Turkey Shamelessly Tries to Reconsider its History

4/15/2005 4:00:17 AM

Vartan Oskanian Says Armenia Will Spare No Efforts to Achieve Recognition of Genocide

It was for the first time that Vartan Oskanian, RA foreign minister, characterized the Turkish policy of denying the Armenian Genocide as brazenness. "Turkey not only tries to reconsider its history without any shame but also wants to force other countries do the same," Vartan Oskanian announced at the April 13 press conference.

Mr. Oskanian considered the fact that Turkey doesn’t want to be more tolerant on the eve of the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide as a twist of fate but also began a counterattack accusing the Armenians of a crime. "At this moment, hearings are being held at the Turkish parliament and, as a result, a letter will be sent to the states that recognized the armenisn genocide," Vartan Oskanian said.

Mr. Oskanian said that the Turkish MPs will address a letter to the government of the Great Britain condemning for the publication of "The Blue Book" in 1916. The book contains facts and materials on the massacres of 1915. Oskanian explained to journalists that though the term "genocide" wasn’t used in the book, the events were described as "a massacre of a whole nation."

Mr. Oskanian doesn’t doubt that if the term "genocide" existed in the early 20th century, there would be no useless and senseless dispute with Turkey. "The Armenians should remember the black pages of their history unless the minimal justice wins," he said, adding that Armenia will continue being consistent in the recognition of the Genocide.

Mr. Oskanian believes that the recognition of the Genocide is also an issue of security for Armenia. "We can’t feel secure near a neighbor that exceeds in the military aspect and definitely supports Azerbaijan in the Nagorno Karabakh issue," RA foreign minister said.

Mr. Oskanian is sure that the Genocide issue will be included on the agenda of the negotiations for the membership EU. "Turkey wants to be a member of an organization that is built on the bases of the human rights protection. When Turkey wants to become an EU member country, the Genocide issue becomes of European, human importance."

Vartan Oskanian said that activities directed to the recognition of the Genocide are being held at the German parliament, the parliaments of other countries discuss the issue as well. RA foreign minister stated that "this issue is still actual at the US Congress," but he said it is still hard to predict what results will be fixed in the future. He reminded the statement of President George Bush of the last year where "the genocide was described without using the very term."

Vartan Oskanian’s press conference was dedicated to the arrangements of Commemoration of 90th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. He said that 1,5 million people are going to visit Tsitsernakaberd on April 24, signifying the 1,5 million Armenians massacred in 1915. MPs from 15 countries will arrive in Armenia on that day. Scientific conferences and cultural events will be held within the framework of the arrangements.

On April 24 all the Armenian churches will serve liturgies. The representatives of the Roman Catholic, the Greek, Georgian, Russian Orthodoxies, the Romanian, the Assyrian and the Anglican Churches, as well as the World Council of Churches and spiritual leaders of other religions will participate at the liturgy served at the Cathedral of St. Gregory the Illuminator.

'Territories are kept merely for security reasons'

The foreign minister stated that he and his Azeri counterpart will separately meet OSCE Minsk group co-chairs in London, April 15. Oskanian said that the co-chairs will try to clarify the stances of both states.

The co-chairs themselves preferred the format of "Proximity Talks". Oskanian said that the rumors that the co-chairs will present a "package of suggestions" in London are overstated. Positions of the conflicting are not that close to be made suggestions to.

The minister reminded that "the Key West was the last written package project". Oskanian repeated that Karabakh retains the neighboring territories out of security reasons.