Armenian Genocide : April, a very difficult month for Turkey

* Cemil Cicek

Turkish Government spokesperson Cemil Cicek said that consultations resume to decide on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's pending visit to the United States.

Reminding that Turkey faced unfair accusations at the US congressional panel which approved a resolution on Armenian Genocide, Spokesperson Cicek said it is not clear whether Erdogan will deliver the official visit or not.

Referring to the billl, Cicek said “…Turkey does not deserve this. Both countries have always been in close and friendly relations, expressing desire for deepening of mutually beneficiary relations. We have always reiterated potential risks that arise from decisions incumbent upon historians but given by parliamentarians.”

The spokesperson noted that Turkey expressed regret over the move and said that Turkey stands behind the newly inked protocol; however, the accord could make sense only if both sides fulfill responsibilities, TRT reports.

* Selim Deringil

Prominent Turkish historian told Taraf newspaper in an interview that “the Young Turks planned to annihilate the entire Armenian population.”

Historian Selim Deringil told Taraf that there was also a distinction between the aims of the Young Turks and their predecessor Sultan Abdul Hamid at the turn of the 19th century, Asbarez reports.

“The difference between Sultan Abdul Hamid and the Young Turks was that the Young Turks wanted to completely destroy and annihilate the Armenians, while Sultan Abdul Hamid sought to get rid of a certain element of Armenians, to diminish their economic dominance and to create and Islamic bourgeoisie.”

“There were Armenians [living] everywhere [in Turkey]. The massacre of Armenians took place in different cities. Today, the official history states that in all the areas where people were killed there were Armenians revolts; however, the majority of those were not rebellions,” said Deringil.

The historian told Taraf that between 1841 and 1897, 300,000 Armenian were massacred under Sultan Adbul Hamid. He claims that 800,000 were murdered during the Armenian Genocide.

Deringil also cites the failures of Turkish policy after the establishment of the modern-day Republic. He told Taraf that at the onset of the Republic an estimated 300,000 Armenians lived in Turkey, while today that number has dwindled to 70,000.

“Annihilation does not only happen through killings,” claimed Derengil. “If you make life unbearable [for people] they will pick up and leave.”

Derengil also criticized Turkish historians, who, he said, spend all of their time trying to rationalize Turkey's official denialist position on the Genocide. “They work only to prove that Armenian assertions are baseless.”

After World War I, Derengil said, there was plenty of evidence that demonstrated the crimes, kidnapping and rape of Armenian women in Anatolia beginning in 1915. He cited that at that time the number of adoptions was 300,000”

“This is worth discussion.”

* Ragip Levent

The unrecognized Parliament of the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) will discuss the resolution on Armenian Genocide, Gibrahayer e-magazine reports.

A small political party of the far left, represented by Ragip Levent has announced that in the next session of the so-called Assembly of the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) he will submit a resolution for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, honouring the survivors of the Armenian Genocide who fled to Cyprus in the beginning of the 20th century.

Levent said that Armenians and Turks lived in harmony for decades and as Turkish Cypriots who witnessed the influx of the Armenians to Cyprus have the moral obligation to make a statement towards history.

"As we are all trying to make a fresh start with the solution of the Cyprus problem, we as Turkish Cypriots must do our bit, towards our Armenian Cypriot compatriots," Levent concluded.

* Bendal Celil Ezman

Turkish lawyer Bendal Celil Ezman appealed to the Turkish court, demanding the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, condemnation of Talat Pasha and renaming of streets with the latter's name.

Haberturk reports, that the lawyer participated in a signature-gathering “Forgive us, Armenians” campaign. He insisted that in 1915 Armenians fell victims to the planned pogroms. The lawyer pointed out that he was denied to be given the documents on the trials held in 1918 and 1922, when those responsible for displacing Armenians in April and May 1915 were found guilty. “Turkey should face its history. It is the first time Turkey hears such a case,” he said.

Turkish lawyer charges Talat Pasha's committee members with 220 and 3713, 76, 77, 78 articles of Turkish Criminal Code, which indicate that 1915 mass crimes against Armenians are labeled as Genocide.

Istanbul lawyer Serhat Kamil Zor brought legal action against his colleague Bendal Celil Ezman, Turkish Zaman daily reports. The latter appealed to the court, demanding the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Serhat Kamil Zor accuses Ezman of offending Turkish nation, slander of state bodies and actions conflicting with professional lawyer's duties. In his plea, Kamil Zor says he was born in one of the villages in Erzurum province, noting there are many settlements with Armenian and Greek names. In addition, he claims that during Russia's invasion in the beginning of last century, Armenians massacred Turks.

Public Radio of Armenia