ARMENIAN PUPILS OF TURKEY ARE COMMANDED TO DENY THE GENOCIDE
Brussels, Belgium – The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy, launched today an appeal asking Europe to resist the recent directive of the Turkish National Education Ministry that incites pupils to deny the Greek, Syriac and Armenian exterminations.
This Ministry document, sent on April 14th to the Primary and Secondary schools of Turkey, asks the principals of those establishments to arrange conferences and “testimonies” attesting that Turkey never exterminated those minorities. It particularly asks the pupils to write essays on the theme of the “fights against the allegations of genocide”.
In this dissertation, the minister categorically prohibits to use formulas, such as “ Turks could kill Armenians” and asks that they be replaced with other sentences that presente those facts as a necessity in front of “massacres perpetuated by Armenians”. A first report, drafted in this sense should be sent back by schools to the regional directorates of Ministry before May 30th.
The European Armenian Federation specifies that such measures touch notably the Armenian schools of Istanbul, where 70 000 Armenians live today.
“We are particularly shocked by the cynicism of this directory which encourages not only Turkish aggressiveness towards minorities, but also requires of such crimes from minorities’ children to accuse their own parents who are victims of extermination “ declared Hilda Tchoboian, President of the European Armenian Federation.
“Unfortunately, the Turkish National Education Minister provides the proof that Turkey is still far from the norms in use in Europe concerning education. These measures totally contravene the engagements taken by this country, in the framework of the enforced partnership for its adhesion”, added the President of the European Armenian Federation.
The European Armenian Federation announces that it launches an appeal on a European scale asking for the suspension of the European Union’s subventions to the Turkish educational system.
For information, Turkey benefited for its educational system of 100 millions Euros from The European Commission for the period of 1995-1999, and will benefit by the same amount for the period 2003-2009. From 2003, it is moreover eligible for the educational community programmes such as SOCRATE, LEONARDO DA VINCI, and YOUTH.
We ask all the European, Armenian, Syriac, Greek associations, organisations, institutions and leaders, all democrats of the European Countries, to join the European Coalition to denounce the European financing of The Turkish State negationism. We invite all citizens and NGO’s thinking to build A Europe of rights and freedom to denounce such attitudes from a candidate country”, concluded Hilda Tchoboian.
Hereunder the coalition's statement for your information. Associations and institutions, as well as citizens and political leaders who wish to join this Joint Declaration can send an e-mail with "signature" in the subject heading to email@example.com, or while returning by fax the present signed declaration at the +32 2 732 70 27.
May 24th, 2003
Contact: Talline Tachdjian
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European Armenian Federation
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