Turkey Broken Off Between Liberals & Conservatives


DeFacto Agency, Armenia
Sept 27 2005

Armenian Genocide conference has revealed contradictions in the
Turkish government.

In spite of all the obstacles a scientific conference devoted to
the Armenian Genocide of early XX century took place in Istanbul on
September 24 – 25.

The conference was conducted against the background of mass protests;
however the conference’s participants wish to understand their own
country’s history. “We cannot allow the discussions to be limited to
mutually contradicting opinions: whether the genocide took place or
not. We should try to realize what happened in 1915”, stated a famous
historian Halil Bektay.

“Turkey’s desire to enter into the European Union requires notable
democratic processes. However, there are certain powers in Turkey,
as well as in any society, that are against democracy”, said a
conference’s organizer Murad Begle. In his words, “some of them are
afraid to lose power and authority”.

According to a lot of politicians, the conference’s conduct is an
unprecedented phenomenon, which can change the situation in Turkey,
as well as influence on Armenian – Turkish relations.

To note, there is some uncertainty both in the relations between
Ankara and Brussels and in the Turkish political field, which is
pregnant with weakening of the position of the powers striving for
Turkey’s amendments and further growth of nationalism. One can affirm
nothing has changed within 40 years, at least Turkey’s attitude towards
Armenia and Armenians. Speaking up for the conduct of the Armenian
Genocide conference Turkish Foreign Minister does not give up the
idea of working out strategy of confrontation to the international
recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

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