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An open letter sent to president Gül by more than 300 intellectuals from Armenia echoes a similar request from Turkish intellectuals.

- The European Parliament’s report on Turkey challenged by the letter and the request.

More than 300 intellectuals from Armenia have published last week an open letter sent to the Turkish president Abdullah Gül, asking him to recognize the Armenian genocide.

Taking into consideration the “new context created by the last developments in the South Caucasus” and the recent meeting between the Armenian and Turkish presidents in Armenia, the open letter considers that the normalisation of the relations between Turkey and Armenia requires “brave and realistic decisions”. The letter highlights that the recognition of the Armenian genocide does not constitute “simply a position asserted by all Armenians” but “a legitimate expectation from the whole of humanity”.

The Armenian intellectuals conclude that the “modern Turkish State inherited the responsibility for this genocide, and that the true process of reconciliation will not be possible without the recognition of the genocide by the Turkish State”.

The letter ends by reminding the readers that the hope raised by Gul’s visit to Armenia can “be destroyed if the Turkish State, does not take decisive measures to break with its current denial policy of the Armenian Genocide”.

The open letter by the Armenian intellectuals echoes the reactions that caused a petition, initiated one week ago, by a group of Turkish intellectuals. In this petition, the signatories reject the denial of the “great disaster” suffered in 1915 by the Ottoman Armenians, and give their “personal apology” to their “Armenian sisters and brothers”.

Several Turkish intellectuals reacted by affirming that the “great disaster” is in fact the genocide, and retorted “it is up to the Turkish State to apologize”.

“With these parallel standpoints, a new period is opening up for the two countries” declared Hilda Tchoboian, the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy. “The Turkish and Armenian intellectuals, united against the lies and the denials of the genocide, for the first time call for a real reconciliation based on truth, recognition and justice.

“We recognize among Turkish intellectuals notable qualities of courage and democratic maturity, which the European Union has the moral and political duty to support” continued Hilda Tchoboian, president of the European Armenian Federation.

In connection with the next resolution of the European Parliament on Turkey, the European Armenian Federation considers that even if the Parliament shows more and more indifference with the Turkish accession question, it must be clear on the genocide issue. The Federation stresses that the European Assembly has to follow the evolution of the Turkish society, and stop supporting fixed attitudes of a Turkish administration which “draws the society downwards”.

“The European Parliament should not drop these brave Turkish democrats who not only risk condemnations by application of article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, but also endanger their lives by openly calling for the recognition of the Armenian genocide” concluded Hilda Tchoboian.


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