Cyprus Press & Information Office - Occupied Northern Cyprus
March 1 2005

Turkish ambassador argues that only historians have the right to
decide on the massacre of one and a half million Armenians by Turkey

Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.02.05) reported from Berlin that the
Turkish Ambassador to Germany Mehmet Ali Irtemcelik on Saturday
released a statement about a draft resolution, which will be
submitted to the German federal parliament in April by CDU/CSU group
under the title of ''commemoration of Armenians on the 90th
anniversary of their relocation and massacre on April 24th, 1915 -
Germany should contribute to provide peace between Turks and
In his statement, Irtemcelik said: ''Only historians have the right
to make decisions about historical events. The draft includes many
prejudices, mistakes and unilateral expectations about Turkey-Armenia

''Armenians resorted to organized terrorism not only in Eastern
Anatolia during the World War I, but also in many places in the world
from Los Angeles to Vienna, from Beirut to Paris in the near past to
reach their political targets. Armenia did not recognize Turkey's
territorial integrity and the existing borders with Turkey. Also,
despite all warnings of the international community, Armenia has
still been occupying territories of Azerbaijan. Under the light of
all these, we find it strange that German political parties have
undertaken spokesmanship of fanatic Armenian nationalism. We think
that CDU/CSU did not understand the importance and sensitivity of the
issue,'' he said.

''No one can reach anywhere by defaming Turkish people and their
history. No one has the right to hamper our integration process, and
our historic and friendly relations with Germany. Before putting
forward such baseless allegations, everyone should study the history
carefully. Besides many Armenians, countless innocent Muslim people
died in those years. If they aim to assist Turkey and Armenia to
improve their relations, they should realize that such issues are
extremely serious and cannot be used as a tool for domestic policies
of the third countries. Instead of preparing such drafts, I invite
them to persuade Armenian President Robert Kocharian and the Armenian
government to give up their policy preventing formation of a peaceful
atmosphere in Southern Caucasus,'' he added.

Moreover, Ankara Anatolia (28.02.05) reported from Vienna that
Armenian historians will not attend the meeting to be held in
Austrian capital of Vienna in May in which they will exchange
documents with Turkish historians regarding the so-called Armenian
genocide, the Vienna Armenian-Turkish Platform (VAT) said on Monday.

VAT, acting as a mediator between Turkish and Armenian historians who
are willing to exchange documents, stated that Prof. Dr. Lavrenti
Barseghian, the director of Yerevan genocide museum, and Prof. Dr.
Ashot Melkonian, the director of the History Department of the
Armenian Sciences Academy, notified them in writing that they would
not attend the second meeting planned to be held in May.

Pointing out that the main target of the Armenian diaspora in 2005 is
to make several countries ''accept the 1915 incidents as genocide'',
VAT-member historians stress that Turkey has proved that it is ready
for dialogue and will take action for a possible solution.

VAT historians added: ''As VAT, we expect the international
community, particularly Armenia and Turkey, to deal with this matter
more seriously and systematically. And, we believe that both parties
will establish dialogue with each other under equal circumstances,
and take VAT concept as a model.''

The VAT, comprised of historians working at the Vienna University
namely Prof. Dr. Wolfdieter Bihl, Dr. Kerstin Tomenendal, Dr. Inanc
Atilgan and Dr. Artem Ohandjanian, had been a platform for exchange
of documents between Turkish and Armenian historians in July of 2004.

Prof. Dr. Yusuf Halacoglu, the head of the Turkish History Authority
(TTK), and Prof. Dr. Hikmet Ozdemir, the head of the Armenian Desk of
TTK, joined the first meeting held in Vienna in July 2004 and
delivered 100 documents regarding the 1915 incidents to VAT

On the other hand, Armenian historians did not participate in July's
meeting and sent 100 documents to the meeting via VAT member
historian Dr. Artem Ohandjanian of Armenian origin.