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A Panel on Armenian Genocide With Turkish Intelligentsia

A citizen of Germany of Armenian origin Artin Aqyuz sent an email to daily Azg on February 25. The name of the addresser is the distorted variant of Armenian name of Harutyun but the last name has no Armenian trace. Obviously, the addresser is a former citizen of Turkey, a country that does not bother too much about precisely putting Armenian names in the passports.

In other words, it is almost impossible for a Turkish-Armenian to make a Turkish official at the Passport Department write his name correctly in the document, especially when the name is ending in “ian”. However, Artin Aqyuz attached a notification informing of a seminar in Cologne on March 5.

The name of the seminar is “The 90th anniversary of Armenian Genocide and social responsibility. A panel with Turkish intelligentsia”. It is organized by the Central Council of Germany and the Armenian Church Center of Germany in association with the Church Union of Cologne and TODAY Turkish NGO.

Aqen Birdal, honorable president of the Turkish General Union of Human Rights, journalist Demir Qyucuqaydn, Ragəp Zaraqolu, publisher and public figure, writer Recep Maraslə will lecture at the seminar. Dogan Aqhanlə, vice-president of Union Against Genocide, will preside the workshop.

The notification informs that the Turkish society having neglected the processes of the Ottoman military court in 1919, the investigation of the parliament, numerous documents and studies, as well as the fact that thousands Armenians escaped Genocide by finding shelter in different countries of the world, continues denying the Genocide and even places the blame on the victims of the atrocities 90 ago.

All participants of the seminar are from Turkey alone. It’s an incredible step given Turkey’s state negationism. The following questions put by participants for discussion are more than incredible: “Will Turkey be able to follow Germany’s example in acknowledging Holocaust by 2015? Can it display ability of reconciling with the genocide it committed instead of turning deaf ear to just claims? Will it remember that the Armenians and Assyrians massacred in 1915 were the country’s citizens and not a country waging war against Turkey? Will it trace links between the crime committed in the past and the violence in different spheres of social life in today’s Turkey in order to free the coming generations from bearing moral, jural and civil responsibility? If negation and threats are no way out, then what will be the approach and responsibility of Turkish intelligentsia, mass media and political figures to the genocide issue?”

We think that the coming seminar will contribute to the initiative of Christian Democrats’ to honor the victims of Genocide in Bundestag and will be an adequate counteraction to Turkish official circles.

By Hakob Chakrian

AZG Armenian Daily

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