ANKARA: From the Columns: Is Turkey maintaining its old stanceregard

Turkish Daily News
Friday, March 11 2005

>>From the Columns:

The alleged Armenian genocide that was supposed to have occurred
during the latter years of Ottoman rule and the reaction of the
Turkish government, European Union officials and the European
Parliament to the excessive use of force on female demonstrators
dominated the columns in yesterday’s Turkish press.

Is Turkey maintaining its old stance regarding alleged genocide?

Sabah’s Mehmet Barlas criticizes the ruling Justice and Development
Party (AKP) and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)
for maintaining the old discourse regarding the issue of an alleged
genocide of Armenians that is supposed to have occurred from
1915-1916 at the hands of the Ottomans.

Quoting the late former President Turgut Özal’s reported proposal
to Turkish Ambassador to the United States Nüzhet Kandemir to
recognize the events of 1915 as a genocide and to put an end to the
ongoing discussions, Barlas said that Kandemir had responded to Özal
by saying that the issue was too complicated to be resolved

Barlas asks what has been done regarding the issue in the 12 years
since the death of Özal?

Highlighting remarks made by government members and officials
saying that the Armenian genocide issue should be left to historians,
Barlas asks why nobody looked over the work of prominent Armenian
historians Vahak Dadrian [an academic in the United States] and Peter
Balakian [the author of books on Armenian issue].

After noting reactions to well-known Turkish author Orhan Pamuk,
who said that 1 million Armenians were killed in Turkey, Barlas also
asks why the ideas of Professor Halil Berktay, an academic from
Sabancý University, who argues for the identification of the events
of 1915 as genocide, are not regarded as being worth considering.

Facing the past is better than turning a blind eye:

Yeni Þafak’s Yasin Dogan also focuses on the Armenian issue and
appreciates the commitments made by the ruling AKP and the main
opposition CHP to face and fight the claims of the alleged Armenian

Dogan says that anyone can easily cling to the falsity of the
arguments claiming that Turkey had committed a systematic genocide of
Armenian people.

Further elaborating on the allegations, Dogan says that even if
some mistakes were made, it would still be wrong to hold the Turkish
Republic or even the Ottoman Empire accountable for the acts today.

Dogan concludes by saying that the goal is to eradicate hatred
between Turks and Armenians and to leave that negative atmosphere in
the past.

From: Baghdasarian

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