FAON: Recognition Armenian genocide in The Netherlands a step closer

Federation of Armenian Organisations in Netherlands (FAON)
24 April Committee
Contact: Mrs. I. Drost
Tel: +31- 6 242 725 74
Email: [email protected]

April 22, 2004

Recognition Armenian genocide in The Netherlands a step closer

THE HAGUE – On April 21, 2004, several hundred protesters urged for
recognition of the genocide of 1915 on Armenians in Turkey and expressed
necessity for Turkey to recognize the genocide before a date is set for
negotiations regarding accession of Turkey to the EU.

The Chairman of the Fixed Comission for European Affairs of the parliament,
Mrs. S. Dijksma, received the petition given by a survivor of the Armenian
genocide in the presence of MPs Van Bommel (Socialist Party), Huizinga
(Christian Union) and Van Der Staay (Reformed Party). Next a petition was
offered to the Dutch government at the Ministry of General Affairs. The door
and mailbox remained closed at the Turkish embassy. The demonstrators had no
other choice but to leave the letter on the doorknob.

During the demonstration on Plein square in The Hague MPs of the CDA
(Christian Democrats, PvdA (Labor Party), GroenLinks (Green Left) and SP
(Socialist Party) spoke to the demonstrators. In their speeches the MPs
underlined the importance of recognition of the Armenian genocide. Moreover
it became clear that the fraction of these parties, who together form the
majority in parliament, factually recognize the genocide. With this the
recognition in the Netherlands of the genocide on 1.5 million Armenians in
the latter years of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire has come a step closer.

Although the views of the parties and that of the 24 April Committee
concerning the recognition of the Armenian genocide are closely related,
there is a difference in the role recognition should play in the
decision-making of a date for negotiations with Turkey on the potential
accession of this country to the EU. In the next few weeks thoughts will
continue to be exchanged betwwen the 24 April Committee and the MPs.

The demonstration was the first in a series of activities that the 24 April
Comitte of the Armenian Federation has organized with the aim for recogntion
by Turkey of the Armenian genocide of 1915.

The yearly solemn commemoration of the Armenian genocide will be held this
April 24 from 1pm onwards at cemetery De Boskamp in Assen at the Armenian
memorial. After laying a wreath, a ceremony will be held in the auditorium
of the cemetery. Among others, Freek de Jonge, Paul Scheffer and Leen van
Dijke will speak, as well as the ambassador to Armenia in the Benelux, Vigen