European Armenian Federation rejects Turkish "apology" campaign

Ararat News -Publishing (ANP) – Fiona LORIN – 2/2/2009 / Brussels – The recently launched online initiative of Turkish intellectuals and leftist to apology for the massacre of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 is strongly rejected by representatives of the Armenian Diaspora.

According the European Armenian Federation: "The recently publicized "apology" campaign in Turkey is, indeed, a populist initiative, which deliberately avoids the term "genocide" and which, by so doing, intends to de-criminalize the destruction by the Ottoman Turkish government of 1,5 million Armenians".

The Armenian Diaspora claims that the 1915 Genocide is a crime against Humanity committed by Ottoman Turkey and recognised as such by many democratic countries and the present Turkish government must also formally recognize it.

According The International Herald Tribune, the online apology campaign is signed by more then 28 000 people until now, but remains strongly criticised by the Turkish authorities. A contrary Internet campaign under the title "I do not apologize" has attracted more than 65,000 signatures.

Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic relations and their shared border is still closed. The two neighboring countries have recently taken steps toward conciliation after the first ever visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul. This initiative has been welcomed by European Union and USA.