Australian MP: revised version of history taught in Turkey

December 17, 2011 - 10:01 AMT


PanARMENIAN.Net - Member for Smithfield in the NSW Legislative
Assembly, Andrew Rohan, declared in a parliamentary statement that as
a result of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish
government, the modern state of Armenia remains landlocked, reported
the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia).

Rohan, who was elected to parliament in the March 2011 election, rose
in the House to describe the impact the Armenian Genocide continues to
have on the Republic of Armenia.

He said: "As a result of the Armenian Genocide, the modern state of
Armenia remains landlocked and does not constitute all of the lands
once historically occupied by Armenians."

He continued: "Turkey, the successor state and beneficiary of the
Ottoman perpetrators of the Armenian, Hellenic and Assyrian Genocides,
currently maintains an economic blockade of Armenia which endangers
the socio-economic viability, security and sustainability of a people
subjected to genocide less than a century ago."

Rohan also talked about the efforts of the Republic of Turkey to
impede a just resolution of the Armenian Genocide.

He added: "The Turkish government continues to destroy Armenian
cultural monuments and churches; Turkish educators teach students a
revised version of history, claiming that no genocide took place; and
under article 301 of the Turkish penal code, courts prosecute and
sentence anyone who openly accepts the occurrence of the Armenian
Genocide."

Turning to the issue of Nagorno Karabakh, the Australian
parliamentarian condemned the Azerbaijani aggression.

Rohan said: "Azeri military commanders continue to train snipers to
shoot and kill innocent Armenians near the Nagorno Karabakh-Azerbaijan
border; the Azerbaijani government plans to boost military spending to
$3.3 billion this year, up from $2.15 billion a year ago and just $160
million in 2003; the Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev consistently
employs war rhetoric, threatening to pursue a military solution to the
issue of Nagorno Karabakh; and the Republic of Azerbaijan, like
Turkey, maintains an economic blockade of the Republic of Armenia and
the Armenian Republic of Nagorno Karabakh."

"I raise these issues today because Australia and the international
community must support a just resolution of the Armenian, Assyrian and
Greek Genocides; and I raise these issues today because Australia and
the international community must acknowledge the Republic of Nagorno
Karabakh's right to self determination."

Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) Executive
Director Varant Meguerditchian applauded the NSW MP's courage in
bringing these issues to light.

"While Turkey and its ethnic brethren in Azerbaijan maintain
anti-Armenian policies, the issue of the Armenian Genocide remains
unresolved," he said. "Mr Rohan's statement, on public record, makes a
significant contribution to the just resolution of the Armenian
Genocide."