Turkish Press to Spread Disinformation About Vienna Meeting


President of the Armenian Studies Institute in Ankara is No Exception

24 July 2004

In Azg Daily’s July 20 and 21 coverage we said that documents on the
Armenian Genocide were exchanged by Turkish and Armenian scientists
during the Vienna meeting. This information was based on Anatolu news
agency as well as Turkish Miliet, Eni Shafak and Radical publications.

Though Azg Daily gave no comments to those issues (but only
translated), it is not hard to guess that the Turkish newspapers and
Anatolu news agency are prone to mar documents. But the fact that the
president of the Armenian Studies Institute in Ankara Hasan Okta stood
beside the press in document distortion came as a surprise.

Hasan Okta in his interview to Radical ventured to declare that the
Armenian side is represented by the president of the Armenian Genocide
institute-museum and a professor of the National Academy of Sciences
of Armenia. It is simply not true.

The fact that scientists from Armenia were absent from the meeting
doesn’t necessarily mean that there was no one from the Armenian
Diaspora. There were such cases in the history. But we understand that
the primarily role in these meetings belongs to the scientists from
Armenia but not the ones unwittingly having another citizenship.

In other words, we do not exclude the probability that scientists from
the Diaspora participated in the Vienna meeting, which enabled the
Turks to call the meeting “Armenian-Turkish” and enroll the president
of the Armenian Genocide institute-museum and a professor from the
National Academy into this list without even mentioning their names.

Though Hasan Okta haven’t mentioned the president of the Institute of
History of the National Academy Dr. Ashot Melkonian among the meeting
participants, the latter informed Azg Daily: “The last two days the
Armenian press constantly writes about the Vienna meeting. Meanwhile
it is a brazen lie, and Lavrenti Barseghian, president of the Armenian
Genocide institute-museum spoke of this in `Hayastani Hanrapetutyun’
(Republic of Armenia) July 22 issue. This fact comes to prove that it
is unacceptable to have dialogue with the Turks. I still hold to a
view that we should not participate in any conference on the issue of
the Armenian Genocide till Turkey gives up its denialist stance. It is
especially true for the Vienna meeting as the Turkish side violated
our precondition according to which we should have discussed not the
fact of the Genocide but the issue of overcoming its consequences.”

The situation causes apprehension in so far as the Turks may go on
blaming the Armenian side for the refusal to participate in the
meeting and for not having documents proving the Armenian Genocide.

Therefore, accepting Ashot Melkonian’s words, we should also consider
the probable outcomes of our refusal. Perhaps Lavrenti Barseghian,
president ofthe Armenian Genocide institute-museum is right saying:
“We are ready to leave for Vienna. No matter how hard Turkey tries to
hold us back we are ready to assault. Let no one doubt that we’ll
stand despite all the traps that our ideological enemy sets. In May of
2005 we’ll be at the arranged place.”

By Hakob Chakrian