ANKARA: Arinc condemns Canadian House of Representatives Decision


Turkish Daily News
June 12, 2004

ANKARA – Speaker of Parliament Bulent Arinc sent a condemnation letter
to the Canadian House of Representatives President Peter Milliken
relating to a decision of the Canadian House of Representatives that
approved on April 21, 2004 the recognition of the so-called Armenian
Genocide and accepted it as crime of humanity.

Stating that the interpretation of the tragic event, which caused
the loss of lives during Ottoman rule in 1915, to wrong historical
data is a completely intolerable mistake, Arinc noted in his letter:
“Turkish Parliament believes that national parliaments are not the
right places to interpret historical events … National parliaments
should refrain from biased initiatives which carry the threat of
awakening hatred between the public upon the alleged and ungrounded
claims made by the marginal sectors of ethnic groups or third party
representatives about other nations.”

Indicating that, with this act, the Canadian House of Representatives
owns the responsibility of the negative developments that could
possibly develop between Turkey and Canada, Arinc stressed that
this decision fell in contradiction with the normalization efforts
of relations between the two neighbors Turkey and Armenia, in such a
sensitive part of the world. Arinc expressed Turkey’s sorrow for the
non-fulfilment of the responsibilities by those, who approved such a
humiliating and unjust decision, in such a sensitive period when the
world needs international solidarity and cooperation against violence
and intolerance.

The Armenians claimed that during the Ottoman Empire their ancestors
were executed for allegedly helping the invading Russian army during
World War I. Turkey, heir of the Ottoman Empire, rejects the genocide
claim, insisting that Armenians were killed in civil unrest during
the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Turkey has fought hard to block international attempts to raise the
issue of the alleged Armenian genocide, while Armenia — with its
seven-million strong diaspora — has been pressing for international
recognition of the so-called genocide.