Turks Want ‘Unprejudiced Discussion’ on Genocide

Turkey's newly appointed ambassador to France, Hakkı Akil


PARIS (Hurriyet Daily News)—Hakkı Akil, who began his term as Turkey’s ambassador to Paris on April 14, has described the “Armenian issue,” which is the thorniest subject in his portfolio, as “heartbreaking.”

In an interview with daily Hürriyet, Akil stressed that he was ready to engage in an “unprejudiced dialogue” with Armenians in France ahead of 2015, the 100th anniversary of the genocide perpetrated against Ottoman Armenians.

“Two nations that are so alike should finally make peace. We should take steps to realize it,” Akil said at his official residence in Paris.

Denying the common assumption that Paris is a difficult post for Turkish ambassadors, Akil referred to his previous stations as ambassador.

“Turkmenistan was a more difficult post. There were also various difficulties in Abu Dhabi and in Italy. Although France has some difficulties, it also has some ease. You can receive a response from the French authorities on a certain subject within a week, while other countries may provide it only within two or even six months,” he said.

As the first Turkish graduate of Paris’s renowned Ecole National d’Administration, Akil remembers several incumbent French officials from his school years. “From UMP chair Jean Francois Cope to the current governor of Haute des Seine, several officials were my classmates. I organized a Turkish night for my classmates every month,” he said.

Akil added that he views the three main subjects of Ankara-Paris relations “positively”: EU accession, the Armenian issue, and the Turkish community in France. Stressing that a relatively more healthy atmosphere had been created in EU negotiations since French President Francois Hollande had come to office, the new Turkish ambassador said “the train should not be derailed.”

“After the necessary ground has been covered, both sides may put their thinking caps on and evaluate the situation. The Turkish people may have a say on [the EU membership] through a referendum, after Turkey completes all the necessary reforms. Perhaps they may oppose membership like Norway, or opt to stay out of the Euro or Schengen areas like the United Kingdom. However, the exact future of neither Europe nor Britain is clear now,” Akil said.

The “Armenian problem,” on the hand, should be considered in general terms, rather than with regards to France only, according to the Turkish diplomat, adding that the “genocide question” should be addressed in the near future by international courts.

“Armenian officials go beyond jurisprudence and take this issue to parliaments by practicing a ‘perception policy.’ Frankly, they are successful, but there is a drawback: a serious term like ‘genocide’ is being trivialized and emptied of meaning in this way,” Akil said.

He supports the thesis that recent European Court of Human Rights rulings and the related verdict of the Constitutional Council in France have put an end to “Armenian intellectual terrorism.”

“Now it’s time for friendship and peace. Seeing two nations that lived together for more than 10 centuries, listening to the same music, having the same culture, eating the same food, laughing at the same jokes, be separated by hate speech breaks my heart,” Akil said.

Stating that the second wife of his great grandfather was an Armenian woman, Akil stressed, “We should provide the opportunity for our peoples to live peacefully on the grassroots level,” he said.

The new ambassador also admitted that he has “no special preparation” for the symbolic year 2015. “Whether it’s 2014 or 2016, I suggest the same policy: leave the legal and historical debates to jurists. Our mission is to eliminate hate speech,” Akil added.

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10 Comments

  1. jda said:

    Please note how the champion of “unprejudiced discussion” characterized those who champion the truth:

    “He supports the thesis that recent European Court of Human Rights rulings and the related verdict of the Constitutional Council in France have put an end to “Armenian intellectual terrorism.”

    So let’s see. Dogu Perincek, who would gladly have raped Armenian women and killed any Armenian he saw, had he been lucky enough to have been alive in 1915 is ok, and placing the AG on the same terms as the JG is “terrorism.”

    We can expect some Turks to be soft, some to be hard, but all to hate Armenians to death. Literally.

  2. George said:

    Clearly Genocide per the following two revelations: (1) Ottoman Army mercenary: Nogales Méndez visited Diyarbakir in 26 June 1915 and spoke with the governor Mehmet Reşid, who was to be later known as the “butcher of Diyarbakir”. Nogales Méndez recounts in his memoirs that Reşid mentioned to him that he received a telegram directly from Talaat Pasha ordering him to “Burn-Destroy-Kill”. (2) Reshid views from his memoirs: “Being a doctor could not cause me to forget my nationality! Reshid is a doctor. But he was born as a Turk….Either the Armenians were to eliminate the Turks, or the Turks were to eliminate the Armenians. I did not hesitate when I was confronted with this dilemma. My Turkishness prevailed over my profession. I figured, instead of wiping us out, we will wipe them out….On the question how I, as a doctor, could have murdered, I can answer as follows: the Armenians had become hazardous microbes in the body of this country. Well, isn’t it a doctor’s duty to kill microbes?”

  3. Arman said:

    Begin eliminating hate speech with your Turkish Grey Wolves. See what kind of “intellectual terrorism” they have.

  4. Abdili said:

    Another loud negationists from the Turkish assembly line of negationism. We were never, and are not alike the Turks, the relationship between the two races was that of master and slave relation. Coexistence under occupation , subjugation, exploitation. The two races were never alike, and they shall not be. Had they been alike we would still be living in our ancestral and historic lands. What a farce. It seems quite clear that genocide recognition will not arise from the intellectual heart of contemporary Turks. Besides recognition can not be an end in itself. The consequences to follow are the restitution of ancestral lands , compensation, atonement . Restitution of lands is not a peaceful process. Nothing better will suit the Turk entity than for Armenia to forget her past. Recognition will only happen when present day turkey is no more. Recognition without restitution is an empty gesture.

  5. Janine said:

    That this man should say Armenians (and the vast majority of Genocide Scholars) are somehow watering down or trivializing the term “Genocide” is absolutely pathetic and disgusting.

  6. Marshal said:

    Just look at the guy does this guy look like he could be trusted? Really !

  7. Dino said:

    A comprehensive adjudication at the international court (not arbitration) of the theft of individual and national wealth of the Armenian people, the physical destruction and confiscation of the material cultural of the Armenian nation, the murder of the Aermenian nation on it’s native soil, the enslavement of it’s women and children and subsequent forced conversion to Islam, the legal standing of the Wilson Arbitral Award, the treaty of Kars and the Treaty of Moscow. But mark my words, the turks will first ratify the infamous protocols so that there will be no looking into the obvious void ab initio treaties of Kars and Moscow and the still legally binding Wilson Arbitral Award. We are the start of a new world of border changes, territorial integrity means nothing from now on! The ratification of the protocols will close Armenia’s door for good and everyone else’s will open and the turks know this. The recovery of Javakh, Nakhichevan, Kars and Igdir, the legitimate borders of the First Republic, are well within the realm of possibility within our lifetime. The Wilson Arbitral Award and it’s legal adjudication , comprising the territory of Western Armenia the wellspring of Armenian Civilization, is the greatest fear of the turks. If the turks see the balance tipping against them, they will ratify the Protocols. They will present it as a gift on April 24th of either this year or next. Oh how generous the turks are considering all they have done from Armenia to the gates of Vienna!

  8. GeorgeMardig said:

    What is needed is TRUST, how can Armenians TRUST Turkey? what has done Turkey in the last 99 years to make Armenians TRUST Turkey?, they hav done NOTHING but persecute them in and outside of Turkey.

  9. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    Slayers Hands, Slayed Homeland*

    We are phalanges
    Of vanished hands,
    Narrating a penning
    Left decades, unsound.

    Knowing exactly
    What the slaughters’ brutal rule did,
    Ending innocent lives;
    Unknown in known’s creed.

    Let our screams
    From bleeding, tearful souls
    Reach senators, MPs
    Dressed in men’s clothes,

    Who solemnly pretend,
    Unable to announce . . .
    Unable to face
    The criminal’s dice.

    Let us help every soul
    Who speaks in a ‘True Voice’
    On terrains . . . where . . .
    The fleshes decay, uncanned!

    Where recognition
    Of human rights remains just,
    Even if almost a century
    Of cruelties has elapsed

    Since all brutalities
    Was committed
    By vicious hands
    And vile minds!

    Sylva Portoian, M.D, FRCP.CH, MFPHM, MSc ,(U.K)

    From Poetry collection “A poetic Soul Shinned of Genocides” 2008 and modified in
    “Bring-Out Our Genocided Skulls & Artful Hands”, July 2014!
    ________________________________
    *Armenian Genocide began on April 24, 1915, and continued until 1923.
    There were many massacres before, but they were not defined as Genocide.
    The verse is published in Conversation Poetry Quarterly, UK, Issue No 8:p.33, 2009

    Every one should know Armenian Genocide ‘Is-Not’ a Shakespearian Play.

*

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