ANKARA: ADL softens anti-Turkish stance

Aug 24 2007

ADL softens anti-Turkish stance

Turkey has always denied that any act of genocide took place in the
Ottoman Empire, though acknowledges that many thousands of Turkish
and Armenian civilians lost their lives in the turmoil of war.

Güncelleme: 10:55 TSÝ 24 Aðustos 2007 Cuma

WASHINGTON – The US lobby group the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has
called on Armenia to respond to Turkish invitations to set up a
released a joint commission to investigate claims that the Ottoman
Empire committed an act of genocide against Armenians during the
First World War.
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The statement comes just two days after the ADL had declared it now
supported the view that genocide had been committed by the Ottoman
Empire against its Armenian citizens in 1915.

In its new statement, signed by both Glen S. Lewy, the national
chairman of the ADL, and the group’s national director Abraham H.
Foxman, the ADL said steps should be taken to encourage the creation
of an atmosphere in which Armenia will respond favourably to the
several recent overtures of Turkey to convene a joint commission to
assist the parties in achieving a resolution of their profound

`We believe there are many renowned historians, human rights
activists and distinguished world leaders who are willing to lend
their knowledge, experience and judgment to this cause,’ the
statement said. `We know that earlier this year, Professor Dr Elie
Wiesel and more than 50 of his fellow Nobel Laureates called for
concrete steps to be taken by Turkey and Armenia to find a way
forward to reach the goal of reconciliation, and that, last week,
Professor Wiesel reaffirmed his support for efforts to create a body
in which both Turkish and Armenian experts can come together to work
cooperatively in re-examining the shared past of both peoples.’

Though the statement did not retract the ADL’s claims over the
so-called genocide, saying that `independent scholars may have
reached a consensus about the genocide,’ it also said that in order
to facilitate reconciliation there was room for further dispassionate
scholarly examination of the details of those dark and terrible days.

`The ADL and the American Jewish community should focus their
attention on supporting efforts to urge Turkey and Armenia to make
this happen,’ the statement said.

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