Danish Parliament Adopts Armenian Genocide Bill

Danish Parliament, also known as Folketing/Folketinget (Photo: AP Photo/Polfoto/Lars Krabbe)
Danish Parliament, also known as Folketing/Folketinget (Photo: AP Photo/Polfoto/Lars Krabbe)

Danish Parliament, also known as Folketing/Folketinget (Photo: AP Photo/Polfoto/Lars Krabbe)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (Armenian Weekly)—The Danish Parliament (Folketing) adopted a new resolution regarding the Armenian Genocide on January 26, which recognizes the “tragic and bloody events that took place in eastern Anatolia in the period 1915-1923,” and states that the best way for reconciliation is through open dialogue on the basis of a “free and uncensored history research, including the release of all official documents from the period.”

While the bill criticizes Turkey and the fact that the term “genocide” cannot freely be used by its citizens and media, it does not specifically label the Armenian Genocide as such—except for in its title. The bill also states that the Parliament “maintains its parliamentary tradition not to issue judgments about historical events.”

After over two hours of discussion on the document brought to the Folketing agenda by Parliamentarians Nick Hækkerup, Søren Espersen, Michael Aastrup Jensen, Henrik Dahl, Martin Lidegaard, and Naser Khader, the Danish Parliament voted 89 to 9 with 11 abstentions to pass the measure.

“The Parliament confirms its decision no. V 54 of 19 May 2015 on the tragic and bloody events that took place in eastern Anatolia in the period 1915-1923. The Danish Parliament finds that the best path to reconciliation will be an open dialogue about the story on the basis of a free and uncensored history research, including the release of all official documents from the period. The Parliament regrets that Turkish law prohibits citizens and media to use the term ‘genocide’ about the events, and considers this to be an unreasonable restriction of both academic freedom as freedom of expression relates to the use of this term. Parliament maintains its parliamentary tradition not to issue judgments about historical events,” reads the adopted bill.

In 2015, the Danish Parliament adopted a measure, which recognized the “deportations, massacres and other atrocities” that had been committed against the Armenian population Anatolia in 1915-1923. In that bill, the Parliament expressed hope that there can be “reconciliation and normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey,” and called on both governments to work towards that.

In 2008, then Danish Foreign Affairs Minister Per Stig Møller has said in a written parliamentary answer that in the Danish government’s opinion, the issue of the Armenian Genocide is a “historical question that should be left up to the historians,” indicating that Denmark would not recognize the genocide.

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5 Comments

  1. Hagop Varoujian said:

    We are putting too much emphasis on the genocide recognition. The facts are well documented in archives throughout the western world. No denial or dismissal by any government will change that. We ought to spend our energy and resources to help make our homeland strong, by creating a viable economy, by re population, creating jobs for the people, eradicating poverty once and for all. Our days are numbered in the diaspora. How long can we survive on these shores? With assimilation, mixed marriages. It’s a losing battle. Most of the young generation of Armenians born in the diaspora are more interested in the lifestyle of celebrities than learning our language and history. Can we blame them? Of course not!

    • Vardan said:

      I agree for the most part (I am Danish-Armenian), however it should also be noted that the Armenian diaspora not only survived but prevailed for a thousand years without a country or government. Mixed marriages can be viewed as a means of camouflaging. Assimilation enforces union. There is a flip side to everything. The only real tragedy is that there are a lot of Armenians I have met who don’t want to associate themselves to our true identity (eg language, literature, films, history, values..) – they are invited to sell their belongings and settle in some Western country with the illusion of safety. In order that a diaspora can be effective there has to be a sense of being exiled.

  2. Raffi said:

    Denmark also succumbs under the Turkish black-mail, free world is not as free as people think.

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