Monday, March 29, 2010

Turkey / Armenian Genocide

"There Can Be No Talk of Genocide" (Interview with Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan)
Spiegel Online, March 29, 2010
"[...] Erdogan: When a journalist uses the word genocide, he should take a careful look at the issue first. There can be no talk of genocide against the Armenians. Genocide is a legal term. In 2005, I wrote a letter to then-Armenian President Robert Kocharian, in which I told him that this is not a matter for politicians like us, but one that needs to be studied by historians. There are currently millions of documents on the subject in Turkish archives, of which more than 1 million have been examined since I wrote to Kocharian. If there are archives in your country, I wrote to him, then make them accessible. And if historians cannot clarify the subject sufficiently, then let lawyers, political scientists and archaeologists take part in the effort.
SPIEGEL: Armenians say that commissions of historians are just the best way to put off such disputes indefinitely. And we disagree with the notion that politicians should not talk about genocide. One person who has used this word is the current American president.
Erdogan: If he used the word, then he did so in error. A word doesn't become more correct because a president uses it. And besides, the United States is not a party to this matter. America, like other countries, is merely a bystander here. We and the Armenians are the only participants. This is our history. The Turkish Republic had not yet been founded in 1915. It was the era of the Ottoman Empire, which was allied with Germany at the time. [...]"

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