UNESCO Requests Removal of Documents from Ottoman Exhibit

ISTANBUL (Combined Sources)–Turkey pulled out of a Paris exhibit of Ottoman archives last week–when organizers requested the removal of five questionable submissions made by the Turkish Government.

Before the exhibit–United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)–which organized the exhibit–requested that five items be removed and two subject to changes.

Turkey initially agreed to the request–but later decided to not partake in the exhibit.

One of the documen’s in question is a letter said to be written by the heads of Armenian organizations praising the Ottoman Government–and especially the Sultan–for its treatment of the Armenian people.

The letter–which is dated 1898–also says that its writers pledge their loyalty to the Ottoman Empire–despite the actions of [khankarich]s–because of the great pride they have in being Ottoman citizens.

UNESCO’s request that this and other similar documen’s be removed from the archival exhibit prompted harsh reaction from nationalist circles in Turkey.

Calling the events "a shame," Turkish Institute of History (TTK) President Professor Yusuf Halacoglu said–"Turkey acted in good faith to solve the Armenian genocide. The cases never refer to science or honesty anymore. There are some letters–which Armenia’s forwarded to the Ottoman Empire from America and Canada–to ask for help. We are face to face with such a big shame."


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