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Turkish and Armenian Women Deputies sign a declaration


Anadolu News Agency
29 March. 2001

ISTANBUL – A panel discussion was organized on Wednesday within scope of Istanbul Woman Biennial activities. Participants requested that problems between Turkey and Armenia should be solved through dialogue.

Speaking at the panel discussion, Gonul Saray, a deputy of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) from Amasya, gave information about negative impacts of wars on women, children and elderly people.

Underlining importance of peace, Saray said, ”we, as Turkish and Armenian women, want to stress that all institutions should cooperate with each other in a region in which acts of violence have been continuing. The women should start this meaningful attitude by cooperating in every field against circles who want to escalate tension between the two countries. Therefore, we are
taking the first step to develop friendship between our politicians. We call on our political parties and all members of our parliaments to start all kinds of productive dialogue as soon as possible.”

Noting that Hermine Naghdalyan, an Armenian MP, and she would sign a declaration in English, Turkish and Armenian languages, Saray said, ”we have prepared a clean snowball with this declaration. If we can succed in rolling this snowball together, it will turn into an avalanche of friendship between the two countries.”

Meanwhile, Naghdalyan expressed her belief over that the rapprochement started between Turkey and Armenian women would receive support from intellectuals, artists, parliamentarians and young people of both countries.

Stressing that she would try to do her utmost for continuation of this initiative, Naghdalyan said that they considered the initiative a sign of Turkish and Armenian people desire to set up dialogue and to understand each other.

Naghdalyan said that the declaration would be a step taken consciously by women, a brave action against acts of violence and warfare and an initiative aiming at welfare of Turkey and Armenia.

Haranush Khratyan, the Chairwoman of Armenian Woman Dialogue Group, said that problems between Turkey and Armenia had been explained in several countries and platforms, adding that Turkey and Armenia could not come together to discuss their problems.

Noting that they should try to convene in Turkey or in Armenia, Khratyan said that negative attitudes made solution of problems more difficult.

Recalling that the history left them a bitter heritage, Khratyan said that they did not want to discuss these issues any longer.

She added that if the two countries could set up dialogue, they could display a more realistic approach.

Later, Saray and Naghdalyan signed the declaration.

The declaration says, ”we believe that problems between Turkey and Armenia should be solved through dialogue and with peaceful means instead of intimidation and armament. As women and politicians, we are determined to make any kind of contribution to provide raprochement between Turkish and Armenian peoples. As a first step, we will work to start dialogue between our political parties. We call on our governments to start political

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