BRUSSELS–Just before the summit of Copenhagen–the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy took the initiative to launch a call to the political leaders of the European Union (EU) asking them not to yield to treats and pressure exerted by Turkey–and to encourage them not to set a date to begin negotiations with Turkey concerning accession.
This call–submitted for signature to all European progressive organizations and associations–targets the Council as the Executive body of the EU–recalls that Turkey is still a genocidal and denialist state–and that its aggressive policies contribute to regional instability.
It mentions–for example–anti-Armenian laws promulgated by the current Turkish Republic legalizing confiscation of Armenian assets of those deported or massacred–the destruction and the Turkification of Armenian monumen’s–as well as its apartheid system against minorities in Turkey. It also stresses Turkey’s policy of denial concerning the Armenian genocide–as well as its recurrent and aggressive threats uttered against the Republic of Armenia on which Turkey has imposed an inequitable and illegal blockade.
"We ask the Union to set–as a condition to Turkey’s accession–the abrogation of its three-pronged policy against Armenia’s–namely–the oppression of Armenia’s living within its territory–the animosity against Armenia and denial held openly in front of the world," declared Hilda Tchoboian–Chairperson of the European Armenian Federation. "The model of European construction has been built on the idea of peace between yesterday’s enemies with Germany renouncing its Nazi past and its ultra-nationalist ideology. Now–Turkey wants to integrate into Europe without abandoning its ideals of superior race and without apologizing to Armenia’s for the genocide," she added.
The call–to which a large number of organizations representing European civil society will quickly join–reaffirms that only the abrogation of Turkey’s entire anti-Armenian policy would attest to Turkish society’s genuine transformation to a democratic and multi-cultural society–free of all tensions based on identity or ethnicity.
It deman’s that members of the European Council rise to the challenge of enlargement by measuring the occasional advantages of Turkish accession–against the consequential demise of the European Union that accession could signify. It finally concludes by warning EU’s leaders to be "responsible to history" and calls on them not iterate the mistakes of Munich in 1938.
CALL OF EUROPEAN ASSOCIATIONS–ORGANIZATIONS AND INSTITUTIONS
European associations–organizations and institutions representing Armenian communities and European Human Rights organizations–launch the following call to the Governmen’s of the Fifteen:
Just before the summit of Copenhagen of December 12 and 13–Turkey has increased its pressures on countries of the Union to force the European Union to set a calendar date for negotiations leading to its accession.
We express our great political and ethical opposition to such a step in view of Turkey’s serious Human Rights violations–and more generally its insensitivity to the moral values and the ideals of peace and justice characterizing the EU.
Turkey is a genocidal state: even if the Armenian genocide has been planned and perpetrated by a former regime–modern Turkey–successor state in the sense of international law–has the moral–legal and material responsibility of the first genocide of the Twentieth century. Turkey has shown no will for repentance and carries on the genocide by:
-anti-Armenian laws promulgated by the current Turkish Republic making official the confiscation of the Armenia’s assets of those deported and massacred.
-past and current destruction or the Turkification of the millennial heritage of Western Armenia.
-maintenance of a second-class citizen status for its current Armenian minority–who endure–on a daily basis–an insecure climate and verbal and physical threats–and whose collective rights are violated by the Turkish administration.
Turkey is a denialist state: under the surveillance of its Security Council–it broadcasts its ignominious thesis inside and outside of its borders–and particularly in Europe. Thus–speaking about the Armenian genocide in Turkey could make people liable to imprisonment–and expose them to de facto torture. Furthermore–a 2002 governmental decision introduces the teaching of the denial of Armenian genocide–in primary and secondary programmes of the Turkish republic.
Turkey is an aggressive state and a factor to regional instability. In addition to the Cyprus issue–Turkey institutes an illegal and unjustified blockade against the Republic of Armenia–stirring regional conflict–especially in Caucasus. Its leaders regularly threaten to "teach to Armenia’s a lesson again." In fact–Turkey never renounced its ambitions for pan-touranian expansionism as its invasion plan of Armenia prepared two years after independence reveals. These plans should be compared to its Turkish State claims on the regions of Mossoul and Kirkouk.
Today we reject that the EU should admit a country that routinely violates Human Rights and International Law–and does not subscribe to European values of Peace and Justice.
We–citizens of the EU–ask that the EU place as a precondition to Turkey’s accession–recognition of the Armenian genocide by the Turkish State–in the framework of Democracy and Human Rights criteria–and in accordance with its commitmen’s–according to which "the refusal of the current Turkish government to recognize the genocide committed against the Armenian people constitutes an unavoidable obstacle for the examination of a possible accession of Turkey" (Resolution of the European Parliament for a political solution to the Armenian question – June 18th–1987). We also call on the Union to force Turkey to provide future security guarantees to the victims of this genocide and to their heirs.
We–citizens of the EU–ask that the Union demand from Turkey–condemnation of anti-Armenian laws–as Europe did regarding anti-Jewish laws. Turkey must stop its racist policy against its minorities–and particularly against its Armenian minority.
We–citizens of the EU–ask that the EU explicitly and clearly declare that the removal of the blockade imposed by Turkey against the Republic of Armenia a part of the criteria of Copenhagen–a precondition to Turkey’s accession to the Union.
We consider that it is the political responsibility of the EU to work for the democratization of Turkey by demanding the above-mentioned measures. Only the satisfaction of these deman’s would attest to the real transformation of Turkish society to a democratic and multi-cultural society–free of all tensions based on identity and ethnicity.
If the same mistakes of 1938 Munich reoccur in Copenhagen in 2002–the members of the European Union would be responsible in history. Thus–we call you to rise to the challenge of enlargement and to arbitrate between occasional advantages and the demise of the EU as a whole.