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STOCKHOLM, JANUARY 29, ARMENPRESS: Ucel Acer from the Turkish delegation to the Stockholm International Forum on Preventing Genocide; Threats and Responsibilities, who is also an expert in international law at Turkish Bogazici University, told Armenpress that establishing of an international day to commemorate genocide victims would be an effective measure in the overall efforts aimed at preventing the repetition of such crimes in future. Speaking to Armenpress correspondent on the sidelines of the conference, the Turkish experts said that setting a genocide commemoration day would also help raise the general awareness of peoples of that crime.

Asked to share his views on a suggestion by Armenian prime minister Andranik Margarian at the Forum to declare the year of 2005 the year of struggle against violation of human rights, and commemoration of the victims of wars and genocides, Ucel Acer said: “I do not think that the year of 2005 has anything to do with what happened in 1915 (in 2005 the 90-th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide will be marked).”

According to him, Armenians and Turks have to seek for establishment of good neighborly relations, but look into the past, as Armenians in Diaspora, who he said fail to realize the importance of normal relations between Turkey and Armenia. “They are talking about the facts of the past, but we have to look in future,” he said, adding that constant accusations on both sides are just adding to the hatred.

The Turkish professor also downplayed the possible effect of his government’s official recognition of the genocide to diffuse the political atmosphere of the region and open new avenues of cooperation.

Another participant of the conference, Payam Akhavan, a former member of the international court in the Hague, said, when speaking to Armenpress that the failure of governments to condemn the Armenian genocide led to the systematic annihilation of Jews by the nazi Germany “By acknowledging the 1915 genocide Turkey would make a step forward to democracy and get rid of its burden of past ,” he said.

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