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17 12 2007 - Dow Jones Newswires: Armenian Demonstrators Call For Halt To Turkey's EU Talks-AFP
|Published: December 14, 2007 10:05 AM
BRUSSELS (AFP)--Hundreds of European Armenians demonstrated in Brussels Friday to urge the European Union to force Turkey to recognize the Armenian genocide before joining the bloc.

Organizers said that 2,500 people participated in the protest in a park several hundred meters from Brussels' E.U. quarter where heads of state and government were holding a summit.

An AFP journalist put the number of protesters at about 500.

"The E.U. must be more demanding in Turkey's accession negotiations," said Mourad Papazian, president of the Armenian Socialist Party Dachnik for western Europe.

"We are not against Turkey joining but against a Turkey that refuses to leave Cyprus, to recognize Cyprus, to recognize the Armenian genocide and Kurds' rights," he added.

While the E.U. has demanded that Turkey improve the respect of human rights and recognize Cyprus, the recognition of the Armenian genocide has never been a condition for it joining.

The European Parliament alone called in 1987 for the recognition of massacres of Armenians in the twilight of the Ottoman empire between 1915 and 1917 to be a condition, only to go back on its position the following year.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
12-14-07 1005ET

A, Melikian

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