ANKARA: Turkey takes concrete steps towards peace with Armenia

Journal of Turkish Weekly
April 14 2005

Turkey takes concrete steps towards peace with Armenia

Source: Hurriyet
14 April 2005

The Turkish government issued a declaration, Wednesday, calling for
the cooperation from the Armenian government over the so-called
genocide. The declaration states that only by working together will
Turkey and Armenia eradicate hate that could be left behind for
future generations on both sides.

It is seen as a move to finally seek some clarity and closure on the
issue of the so-called genocide. An extract from the declaration
states: ” Unless Turkey and Armenia look at the history from the same
perspective, they will only leave prejudices, enmity and revenge to
their children and forthcoming generations. What is reasonable for
Turkey and Armenia is to end taboos with a joint initiative, clarify
all sides of what they had experienced, and be ready to settle old
scores with their history. This is the only way to prevent the past
from darkening today and future.”

The declaration calls for the Armenian government to adopt the
procedures laid out in the declaration in order to get the initiative
underway stating that: “If Armenia wants to establish good neighborly
relations with Turkey and enhance its cooperation, it should not
hesitate to adopt Turkey’s proposal to re-assess their common
history. Also, the parliament would like to stress that every
good-willed country and statesman that wants to contribute to world
peace and stability, should consider Turkey’s proposal as positive,
leaving aside his/her/its internal political views. In this context,
countries which want betterment of Turkish-Armenian relations and
settlement of peace and stability in the Caucasus should support this
initiative, and refrain from acts which will harm this initiative.”

Turkey is calling for the establishment of a legitimate commission to
investigate the claims: “This proposal envisages Turkey and Armenia
to form a common commission comprised of their own historians, search
their national archives without limitations, make public the results
of their searches, and set the working methods of the commission.”

The document also stated that the claims should not be used for
political gain and that history should be based on a fair historical
assesment on both sides.

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