Turkish Thesis Regarding 1915 Events Adopted By OSCE


Thursday, July 03, 2008

Turkey’s thesis against Armenian allegations about the events of 1915
has been adopted for the first time by the general assembly of the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

"The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s annual session was held in
Kazakhstan’s capital Astana with the main theme of ‘Transparency
in the OSCE’. During the session, a motion submitted by the Turkish
delegation was adopted. The motion underlines that past events like
genocide should be recognized only after historians carried out a
detailed research in all kinds of archives," Alaattin Buyukkaya,
who leads the Turkish group at the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly,
told a statement on Wednesday.

In 2005, Turkey officially proposed to the Armenian government the
establishment of a joint historical commission composed of historians
and other experts from both sides to study together the events of
1915 and to open the archives of Turkey and Armenia, as well as
the archives of all relevant third-party countries and share their
findings publicly.

Unfortunately, Armenia has not yet responded positively to this
initiative and Turkey’s proposal remains on the table.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic links since Ankara
intensified its protests against Armenian invasion and violence in
the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which Armenia invaded in a war with
Azerbaijan in the early 1990s.

The border between Turkey and Armenia has been closed.

Armenia, with the backing of the Diaspora, claims up to 1.5 million
of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings in 1915. Turkey
rejects the claims, saying that 300,000 Armenians along with at least
as many Turks died in civil strife that emerged when the Armenians
took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia.

"The OSCE is the biggest international organization behind the United
Nations. Adoption of the Turkish thesis by the OSCE is a significant
achievement against the Armenian allegations. Also, the Turkish thesis
regarding the events of 1915 was adopted for the first time on an
international platform. The OSCE has 56 member states. Only Armenia
voted against the motion. A majority of the other member states voted
in favor of it," he said.

"The motion says that the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly encourages the
formation of joint history commissions by historians and experts from
the third countries in case of a research into political and military
archives to scientifically and unbiasedly enlighten a disputed period
in history in an effort to serve transparency and common understanding
among the member states," Buyukkaya added.

The Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE is the parliamentary
dimension of the organization, whose 56 participating States span the
geographical area from Vancouver to Vladivostok. The primary task of
the 320 member Assembly is to facilitate inter-parliamentary dialogue,
an important aspect of the overall effort to meet the challenges of
democracy throughout the OSCE area.


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