Zatik consiglia:
Iniziativa Culturale:



050527 - A Turkish university facing accusations of "treason"
Turkey postpones conference on Armenian killings
Wed May 25, 2005 12:16 PM BST
Printer Friendly | Email Article | RSS
Related Articles
Turkey detains 10 Islamist suspects
By Ayla Jean Yackley

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A Turkish university facing accusations of "treason" has postponed a conference that offered a platform to academics questioning Ankara's official policy denying any World War One genocide of Armenians.

The conference, due to start on Wednesday at Istanbul's Bosphorus University, was organised as Muslim Turkey faces mounting international pressure to accept that mass killings of Christian Armenians starting in 1915 was genocide.

Turkey's pro-European government has broken with past administrations and said it is willing to discuss historical differences with Armenians, but official policy still vehemently rejects claims that 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered.

It accepts that hundreds of thousands of Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks but says even more Turks died in a partisan conflict that erupted as the Ottoman Empire collapsed.

Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said in parliament on Tuesday the conference by Turkish historians who say genocide occurred was a "stab in the back of the Turkish people".

"We must end this treason, the spreading of propaganda against Turkey by the people who belong to it," he said.

Bosphorus University said it had decided to put off the conference because of the prevailing climate.

"We are anxious that, as a state university, scientific freedom will be compromised due to prejudices about a conference that has not yet occurred," it said.

"We have decided it would be more appropriate to postpone the conference because of the results that could occur if the conference were held under these circumstances."


The European Union has said it wants to see Turkey improve ties with neighbouring Armenia before it begins EU entry talks later this year. Some European officials have gone further, saying Turkey must acknowledge wrongdoing before starting talks.

An EU diplomat called Cicek's remarks "unbelievable".

"It not only kills the government's policy on the Armenian issue. It will also kill support for Turkey's EU drive," the Turkey-based diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

Several European nations, including Poland, France and Germany, have passed resolutions that recognise genocide. Turkey has accused Europe of using the Armenian issue to mask efforts against Turkey's inclusion in the affluent bloc.

"This strengthens the hand of those outside Turkey who say, 'Turkey has not changed, it is not democratic enough to discuss the Armenian issue,'" Hrant Dink, editor of the Armenian weekly Agos and a conference participant, told Reuters.

"It also shows there is a difference between what the government says and its intentions."

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved


Il sito è curato dall'Arch. Vahé Vartanian e dal Dott. Enzo Mainardi;
© Zatik - Powered by Akmé S.r.l.