Intellectuals break taboo to acknowledge genocide by Ottoman Turks
By Nicholas Birch in Istanbul
Monday, 15 December 2008
Around 200 Turkish intellectuals and academics are to apologise on the internet today for the ethnic cleansing of Armenians during the First World War, in the most public sign yet that Turkey’s most sensitive taboo is slowly melting away.
"My conscience does not accept the denial of the great catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected to in 1915," the text prepared by the group reads. "I reject this injustice and … empathise with the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers. I apologise to them."
[counter campaign by retired diplomats had also started (in Turkish)]
Ex-Turkish envoys slam campaign apologizing to Armenians
A group of intellectuals led by Baskın Oran, Ahmet İnsel, Cengiz Aktar and Ali Bayramoğlu prepared and opened up for signatures a text regarding the events of 1915. The body of the text, which they debated for a long time before coming to an agreement on, was as follows:
An online petition launches in Turkey, apologising for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Ottoman Armenians in 1915.
ANKARA – A group of Turkish intellectuals and academics are planning to issue a public apology on the Internet in relation to the Armenian claims of genocide, testing one of Turkey’s most sensitive taboos.
BRUSSELS – While Turkey prepares for a critical year in terms of its EU bid, Brussels discusses once again the old debate on alternatives to full membership. One option is to extend the Customs Union, says a senior EU official, adding that this should not be confused with privileged partnership.
In a draft report publicised by the European Commission, the EU institution urged Turkey to normalise relations with southern Cyprus and to open its ports in line with the Additional Protocol of the Association Agreement made between the two sides. The report is to be discussed and adopted at the EU Council later in the month."
Spain should be regarded as a model for Turkey’s EU membership process, argues William Chislett, a researcher at the Royal Elcano Institute, a Spanish think tank, in a publication for the Turkish branch of the Open Society Institute Assistance Foundation.
Mavi Boncuk |
Restoring U.S.–Turkish Relations to Meet 21st Century Challenges
Read the full report (pdf)
The strategic relationship between the United States and Turkey—a decades-long partnership that has advanced both countries’ common interests—remains a key pillar in overall U.S. national security policy. Yet this vital alliance has suffered through serious strains in recent years, mostly due to ill will generated by the 2003 Iraq War. Today, this neglected alliance is in critical need of repair.
At a time when a new administration readies to take the office in Washington, it is best for those names familiar with our country to raise their voice. Undoubtedly, one such name is Morton Abramowitz, who served as US ambassador to Ankara during the first Gulf War (1989-1991).
There are currently seven countries waiting in the wings to join the European Union. Croatia and Turkey started accession talks on Oct. 3, 2005.
You might have heard about a group of intellectuals launching a campaign to apologize for the Armenian events as a response to the state’s policy of denial or indifference. It’s sort of saying that “we are apologizing even if you aren’t.”
Dhimmi Watch: EU – Turkey – Fitzgerald: A perfect example of the mentality one can see all over the Western world
EU – Turkey – Fitzgerald: A perfect example of the mentality one can see all over the Western world
"Arie Oostlander is the EU Rapporteur for Turkey. Here’s what he said in an interview given on 18 November 2005 in Arnhem, about his work as that EU Rapporteur for Turkey: "My approach was, strict, fair, and open. There are very humane consequences to Turkish EU membership, if Turkey is really able to change into a constitutional state.
Note EU-Digest:Mr. Oostlanders choice of words might not have been diplomatically well chosen, but the fact remains that Nationalist forces and Government religious ambitions in Turkey are both a hindrance to Turkey achieving a level of Democratic and political maturity it deserves. We would also hope that Mr. Oostlander is aware that the EU is a secular community and that his obvious reflections about his personal religious believes are not part of the EU mission he has to carry out.
The EU has been urged to intervene to help break “deadlocked” talks aimed at resolving the Cyprus problem.
Strasbourg – Turkey has to pay two journalists jointly 4,000 euros (5,131 dollars) for violating their freedom of speech, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday. The two men, publishers of a Turkish weekly, were fined in 2002 in Turkey for publishing statements by Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned former leader of the banned Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK)."
It was one of those me
etings that you leave satisfied even if the subject is the gloomy state of affairs between Turkey and the European Union.
BOP is the acronym for the Turkish translation of the Greater Middle East Project (Büyük Ortadoğu Projesi). Turkish nationalists of all sorts (leftist, rightist, religious, militarist, etc.) have come to a stage where they cannot explain any international or even domestic phenomenon without making reference to this infamous project. Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Mr. Devlet Bahçeli is the most recent person to use the term to manipulate a domestic political discussion.
Frustration has been evident amongst keen observers for a long time. In a recent Turkey Observatory/İstanbul Policy Center (IPC) meeting in Berlin, focused on the Turkish accession process, I noticed that even the most incurable optimists had fallen into doubt.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Turkish Foreign Minister and chief negotiator for the EU Ali Babacan, speaking at a NATO foreign ministers meeting two weeks ago, mentioned that the Turkish Constitution as it stands now will not help Turkey move forward with its reform agenda.
A recent report by the Council of the European Union on Turkey precisely depicts the current state of affairs in our country. Turkey has made no significant progress with respect to the fundamental rights and democratization envisaged in the Copenhagen criteria.
Countries that just can’t wait to become members;
Albania (No customs? Free drug trafficking WOOT! Sign me in!)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (We generally want to piss off the Serbians!!!!
Canada (Sees it as the only way to make English an official language in Quebec)
Croatia (We wanna join to prove them that we may someday secede!)
Israel (Jews under German rule worked so great the last time, right?)
Macedonia (We want everybody to know that we exist! ..and we hate all neighbours..)…………….