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From today’s Turkish press


100th ANNIVERSARY OF 1915 EVENTS/ARMENIAN GENOCIDE CLAIMS:  Emrah Altundis believes it is Turkey’s moral duty to acknowledge today’s 100th anniversary of the 1915 events and Armenian Genocide claims in centre-left Radikal: “Other than a handful of appointed/nationalist historians who receive their salaries from the Republic of Turkey, there is almost no social scientist in the world who does not define what happened in April 1915 as a genocide. Unless Turkish society faces up to the cruelty of 1915, we cannot move forward. Confronting all the massacres, including the genocide, and asking for justice, is our humane duty and an ethical necessity.”

Mehmet Tezkan wonders how Turkey will react to Russian President Putin’s stance in centrist Milliyet: “U.S. President Obama who attaches significance to relations with Ankara, once again refrained from using the word genocide and preferred to say ‘great calamity’. But Russian President Putin did not attach any significance to relations with Ankara and said ‘genocide’. He said there could be no excuse for massacres committed based on ethnic identity. Will [Turkey’s] reaction against the Pope be directed at Putin as well? Will the warning sent to the European Parliament ‘not to exceed its limits’ be sent to Putin as well?”

Nuray Mert seeks to shed the ghosts of the past in secular, Kemalist Cumhuriyet: “For long, and in order not to face the 1915 Armenian slaughter, Turkey has been using the excuse that this is a Western demand. This year, on the 100th anniversary of this shameful incident, conservatives, seculars, Islamists and Kemalists have joined hands in revolt against the Papacy and the EU Parliaments’ ‘genocide’ statements. Commemorating the First World War Gallipoli victory on the same day as the Armenian commemorations is a cheap trick. But there is something we should understand: In order to walk towards the future in a healthy manner, one needs to get rid of the ghosts of the past.”

Sevgi Akarcesme calls for a meaningful gesture in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-Gulen Zaman: “Every year, April 24th looms in Turkey’s foreign affairs and before its society as a nightmare. But this does not alter the fact that the [Armenian] deportations, i.e. the forced migration, actually sent people to their death. That is why the best definition is the ‘Armenian Slaughter' as it is called in Anatolia. Acknowledging humanitarian suffering, apologizing, and making some meaningful gesture would decrease the pressure on Turkey. A permanent state of denial only fuels the attempt to describe the events as genocide in foreign parliaments.”

Hasan Cemal feels the Armenians’ pain on independent Internet newspaper T24: “Unless one is ready to face the past, pain does not stop pursuing a human being. Getting rid of the ‘fear of history’ and liberating captive minds, entails walking down the path towards peace and democracy; opening the doors to live in peace with all our differences. These words will not please those, including President Erdogan, who have become so insensitive that they say the Armenians will be talking to themselves on April 24th on a day when a deep pain is being commemorated, shared and felt. I am ignoring such people.”

Sibel Eraslan argues in favor of an offer of condolences in centre-right, pro-government Star: “We have spent the last 100 years destroying ourselves with planned enmities. 100 years ago, some 800 thousand Armenians lost their lives in six months. Rather than arguing over how to describe this, we should first be aware that it remains a terrible pain. This state of mourning is not ending or disappearing because no condolence has been offered yet.”

Ozlem Albayrak is unconvinced by the genocide claim in moderate, pro-Islamic, pro-government Yeni Safak: “Although I believe that we should not defend the sins of the Ottoman Unionist Party, I also do not believe that the Armenian deportation decision taken by them was not meant as a genocide. I believe that these questions call for an answer: ‘if the aim was genocide, why were the Armenians not killed wherever they were, but forced to migrate?' or ‘if what happened was a genocide, why were Armenians other than those in East Anatolia not forced to migrate and massacred?'”

Ufuk Ulutas suggests that the genocide claims are being exploited for political purposes in centre-right, pro-government Aksam: “The Armenian issue has turned into an industry where money is spent, lobbying companies hang around, MPs of foreign parliaments gather money for their political campaigns, and some countries do not stop holding over Turkey as the Sword of Damocles. Turkey and Armenia are both being damaged by this. If so much effort and money had been spent, not for the political exploitation of historical incidents, but in order to find a new discourse, we could now be somewhere very different.”



The Iranian press does not appear on Friday



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