TURKS LEAVE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS IN PROTEST
March 17 2010
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The association of Turkish Social Democrats in Gothenburg has elected
to discontinue its operations after last week’s parliamentary vote to
recognize as genocide the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.
The left-green opposition voted unanimously in favour of the motion.
As a result, the Turkish Social Democrats in Gothenburg called a
meeting to consider their position on Saturday. The association’s
board subsequently voted in favour of closure and has recommended
that its 200 members leave the main Social Democrat party.
"We feel let down, misled and cast out of the party," said the
association’s secretary and former municipal councillor Mustafa Atik.
Atik confirmed that he had already begun talks with other parties
regarding a cooperation. As the Social Democrats, Greens and Left
Party all voted in favour of the motion, there remain only centre-right
"This issue is so important that it gives us the energy to proceed with
the election campaign, but against the Social Democrat party," he said.
But the decision has been met with criticism from other Turkish groups
"The Gothenburg Turks are wrong. If we do not stay in the party how
will we then influence the genocide question?" said Hasan DÃ¶lek, chair
of the Turkish Association of Sweden and Stockholm city councillor,
to news agency TT.
"We should work during the election, raise the turnout and vote red.
At the next congress we can change the decision," he said.
Sweden’s parliament moved last week to recognise as genocide the mass
killings of Armenians and other ethnic groups – Chaldeans, Syrians,
Assyrians and Pontian Greeks – in 1915 during the breakup of the
Ottoman Empire, going against the government’s advice.
The Swedish parliament previously voted on the issue in 2008 when
the Social Democrats voted against the motion, which was rejected
(by 245 to 37). The Social Democrat parliamentary bloc changed its
position after a vote among members at the party congress in 2009.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress