Major Conference at European Parliament Targets Turkey’s Record

BRUSSELS–A large-scale public conference scheduled for September 22 will address Turkey’s violations of basic rights as it prepares to begin accession talks with the European Union (EU) on October 3.

Organized by the European Armenian Federation–the conference–"December 2004–October 2005: Has Turkey Changed?" is supported by the largest political group in the European Parliament–the EPP-ED–the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats in the European Parliament. Specifically–Dr. Ingo Friedrich–vice-president of the Parliament–has conveyed his commitment to fully reviewing Turkey’s position prior to the start of accession talks.

The conference will feature lectures by executive members of several Human Rights NGOs–as well as leadership of various European political parties. They will review Turkey’s violation of human rights and political norms in the country–as they relate to freedom of expression–minority rights–the role of army–the Cyprus issue–its policy of denial of the Armenian genocide–and freedom of worship.

Beside Friedrich–scheduled speakers include: Jacques Toubon–vice-chairman of the EU-Turkey parliamentary delegation; Panagiotis Beglitis–member of the EU-Turkey parliamentary delegation; Francesco Enrico Speroni–Member of the European Parliament; Pierre Mirel–European Commission–Director for the Candidate Countries in the DG Enlargement; Philippe Kalfayan–General Secretary of the International Federation of Human Rights; Dogan zgden–President of Info-Trk foundation; Hilda Tchoboian–President of the European Armenian Federation; Irnerio Seminatore–President of the European Institute for International Relations; Oliver Money-Kyrle–Director of Projects Division–International Federation of Journalists; Franck Biancheri–President of Newropeans.

A Consultative Meeting of European Armenia’s scheduled for September 23–just one year after their first ever convention–will allow members of Armenian associations and organizations from more than twenty EU countries to respond towards Turkey’s new neighborhood policy toward Armenia–the role of Armenian culture and remembrance in Europe–and current affairs such as Time Magazine and AXA issues.

"A few days before October 3–this conference will provide a unique opportunity for European civil society to take action on the political fate of the Union," said Laurent Leylekian–Executive Director of the European Armenian Federation.

Information and registration for the two public events are available on the European Armenian Federation’s website: www.eafjd.org/confwelcome.php3?lang=en

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