TURKEY CALLS ON SARKOZY TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR ON HISTORY CONTROVERSY
According to Turkish Zaman, in harsh response to recent remarks by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who called on Turkey to face its history and recognize the 1915 massacre of Armenians as genocide, Turkey said on Friday that France should look in the mirror before asking Turkey to revisit its history.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters after his meeting with Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) on the country's foreign policy that he finds Sarkozy's remarks as an example of "political populism." He said his statements were wrong and were aimed for [France's] domestic politics. ... Any state or society who has a colonial past and cannot face its own history does not have the right to give lessons to Turkey. Those who want Turkey face its history should look into mirror," the minister said. Sarkozy on Thursday urged Turkey to recognize the 1915 incidents as genocide, threatening to pass a law in France that would make denying this a crime.
"The Armenian genocide is a historical reality. Collective denial is even worse than individual denial," Sarkozy told reporters.
"Turkey, which is a great country, would honor itself to revisit its history like other great countries in the world have done," the French president added. On Friday, Sarkozy made further comments on the issue, calling Turkey to "make a gesture of reconciliation," and warning that if Turkey refrained from taking any steps, France would consider amending its legislation to penalize denial, Reuters reported. Sarkozy did not give a date for such a move, but noted that measures could be adopted "in a very brief time."
Turkey's Minister for European Union Affairs Egemen Bağış was also highly critical of Sarkozy's remarks and called on the French president to "think over how he would save his country from the economic turmoil it has fallen into instead of assuming the role of historians."
Bağış told reporters in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he has been for an official visit, that his remarks show that Sarkozy is concerned about recent polls in his country, which show less support for him in the upcoming presidential elections. "This can only be called the exploitation of the upcoming elections. We can make no other comment," he said.
- 1772 Birth of Hakob Shahen-Jrpetyan (armenologist) in Urfa. He died in 1837 In Tbilissi (Georgia).
- 1912 Hovhannes Toomanyan heads the Caucasian Association of Armenian writers in Tbilissi (Georgia).
- 1915 The Turkish government cancels the Armenian Reforms Project, signed on 1914 02 08.
- 1917 The People's Commissariat of Soviet Russia (headed by Lenin), appoints Shahoomyan (President of the Baku Commune) as temporary extraordinary commissar for Caucasian affairs.
- 1955 Death of psychiatrist and professor, K. Aghajanian.
- 1966 Adoption, by the United Nations, of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Both documents establish that All peoples have the right of self-determination. (Article One).