Sunday, May 20, 2007

Armenian Genocide recognition the only way to enhance Turkey’s prestige


“The most efficient way to enhance Turkey’s prestige is to acknowledge the atrocities and apologize for them. This would put an end to the mistakes of the past and Turks could meet the future with an open heart,” Director of the Institute of CIS Studies Konstantin Zatulin writes in a letter addressed to Lala Ulker, an advisor at the Turkish Embassy in Moscow.

In his letter Zatulin brings in the words of well-known Turkish writer Ahmed Altan who used to say that the Armenian Genocide is a historical fact and it must not be forgotten.

“I cannot agree with you that the investigation of the Armenian Genocide issue is a task for historians only. As you know, atrocities are assessed by lawyers and not by historians. That is why this outrageous episode of the world history should be given a juridical assessment first of all. Documents are more than enough. Turkey’s policy towards Armenians at those times can be defined as genocide, as it’s interpreted by article 2 of UN 1948 Convention On the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

According to Zatulin, Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide is the most annoying factor in the Armenian-Turkish relations and hampers their normalization. Ankara’s stubborn desire to force Armenia to abandon its position on the Armenian Genocide issue in exchange for normalization of relations cements tension between the two states. I am hopeful that common sense will prevail in Ankara and it will take this painful but courageous and essential step that put an end to hostility between the two peoples,” the Russian politician writes.

Earlier, Ms. Lale Ulker accused Konstantin Zatulin of “jaundice and distortion of history” in response to his article titled “The bill on genocide will keep memory of Genocide awaken.”

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Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

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