Saturday, September 24, 2005

Turkish Court Blocks Conference on Armenian Genocide

Turkish Court Blocks Conference on Armenian Genocide

An Istanbul court on Thursday ordered the cancellation of a conference at which Turkish academics were widely expected to challenge the official version of events surrounding the mass slaughter of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire. The ruling was condemned by the country's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Speaking to reporters shortly after the decision was announced, Mr. Erdogan said the decision did not conform to what he called freedom and modernity in Turkey. He said the right to free speech was an essential part of democracy. Some Western diplomats said forces within the state that are opposed to Turkey's membership in the European Union had probably influenced the ruling. Turkey is scheduled to start negotiations over the accession treaty with the European bloc on October 3. Last month, another Istanbul court opened a case against Orhan Pamuk the internationally acclaimed Turkish author. He is due to appear in court on December 16 on charges of insulting Turkey's national dignity by telling a Swiss newspaper that one million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds had been killed in Turkey and that nobody dared to say so. EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn warned Turkey earlier this month that if Mr. Pamuk were convicted, this could constitute grounds for suspending negotiations with Turkey. Turkey has always denied that more than one million members of the Ottoman Empire's once thriving Armenian community were the victims of genocide during and after World War I. The conference titled "Ottoman Armenians of an Empire in Decline" was to have opened Friday at the Bosporus University in Istanbul. It was originally scheduled to take place in May but was postponed after Turkish Justice Minister said its purpose was to stab Turkey in the back. That is because some of the participating academics were expected to challenge the official line that several hundred thousand Armenians had died as a result of disease and exposure and not because of any state conspiracy to kill them. The case to halt the conference was brought by the Turkish Lawyers Union and other lawyers.


At September 24, 2005 9:30 AM, Blogger Jude the Obscure said...

The Turks did it, they bloody did it and no argument. Ask the Armenians, there are still some alive. The Turks may call them liars. Then go ask the Greeks. What the Turks don't realise is that not everyone is going to buy into their reconstruction of Turkish history. Check what their schoolkids are learning - like -Turkey once ruled Europe and will rule it again.

At September 24, 2005 3:48 PM, Blogger RobertinArabia said...

Some Turks did some horrible things, other did not. There was an Armenian couple who survived that period who owned a restaurnt in Chicago. They got very upset when people condemned Turks in general because a Turkish army officer rescued their family during those times.
People forget that Turkey was at war with Russia and many Armenians were supporting the Russians.
War, as Iraq illustrates, can bring out the worst in people.

At September 24, 2005 9:47 PM, Blogger nouille said...

Turkey must not be admitted into the E.U., this is European suicide.

At September 25, 2005 12:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anecdotes are worthless, in my opinion. We need to look at the behaviour of a group over time. With the Turks, we have a 400 year time frame to judge their behaviour and the data gathered from this "experiment" where they overran Southern Europe is not pretty. They can talk all they want, however talk is cheap. Their actions were horrific. I should know. I'm Greek and have many, many "anecdotes" to prove how vicious they were. They may fool some people that they are these "nice", "friendly", "lovable"Turks. They do not fool me.

BTW, when push comes to shove, Greece will keep Turkey out of the EU. Make no mistake of that. The Greeks may be talking pleasantries now, however it is simply a smoke screen to see who will stand up and reject their application. If no one stands up, then Greece will.


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