050304- ANKARA Turkish Daily News
|OSCE called on Turkish authorities OSCE tells Turkey to lift Cyprus, Armenian bans
Friday, March 4, 2005
Ankara faces pressure on sensitive issues
ANKARA Turkish Daily News
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) called on Turkish authorities to eliminate all references in official documents suggesting that calls for troop withdrawal from Cyprus or claims that Armenians were subject to a so-called genocide should be treated as crimes.
References to Cyprus and Armenian issues are found in an explanatory document accompanying Article 305 of the Turkish Penal Code, which regulates ³offenses against national interests.²
³Officially removing these subjects can help eliminate the impression that Article 305 allows for the punishment of free speech,² the OSCE's representative on freedom of the media, Miklos Haraszti, said in a letter to Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek.
Haraszti also said that reforms in the penal code were generally welcomed but complained that there were still some worrying provisions in it, calling for the removal of two articles in order to further expand freedom of speech.
Urge Pres. Bush to Speak with Moral Clarity on the Armenian Genocide
Send a Free ANCA WebFax asking the President to Honor his Pledge to Properly Recognize the Armenian Genocide
In recent weeks, we have started to see cracks in policy of U.S. complicity in Turkey's denial of the Armenian Genocide.
You may have seen stinging criticism of Turkey by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on NBC's Meet the Press; read the strongly-worded Wall Street Journal article attacking the growing wave of anti-American sentiment in Turkey, or heard about the controversy surrounding recent remarks by the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia that clearly and accurately described the Armenian Genocide as a "genocide."
On this, the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, take a moment to send a free ANCA WebFax urging President Bush, once and for all, to bring an end to the shameful policy of U.S. complicity in Turkey's denial of the Armenian Genocide.
Send a free ANCA WebFax to President Bush. (Simply fill in your name, address and e-mail address and click "Send."
Please also urge your friends and family to participate in this ANCA WebFax campaign.
* In February 2004, then presidential candidate George W. Bush (campaigning for votes among Armenian voters in the Michigan Republican primary) pledged to properly characterize the genocidal campaign against the Armenian people. In subsequent statements, Pres. Bush has consistently evaded references to the Armenian Genocide and consistently opposed legislation marking this crime against humanity.
* In February of this year, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Marshall Evans, in town hall meetings with Armenian communities in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Fresno and San Francisco, spoke openly and candidly about the Armenian Genocide. Under apparent pressure from the Turkish government and its surrogates, he later issued a statement noting that his private views on this subject did not represent a change in official U.S. policy.
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Please Speak with Moral Clarity on the Armenian Genocide
Required text to the President: This text will be included in your message.
I am writing, in the year of the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, to call upon you to adopt a new approach to our nation's policies on the proper recognition, official commemoration, and contemporary implications of the first genocide of the 20th Century.
The time has come for you to break with a short-sighted policy of complicity in Turkey's morally-bankrupt campaign of genocide denial, an ill-advised policy that has compromised our American values and, for far too long, significantly hindered the advancement of U.S. interests in this strategically vital region. In this spirit, I urge you to take the following steps:
* Consistent with your February 2004 campaign promise, speak with moral clarity and historical accuracy about the Armenian Genocide by properly describing this atrocity as a "genocide" in your annual April 24th statement.
* Abandon the policy of opposing legislative and other initiatives - in Congress, at the state level, and by municipal governments - to recognize and commemorate the Armenian Genocide.
* End all forms of official U.S. complicity in Turkey's campaign of genocide denial, and use the full moral standing and geopolitical influence of the White House to press Turkey to acknowledge this crime, accept its responsibilities, and come to terms with the Armenian nation.
* Completely disassociate the U.S. government from destructive attempts to promote an artificial reconciliation - one without truth and justice - between the Armenian people and Turkey. These efforts have, to date, been little more than thinly disguised efforts, first to derail progress toward universal international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and then to help Turkey avoid the consequences of this crime. The only sound basis for improved Armenian-Turkish relations remains Turkey's open acknowledgement of its genocidal crime and full acceptance of its responsibilities to the Armenian nation.
Mr. President, I look to you for moral clarity and principled leadership in each of these areas. I will, in the coming weeks, be especially careful in watching your Administration's response to the historically accurate description of the Armenian Genocide by the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Marshall Evans. If history has taught us anything, it is that those who speak the truth should be encouraged, not silenced.