TURKISH SPEAKER VIEWS REFORMS, ARMENIAN ISSUE AT TURKEY-EU MEETING

Anatolia news agency
3 May 06

Ankara, 3 May: "Turkey is ready to cooperate to reveal the 1915
incidents. We want historians to objectively research this tragedy
which Anatolian people lived together (during World War I) without
prejudice," said Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc.

Inaugurating the 56th meeting of Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary
Commission (JPC) at Turkish parliament on Wednesday [3 May], Arinc
said: "A new period has started with 3 October 2005, the date Turkey-EU
accession talks started. With its decision (to open talks), the EU
gave a positive message to the whole world that Europe is based on
common values and norms. Turkey-EU JPC had great contributions to
current level on Turkey-EU relations."

"Turkey has been in an impressive transformation process in recent
years. We have extended the individual rights and freedoms of
our citizens. Reforms in economy area have brought stability and
prosperity. Turkey is now among the most attractive countries for
foreign investors," he noted.

Arinc said: "Turkish parliament is determined to pursue this reform
process. We will exert efforts to complete new legal arrangements
within the scope of 9th Adjustment Package before summer."

Regarding globalization, Arinc said: "Globalization has brought various
tests to the EU. Terrorism, human trafficking and organized crimes are
threatening us all. Such global problems can only be solved through
cooperation and solidarity."

"We should reconstruct our economies in order to deal with
international competition on one hand, and make fundamental rights
and freedoms prevalent on the other. This is the deal target of the
EU's enlargement process. The EU has strengthened its influence in
the surrounding geography, and protected its peace, security and
prosperity as a result of the enlargement process," he said.

Stressing that the EU would have to make a comprehensive definition of
itself, Arinc said: "This definition will include a transformation from
a social and economic organization into a global force. We consider
the EU membership a strategic target. It will be a part of a great
reform movement bringing forth universal standards and practice in
every aspect of daily life in Turkey."

Referring to the so-called Armenian genocide, Arinc said: "Turkey
has been accused of committing genocide against Armenians during the
World War I for a long time. Historians could not come to a conclusion
yet. While Armenian circles describe these saddening events of 1915 as
'genocide', a number of distinguished Turkish and foreign historian
say that the Ottoman Empire decided in 1915 to relocate Armenian
people due to security reasons, and that it could not be described as
'genocide'. Countless documents in our archives also proved it. Turkey
is ready to cooperate with the relevant sides to enlighten the 1915
events which Anatolian people had to suffer altogether during the
World War I. We want historians to carry out an unbiased research
without any prejudice on this tragedy. Last year, we proposed that
Turkish and Armenian historians should come together to carry out
a detailed, unbiased research both in Turkish and Armenian archives
and share all their findings with the world public opinion."

"However, some friendly countries, especially France, which says
disputed events in its own past should be left to historians for
evaluation, but cannot endure even the debates on 1915 events,
contradict themselves. Their efforts to make legal arrangements which
accept even questioning the baseless Armenian claims as a crime are
nothing, but serious mistakes that will seriously disappoint Turkey."

"We expect all our friendly countries to support our historical
proposal instead of making parliamentary decisions for domestic
reasons on these claims as if they are indisputable historical facts,"
Arinc added.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress