CBC Radio Provides Platform to Armenian Genocide Denial

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06 February 2005

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Aris Babikian 416-497-8972

“CBC Radio Provides Platform to Armenian Genocide Deniers”: Canadian
Armenian Leaders

Montréal, Feb. 6 – The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
demonstrated a lack of judgment when it failed to invite representatives
of the Canadian-Armenian community to its Feb. 6 Sunday Edition radio
program where following the discussion of a book on the Armenian
Genocide, only the Turkish Embassy was allowed to present its side.

The Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) president,
Dr. Girair Basmadjian, said: “It’s regrettable that deniers of the
Armenian Genocide (the Turkish Government) have been provided with a
platform while the representatives of the Canadian-Armenian community
have not been offered the opportunity to respond to the Turkish
Government’s propaganda.”

In a 25-minute segment, host Michael Enright interviewed Prof. Taner
Akçam, the author of “From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and
the Armenian Genocide”. Following the interview, Mr. Enright read a
lengthy statement sent by the Turkish Embassy in Ottawa. No such
statement was read from the Armenian Embassy of Ottawa.

Prof. Akçam is one of many Turkish historians to recognize publicly
the mass killings and deportation, in 1915, of 1.5 million Armenians as
genocide. His book represents a scholarly attempt to document the
Armenian Genocide from the perpetrator’s, rather than the victim’s
perspective. In the interview, Prof. Akçam stated that he has been
refused posts in Turkish universities because of his recognition of the
Armenian Genocide.

“We commend the CBC and thank Mr. Michael Enright for their decision to
shed light on the Forgotten Genocide of the 20th century, and Prof.
Akçam’s scholarly research. At the same time we were surprised and
disappointed to hear Mr. Enright read the Turkish Embassy’s statement
which was, as usual, full of historical fabrications and misinformation,
the usual official stance of successive Turkish governments. To us, it
is a sheer error of judgment to confront an honest academician with a
baseless political onslaught, without even giving a chance for the
author to respond.” said Dr. Basmadjian.

The Canadian-Armenian community leader said that it was unfortunate that
the CBC provided an opportunity for such a statement from the Turkish
Embassy while not inviting Canadian-Armenians the same opportunity.
“Moreover, the statement was an outright insult to the author, Dr.
Akçam, who did not lack courage to express the historical truth. The
Canadians of Armenian origin representing survivors of the said Genocide
are commemorating the 90th anniversary this year, are insulted by such
statements on a respectable broadcasting corporation such as the CBC.”
added Dr. Basmadjian.

It was omitted by the programmer the fact that the Armenian Genocide was
recognized as such by the Senate and House of Commons of Canada on 2002
and 2004 respectively, and by provincial legislatures of Ontario and
Quebec dating back to 1980.

Genocide denial out of ignorance or a false sense of “balanced
journalism” or “political correctness” is irresponsible and only serves
to promote revisionist policies. “Do we provide Holocaust deniers with
such courtesies or platforms?” asked Dr. Basmadjian.

The ANCC believes the denial of the Armenian Genocide is an
encouragement for its repetition, as it eventually happened in Ukraine,
Germany, Cambodia and Rwanda. In light of these events, it is
appropriate that the CBC apologize to the Armenian listeners and promise
to present the same opportunity to the Armenian Embassy in the future.


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress