. The
National Security Council, Turkey's highest constitutional authority,
established in 2001 a Coordinating Committee for the Fight Against
Baseless Claims of Genocide. All of the important ministries, including
the Armed Forces, are represented on this committee, which is chaired
by the vice prime minister. I repeat: Denying the genocide is one of
the most important national policies of the Turkish state.
You need to realize that you aren't just confronting a simple "denial,"
but you're up against a "denialist regime."
As long as Turkey continues this state policy of genocide denial
through its institutions, relations, and mentality, Ankara will be
sensitive to external pressure. In fact, this pressure should be
increased. What happened in Libya and Syria needs to happen in Turkey
also, with regard to genocide denial, even if the content and scope
of the pressure are different.
If the West is serious about democracy in the Middle East, it cannot
build democracy by supporting a denialist regime. Historical denial,
both as institution and mindset, is probably the greatest stumbling
block to peace and democracy in the Middle East. Why do Christians,
Kurds, and Arabs in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq feel intimidated by
Turkey? Why aren't they keen on Turkey's intervention for democracy
and human rights? Because they see, in today's denialist regime of
Turkey, the Unionists' mentality that committed crimes against them
in the past.
The South African regime didn't collapse from internal pressure alone.
The support of international public opinion was also very important.
As long as the West allows Turkey's denialist politics to continue,
genocide denial will go on.
We are faced with the huge issue of how to prevent mass murders
and genocides in today's global community. To that end, the space
for genocide denial in the international arena must be narrowed and
ultimately eliminated. Turkey's denial policy should be reconsidered
within this perspective of prevention of genocide in the global world.
Yes, it's always possible that external pressure may have negative
consequences. History provides examples of this. We must remember not
to go to extremes. If we take the position that external pressure
is always bad, we play into the hands of dictators who would like
nothing better than to perpetuate their crimes with impunity. The
apartheid regime of South Africa, Latin American dictatorships, and
the repressive Arab regimes have all taken this attitude. On the other
hand, if we say, "It doesn't matter what's going on internally, we're
going to impose change from the outside," the most disgraceful example
is the invasion of Iraq. So we need to stay away from either extreme.
Instead of asking, "Yes or no to external pressure?", we should be
asking, "What kind of external pressure?"
The refusal to exert pressure is another position to be avoided. For
example, the West (especially the U.S. and UK) have created their own
kind of "external pressure" model based on their own calculations. For
the sake of perceived economic, political, and military strategic
interests, they turn a blind eye to a denialist regime. Their refusal
enables Turkey to swagger, bully, and threaten other countries. This
must stop. Turkey will not give up its denial policy without external
Actually, what I want is in Turkey's best interest. In the end,
what outcome could be better than the creation of a society that
respects democracy and human rights and that confronts its history
without shame? I have a hard time understanding what could possibly
be negative about creating external pressure towards this end.
Opponents will counter that external pressure is not motivated by a
desire to bring democracy to Turkey. They will say that the West exerts
pressure in order to limit Turkey's power. Is there a grain of truth in
this outlook? Of course there is, but the remedy is simple: Don't let
others limit you. If you don't want them to use your faults against
you, then correct those faults so they can't. Do your homework. No
country has ever been hurt by democracy or respect for human rights.
I'm pushing 60 years of age, and by now, I'm sick and tired of these
"external pressure" arguments. In the 1980's, Turkey's military
regime was supported for the same reason and thousands of people were
killed, tortured, or thrown in jail. Turkish generals were like the
West's spoiled brats, killing as they pleased. They hated any kind of
pressure, didn't want anyone "meddling in their internal affairs." The
same game is being played over the "denial of history."
Moreover, the really important question isn't even "What kind
of external pressure?" We must ask how this external pressure
will establish a healthy and positive relationship with the
internal democratization process. The biggest problem right now is
incompatibility and lack of harmony. Positive communication channels
must be created between Turkey's domestic, democratic opposition and
the world beyond its borders. Real dialogue has yet to be established
between internal and external activist groups that must unite in
order to change the denialist regime. Looking at France, I can say
that what we have here is a dialogue of the deaf.
I can't say whether France's indifference to Turkey's democratic
opposition has anything to do with it, but the nationalist leanings of
Turkish intellectuals definitely play a role in this futile dialogue
between parties who cannot hear each other. A very significant majority
of Turkish intellectuals still views any foreign initiative with a
great deal of suspicion and doubt. This attitude feels so natural to
them that unfortunately they have no idea that it springs from a deep
well of nationalist tendencies.
Turkish national identity has from the beginning been defined in
opposition to the "terrible West that wants to meddle with our internal
affairs from outside." Undoubtedly, when one looks at the history of
Ottoman Turks, one can hardly claim that the West played a positive
role. However, the damage done by the West was not limited to meddling
with the Ottomans for colonialist self-interest. On the contrary,
the West committed a great error in not having interfered enough. A
whole series of Western interventions against the Ottomans throughout
the 19th century were critically important in the formulation of what
we now call international law. In other words, we need to re-examine
the idea that "all external pressure is wrong."
During Turkey's bid for European Union membership, Turkish
intellectuals and the society, in general, softened their stance
against "foreign interference." Turkish society understood that
outside pressure, especially by the European Greens or some of the
other left wing parties, was not motivated solely by malice. In fact,
it was accepted as a positive influence. The same kind of acceptance
must be generated towards the concept of genocide recognition.
In today's globally connected world, the whole idea of "external" and
"internal" is very problematic. We must create a global awareness of
genocides and their prevention without making these distinctions of
"external" and "internal." Genocide denial and the struggle against
it are part of global democracy and human rights. You can't speak of
it as "external." Recognition is an issue relevant to all of humanity.
Q. Since you published a Shameful Act, it opened a door in Turkey,
there's been an evolution on the 1915 issue in Turkey. How do you
see the debate in Turkey? What's your opinion about the different
initiatives that have appeared recently [April 24 commemorations,
the ozur diliyoruz campaign, the conference in Diyarbakir]? Do you
hope for eventual recognition of the genocide from Turkey?
A. Turkey's domestic opposition should be taken more seriously. A group
of individuals are in the thick of an honorable struggle that truly
deserves more respect. Although Hrant Dink's death was a turning point
of sorts, they still don't receive enough international support or
interest. No one's asking them, "How are you doing? What do you need?"
Even if the draft bill in France came to be as the product of differing
interests, even if it is disregarded, I wish those working for the
law in France would ask Turkish grassroots activists what they think
of such an initiative. I would like to see this as a starting point
for dialogue. This channel of communication hasn't been opened and
should be built as soon as possible.
A major reason the "bridge" hasn't been built is the complete lack
of interest outside of Turkey, particularly by the Armenian Diaspora,
in Turkey's growing democratization. Indeed, despite the pro-democracy
movement's positive aspects and successes, the struggle within Turkey
will get nowhere on its own. The "denial coalition and industry"
can't be changed by domestic pressure alone, but it can be defeated
if-and only if-the internal opposition joins forces with a harmonious
and balanced external pressure.
Dialogue between Turkey's civil activists and the worldwide struggle
for "genocide recognition" is urgently needed. One reason it has yet to
be initiated is the decades-old mutual prejudices about ethno-religious
and other social attributes. Also, Turkey's civil activists have yet
to appreciate the significance of genocide recognition within their
own democracy struggles. While Turkish activists perceive international
demands for genocide recognition as distractions or obstacles to their
own agenda, a large portion of the diaspora fails to appreciate the
strong bond between genocide recognition and democracy-building in
Turkey. If anything, they tend to belittle and underestimate this
However, I don't want to lay too much blame on either side. In truth,
the issue goes beyond mutual perceptions of malice or benevolence. An
even deeper problem is actually that the sides are struggling for
Genocide recognition, in essence, is about justice, not freedom of
expression or thought. A democratic or free society, such as France
or the U.S., may still have unresolved historical injustices, for
example towards Algeria or Native Americans. Turkish civil society
still believes that its own problems are due to limitations on the
freedom of thought. Other goals, such as justice and confronting
history, are dismissed as unaffordable luxuries or deferred to some
imaginary future. Hence the negative reaction to demands for simple
truth and justice.
This is the dilemma that must be surmounted. Justice and confronting
history can be achieved only with the establishment of a free and
democratic society. The campaign for "truth and justice" and the
movement for "freedom and democracy" are not mutually exclusive, nor
should they result in confrontation. Quite the contrary, they are, and
ought to be, inseparable goals. The demands of the diaspora and Turkish
society must be brought together. The duty to build bridges between
foreign and domestic civil activism is the most urgent thing right now.
Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:40 AM
Թուրքական Milliyet-ի փոխանցմամբ՝ Թուրքիայի նախագահի կինը չի հրավիրել Ֆրանսիայի դեսպանի կնոջը՝ արտահայտելով իր վերաբերմունքը Ֆրանսիայի Սենատի կողմից ցեղասպանությունների ժխտումը քրեականացնող օրինագծի ընդունման հետ կապված։
Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:02 PM
By NAIRA HAYRUMYAN
urkey is not in a hurry to materialize its threats of economic sanctions against France, as it deems the law passed by the Senate of France criminalizing the public denial of the Armenian genocide is not yet a final decision by Paris. So says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan.Turkey has so far limited its actions to some demonstrative steps, showing what it can do if French President Nicolas Sarkozy signs the law, which is expected in the coming days. Immediately after the January 23 adoption of the law in the senate, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu went to Moscow, after earlier canceling his trip to Brussels. In the Russian capital, the top Turkish diplomat made a number of remarkable statements. First, it was stated there that trade between Russia and Turkey may reach a $100 billion mark over the next five years. Secondly, Davutoglu said that Turkey will not become a springboard for attacks on Iran. And before that, a Turkish minister who visited Moscow said that, along with Russia, Turkey is in favor of non-interference in Syrian affairs. Besides, an unprecedented joint statement was issued by the foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey on the Karabakh problem.Therefore Turkey tried to show that if pressure continues it will form an alliance with Russia and Iran, refusing to cooperate with the West. But, apparently, the West has not been deterred by this either. Experts do not even rule out that France is intentionally provoking Turkey into taking some drastic steps to abandon its allied services.Apparently, Turkey is also aware that her being an Islamic country and simultaneously a member of NATO sometimes does not satisfy the Western community. With the adoption of a bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide France's Sarkozy, who is running for a second presidential term in spring, hopes to gain the support of not only ethnic Armenian voters, but also those of the far-right circles that suffer from Islamophobia and oppose Turkey's membership in the European Union, claimed Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu.The French Senate law criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide, the discussions of an Armenian Genocide recognition bill in the Knesset of Israel and a possible adoption of such a law in the German Parliament show that the process of international affirmation of the 1915 Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire is unstoppable, said director of the Yerevan-based Center for Regional Studies Richard Giragosian. The Armenian genocide issue has been considered by Israeli parliamentarians for quite some time now. And recently a German parliamentarian said that discussions of the issue might soon begin also at the Bundestag. Director of the Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute Alexander Iskandaryan also believes that "the train of the Armenian Genocide recognition in the world has set off and it cannot be stopped." According to him, this event has changed the reality around Turkey and Europe's attitude towards Turkey.Director of the Institute of Political and Social Studies of the Black Sea-Caspian region Vladimir Zakharov said: "Now it is impossible to say that there was no Armenian Genocide as Turkey and Azerbaijan have tried to do it." He added that the adoption of such a law by one of the most influential countries will inevitably lead to a wave of other recognitions of the Armenian Genocide.The Armenian Genocide is, indeed, a subject being discussed internationally. Thus, British Prime Minister David Cameron, recently replying to the question of a Turkish delegate at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe regarding the French criminalization of the Armenian genocide denial, said that appalling things were happening to Armenians and atrocities were committed against them. "Our position on the issue raised is clear. Appalling things happened to the Armenian people; appalling atrocities were committed. It is important to state that, but we have to live in the present," said the British prime minister, adding that the UK has a legislation making it possible to prosecute people for appalling war crimes.The French Senate's passage of the bill also appears to have inspired Armenian American lobby groups with greater optimism for a genocide resolution in the United States. Aram Hamparian, the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America, the largest of such groups, earlier this week again urged U.S. President Barack Obama to honor his pledge to recognize the mass killings and deportations of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. "The courageous vote by the French Senate shines the spotlight across the Atlantic, on American policymakers, who, for far too long, have let Ankara block U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide," said Hamparian
Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:04 PM
Difference of Opinion: Clinton says US never to follow France’s example
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says her country will never do as France did on Monday, and criminalize genocide denial.“One of our great strengths is we do not criminalize speech,” the secretary told a public meeting on Thursday. “People can say nearly anything they choose, and they do, in our country. And so other countries, including close friends and allies like France, have different standards, different histories, but we are, I hope, never going to go down that path to criminalize speech.” Clinton also said the United States should not recognize the Armenian Genocide, explaining that it is a “historical” issue, rather than “political”.As Asbarez news points out, four years ago this week – while campaigning for president – Clinton called the 1915-23 history of events in Ottoman Turkey, “a clear case of genocide.”
Posted 28 January 2012 - 11:11 AM
Jan 27 2012
Analysts believe that Turkey can no longer escape its duty of
contrition for the genocide, especially with the French Senate's
legislation for criminalising the denial of the 1915 massacre
Turkey's attempts to intimidate France and other countries over the
question of the Armenian genocide are bound to backfire, analysts
said as the 100th anniversary of the bloodshed approaches.
"This negative and reactive strategy has failed, and no one is ready
to admit it," said Cengiz Aktar of Istanbul's Bahcesehir University.
"I hope that the authorities will think about it and come up with a
different tack by the time of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian
genocide that is coming up" in 2015, said Aktar, an international
relations professor, using the term Ankara condemns.
Hugh Pope of the International Crisis Group agreed, saying: "There
are many people in Turkey that are worried about how Turkey is going
to handle the situation in 2015."
He said Ankara should "get on a path of reconciliation with the
Armenians so that they can be on the side of the people who are
going to be remembering the lost communities of Armenians" in the
The French Senate on Monday approved legislation under which anyone
in France who denies that the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman
Turk forces amounted to genocide could face imprisonment.
On Tuesday, Paris brushed off angry threats of retaliation by Turkey
and said the bill would become law in two weeks.
Ankara has already halted political amd military cooperation and is
threatening to cut off economic and cultural ties. Bilateral trade
totalled some 11.7 billion euros ($15.4 billion) in 2010.
The French chamber of commerce in Turkey, which has some 400 members,
on Thursday expressed "great disappointment" over the bill, and called
on France's constitutional council to nix it.
"Turkey is making more and more threats against France," wrote
editorialist Semih Idiz in the Milliyet daily. "But in a few weeks the
issue will rear its head again in the US Congress. There are other
countries waiting in the wings. Will Turkey recall its ambassador
each time?" he asked. "It's an absurd situation."
Armenia and its diaspora in countries around the world have long
campaigned for international recognition of the killings as genocide,
despite strong denials from Turkey.
Armenians says that planned massacres and deportations left more than
1.5 million people dead, but Turkey puts the number at up to 500,000,
describing the bloodshed as civil strife stemming from the conflict
with Russia in World War I.
Around 20 countries have officially recognised the killings as
The dispute is in addition to the conflict between Armenia and
Azerbaijan, an ally of Turkey, over the Nagorny-Karabakh enclave.
Ankara and Yerevan signed a historic protocol in 2009 to normalise
relations, but it was never ratified as Turkey demanded a resolution
to the Nagorny-Karabakh dispute .
Armenian separatists backed by Yerevan seized Nagorny-Karabakh from
Azerbaijan in a war in the 1990s that left some 30,000 people dead,
and the two sides have not signed a final peace deal since a 1994
Turkey can no longer escape its duty of contrition for the genocide,
said Soli Ozel of Istanbul's Kadir Has University
"First and foremost it must express chagrin, and the Turkish state
has never done that," the international relations professor wrote in
the daily HaberTurk.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users