Europe Must Support Turkish Apology Campaign, Says Tchoboian

BRUSSELS–Europe has a moral and political duty to support reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey based on truth, recognition, and justice, said Hilda Tchoboian, the chairperson of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy said Wednesday.

A new period is on the horizon for the two countries, Tchoboian said, praising a recent Turkish online petition campaign apologizing for the Armenian genocide.

The unprecedented apology was initiated earlier this month by a group of 200 Turkish academics, journalists, writers and artists disagreeing with the official Turkish version denying the Armenian Genocide. Their petition, entitled “I apologize,” was posted on a special website (www.ozurdiliyoruz.com) on Monday.

“Turkish and Armenian intellectuals have united against the lies and the denials of the genocide and are, for the first time, calling for a real reconciliation based on truth, recognition and justice,” Tchoboian said.

She hailed the Turkish intellectuals who initiated the campaign “for their courage and democratic maturity,” adding that the European Union has a “moral and political duty to support” the initiative and end its tacit support for Turkey’s denial of the genocide.

The European Parliament must be clear and resolute on the genocide issue when dealing with Turkey’s EU accession, she said.

“The European Parliament should not forget these brave Turkish democrats who not only risk being tried by Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, but also endanger their lives by openly calling for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide,” Tchoboian said.

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