BRUSSELS–Recent statemen’s by the vice president of the European Union-Turkey Inter Parliamentary Delegation Jacques Toubon–provoked rage among Turkish officials participating in the meeting–particularly Sukru Elekdag (CHP- Kemalist Party) who served as the former ambassador to the United States–and Oguz Demiralp–Turkey’s permanent representative to the European Union.
Toubon (PPE–France) raised the "unquestionable reality" of the Armenian genocide during the 53rd meeting of the body–telling the Turkish delegates that the recognition of the Armenian genocide constituted an "important element for Europe" and of its "common values."
"We welcome the courage and the perseverance of Jacques Toubon who was not influenced by the usual excessive and high bidding methods of the Turkish deputies," declared Hilda Tchoboian–president of the Euro-Armenian Federation. "As long as the Turkish State uses threatens Europe–and preaches fear to its public–it proves that Turkey is not European," Tchoboian.
Toubon also highlighted the numerous recognitions of the genocide by member countries of the European Union–the most recent being by the Netherlands–which took place on December 21–2004–just after the European Summit in Brussels.
He stressed that the European Parliament–since 1987–had on numerous occasions–recognized the reality of the Genocide and–has since–continually asked Turkey to do the same. He explained that "by refusing to ratify the Treaty of Sevres of 1920–Turkey did not want to recognize this genocide," which could be explained in the political context of that time–but "90 years later–Turkey must change," and adopt European values–while recognizing this historic reality.
The Turkish press–spearheaded by the Turkish Daily News–immediately distorted Toubon’s remarks–alleging that he had asked Turkey to ratify the Treaty of Sevres. This treaty–signed notably by the first Armenian Republic and by the Ottoman Empire (as well as UK–France–Italy–Belgium–Poland–Czechoslovakia–now members of EU) constituted the reparation for the wrongs of the genocide but was never ratified by Ankara–while the later Treaty of Lausanne–eluded the question.