Turkish Politician Asks “Where are Turkey’s Armenians?”

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)-A Turkish Politician whose party is not represented in Turkey’s Grand National Assembly expressed great displeasure with Turkey’s attitude toward Armenia’s on Tuesday during a conference on Turkish-Armenian relations held in Yerevan.
Cem Toker explained that Turkey proudly states that 99.9 percent of its population is Muslims. But where are the Armenia’s, Jews, Greeks? He said.
"Why have they gone? Doesn’t it mean that something is definitely wrong?" Toker, who is the Head of the Liberal-Democratic Party of Turkey, asked. "You can see the investmen’s of the Armenian people while walking in Istanbul."
"I am greatly displeased with Turkey’s attitude towards Armenia’s," declared Toker.
The Turkish politician presented on the process of his country’s integration into the EU. He stated that Turkish national parties were not even willing to converse with the representatives of European Institutions.
Toker also noted that he had been in close relations with the assassinated Armenian journalist Hrant Dink who, having spent his childhood with Armenia’s, had devoted all his life to the democratization of Turkey.
"Today’s conference is an effort to create a basis for international and regional integration, what is extremely important for sustainable economic integration," said Steve Banks, the Political and Economic Chief at the US Embassy in Yerevan.
According to him, the US government works to improve relations between Armenia and Turkey.
"NGO efforts can be helpful for diplomatic moves," Banks told an international conference organized by Eurasia Partnership Foundation jointly with the Analytical Center for Globalization and Regional Cooperation.
The Armenia-Turkey Cross-Border Dialogue and Cooperation Program was launched in 2006 by Eurasia Foundation (EF).
"The program is meant to contribute to the normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey by strengthening the capacities of non-government, local government and business sectors," Banks said.
Amber Zaman, a Turkish journalist at the conference, who introduced herself as a "free" journalist, described Turkey as Democratic. Zaman is the wife of Joseph Penington, the US temporary Charge d’Affaires in Armenia.
While ignoring the horrendous condition of Turkey’s minorities, she pointed to Turkey’s abolishment of capital punishment and its provision of radio airtime for minorities as a sign of it’s democratic credentials.
"But the abolition of the capital punishment has nothing to do with Democracy," Cem Toker noted. " Does it mean the USA is not a democratic country? As for the Kurds they are only 30 minutes on the air."


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