UNESCO Executive Council Approves Ottoman Jubilee

PARIS (Noyan Tapan)–The United Nations Educational–Scientific and Cultural Organization Executive Council has approved the proposal by Turkey to mark the 700th anniversary of the Ottoman Empire under its auspices.

The approval will be presented as a motion at the upcoming UNESCO General Assembly which will make the final decision.

A slew of Armenian public–political and cultural organizations–as well as renowned scholars–philanthropists and intellectuals have addressed their strong opposition and concern in regards to this matter to UNESCO. According to Radio Liberty–UNESCO Armenian representative Ashot Melik-Shahnazarian has declared to the executive council that such an approval is a complete contradiction of those principles based on which UNESCO was created. French Socialist Party international relations chair Pierre Kidonin has addressed a letter of protest to UNESCO.

Also renowned political leaders Pierre Fuchen–Patrick Devejian and Rene Rougen directed their opposition letters to UNESCO–saying Turkey’s proposal and UNESCO to be incompatible in mission. According to them–this is yet another attempt by Turkey to whiten the black pages of its history and to deny the Armenian Genocide under the guise of legitimate celebration of the Empire.

At the same time–Rougen has deemed the situation as positive in that it is a good opportunity for the world to unite and demand that Turkey admit to its crimes against humanity–as well as make the entrance of the Turkish Republic in international organizations difficult.

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