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Armenian Turk author critical of German politician

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

‘It’s her problem if Christian Democrat Union leader Merkel wants to use it as a tool to score domestic political goals,’ says Dink, editor in chief of the bilingual (Armenian-Turkish) Agos weekly

ANKARA – Turkish Daily News

Hrant Dink, editor in chief of the bilingual (Armenian-Turkish) Agos weekly, yesterday accused the German conservative politician Angela Merkel of using the issue of so-called Armenian genocide as a tool to score domestic political goals and said that Merkel is actually not interested in the issue.

Speaking at a meeting in Berlin jointly held by the European Academy Berlin and the Initiative of European Turks in Berlin (B.A.T.I.), Dink mentioned that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan and main opposition leader Deniz Baykal have both called on all historians to discuss the so-called Armenian genocide issue. He called it an “important development.”

“It’s her problem if Christian Democrat Union (CDU) leader Merkel wants to use it as a tool to score domestic political goals. … Shame on those Armenians who allowed the issue be used as a tool,” Anatolia quoted Dink as saying.

‘Turkey destroys taboos’

Merkel, who is known for her policy against Turkey’s European Union bid and once proposed “privileged partnership” for Turkey instead of full membership, had introduced a proposal alleging 1.5 million Armenians had been killed by the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

The denial attitude of Turkey that is the legal heir of the Ottoman Empire did not go with the idea of “peace and forgiving” one of the EU’s founding elements, Merkel said in her proposal.

Turkey has rapidly changed and has become more democratic, Dink said. “Taboos are being smashed in Turkey. Turkey needs assistance on this issue.”

Dink said the essential problem of Armenians is to continue their presence. “We’re neglecting ‘the human’ as we regard history solely under the light of documents. Moral values also matter while researching history,” he said.

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