voelkermord.at – Association for the Documentation of Genocides
Vienna – Austria
Email [email protected]
Austrian National Assembly Candidate Denies Genocide
oN The Austrian National Assembly election day (October 1st, 2006) our
organisation’s "Voelkermord.at -Gesellschaft fuer die Dokumentation von
Voelkermorden" (voelkermord.at – Association for the Documentation of
Genocides) attention was called to an election poster that was publicly
displayed at the Victor Adler Platz in Vienna’s Tenth District.
The poster, written in Turkish language, was the work of the Austrian
Peoples Party (OeVP) district council Mustafa Iscel. On this poster,
he asked Austrians with immigrant backgrounds to vote for him. One of
the slogans he announced was: "If you don’t want that the Armenian
Bill to pass the Parliament … vote for the OeVP." A fast
Internet investigation showed that on Mr. Iscel’s homepage,
which was hosted by the Austrian Peoples Party, you could see the
election poster and download it.
Several groups agreed to undertake our protest and we send a letter
signed by six organisations to the OeVP-Vienna, in which we asked
for a response to this election poster.
On the fifth of October, once could read an interview from Mr. Iscel
in the Turkish newspaper Huerriyet. Reflecting his view, only the
racist and xenophobic Austrian political parties won this election.
OeVP 34,3% (-8,0); SPOe 35,3% (-1,2); FPOe 11,0% (+1,0); Green 11,0%
(+1,5); BZOe 4,1% others the Green party is the most liberal party
in the Austrian spectrum concerning foreign policy.
And he added: "Austria was and is, compared to other European
countries, always behind them. The political parties in Austria
don’t see that the time is ripe for a Congressman of (foreign)
descent/background and as I see it, they are not ready for it now. In
other European countries like Germany and Belgium politicians of
Turkish origin are making politics for the Turks there."
On October 18, 2006 the Austrian daily Newspaper "Die Presse"
published an article about the Iscel Poster and quoted Mr. Iscel:
" there was no mass murdering. That was a resettlement because of the
war. People had died because of disease and other contagion." In the
same article you can read that according to the Peoples Party district
chairman, Alfred Hoch, Mr. Iscel is an "outstanding district council"
(member) and was always on "party line".
The next day the "Die Presse" published the statement of Vienna Peoples
Party spokesman Norbert Walter: "We distance ourselves explicitly
from these (there was no mass murdering …) statements. This
isn’t part of our policy."
Six years ago the Austrian National Assembly avoided acknowledgement
of the Armenian Genocide by referring to Resolution (50/A(E)), brought
up by the Green Party, of the Human Rights Commission of the Austrian
Parliament. There in 2002, especially under pressure from the Austrian
Peoples Party (OeVP) and the foreign minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner
(OeVP), this commission did formulate a new resolution, by keeping
set phrases. Because of presumed Turkish pettiness, you can’t find
the word Armenia or Genocide in the entire document.
On October 21 this year Mr. Iscel gave the Turkish newspaper Zaman
(Turkish release) an interview in which he said: "I stressed in my
campaign the topic "there was no Armenian genocide" [..] Now they
expect an apology from me. They foresee that I will retract this
statement. But certainly, I won’t take back this statement. I will
be true to my word."
In this article Mr. Iscel styled himself as a victim and hero by
announcing that the "Armenian Lobby" was a threat to him and the
Austrian Peoples Party (OeVP) but he wouldn’t change his point of
view. This article was finally printed in the Zaman (Austria) on
On the after noon of October 23, Mr. Iscel resigned the position
of district council. We received a letter from the Austrian Peoples
Party with a clear excuse and they (OeVP) clarified their position
on the Armenian genocide.
On 25th of October the Peoples Party- Vienna has introduced the
Resolution "for respect and acknowledgement of ethnic minorities as
a principal element of European human rights policy" in the Vienna
Federal States Parliament (not the Austrian Parliament). The Vienna
Federal Parliament (majority Socialistic Party ) decide unanimously
for this resolution. Federal Vienna Parliament member Dr. Franz
Ferdinand Wolf (Peoples Party-Vienna) said on 25th of October in the
Federal Parliament: "the Peoples Party-Vienna condemns every kind of
displacement and genocide."
In an Internet-Forum PUSULA.at, you will find an Article about Mr.
Iscel, where the question was raised (why you are silence) concerning
why other politicians of Turkish origin did not help Mr. Iscel. On
the same site, you can find a protest letter against the Peoples
Party-Vienna, ready to download.
The question that was raised – why the others don’t speak up – is a
good question. There was a candidate’s election poster hanging for
over a month in Turkish coffee houses, Turkish restaurants and even
openly on the street, and none of the related Turkish politicians
(whom know Turkey language), doesn’t matter which party they belong
to, have ever heard of this Poster?