The Turkish Embassy once again champions the Turkish proposal of establishing a “joint commission of historians” to investigate the issue of Armenian Genocide of 1915 (Re: “Turkish Offer of Joint Commission with Armenians Still on the Table.” Letters, May 2). It is not clear from the letter how such a commission can be put together and produce results when Turkey refuses to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia, imposes illegal unilateral coercive economic measures against land-locked Armenia in a form of a blockade, deliberately destroys and distorts Armenian cultural heritage in Eastern Anatolia, and spends millions of dollars annually in a futile attempt to convince the world that it was Armenians who committed genocide against Turks.
How can we take the Turkish proposal seriously when impartial Turkish historians who dare voice opinions different from the state-imposed genocide denial are labeled traitors and have no other choice but to leave their own country? Will Turkey be ready to recall all those exiled historians and include them in the proposed commission, or will we have to deal with staunch genocide deniers only?
The Turkish notion of “equal suffering” of Armenians and Turks during the First World War is absolutely immoral. In a matter of weeks a whole nation disappeared without any trace from its historical homeland.
Nobody denies that thousands of Turks died during that war. But during the Second World War more than 10 million Germans died, too. Does that justify the Holocaust?
Turkey needs the recognition of the Armenian genocide more than Armenia. It needs it in order to come to terms with the most shameful page of its history, and to prove itself worthy of entering the European family of nations.
Armenia and Turkey are neighbours, and they eventually will have to normalize their relations. For the 16th year in a row, Armenia proposes to establish formal relations and to open the Armenian-Turkish border, the last surviving segment of the Iron Curtain. The time to stop this unfortunate counting of years is long overdue.
Embassy of Armenia
Source: “Embassy”, Canada's Foreign Policy Newsweekly
Letters, 9th May 2007