Turkey Watch

Watching the Turkish nail being put into Europian coffin.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Truth Still Banned in Turkey, EAFJD Says

From Yerkir

YEREVAN (YERKIR) - The Turkish Court of Appeal, on the 12 July, confirmed the suspended jail sentence which faced Hrant Dink, the Armenian journalist.

Mr Dink was initially condemned in October 2005 under article 301 of the Turkish penal code for an article published on 13 February of 2004. In that publication, he had called upon the Armenians to "turn toward the renewed blood of independent Armenia".

The European Armenian Federation is highlighting this new incident against freedom of speech as it occurs only a few days after legal actions were taken by Turkish extremist organizations against Karekin II, the Catholicos of all Armenians.

His Holiness Karekin II was in fact giving a pastoral visit to his flock in Turkey at the end of June. During an interview with the Turkish press, when interrogated on the Armenian Genocide, he had stated that 'historians committees' are no longer relevant since the "Armenian genocide has been studied by
scholars for more than 90 years".

After the declaration of His Holiness, and in order to protect the Armenian minority from the threats it had received, the Armenian Patriarch of Turkey, Mgr Mutafyan felt obliged to iterate the denials of Ankara by stating that "the 1915 issue should be submitted to historians
and scholars from each side to achieve a better understanding of the sensitivities of each side".

“It is now clear to everyone that beyond the usual attacks against freedom of speech, Turkey targets specially the truth about the Armenian genocide," said Laurent Leylekian, the executive director of the European Armenian Federation.

"We hail the reaction of the European Commission against this blatant violation of the right to freedom of speech. However, to follow the process to its logical conclusion, the Commission should now assess the Turkish denial policy as such, as it does for freedom of speech, minority rights or gender issues.

It is politically incorrect that this criterion is left out of the assessment process and that it is only skimmed over in the regular reports," concluded Leylekian, reported the EAFJD press unit.

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