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Turk's Anti-Armenian Efforts 09/25/2003
Turks Set Up National Committee
To Expand Anti-Armenian Efforts

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier

Faced with the ever-growing recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the
international arena, the Turkish government is hatching new plots to counter
the Armenian efforts by resorting to massive and costly schemes.
These new schemes are an indirect admission that the millions of dollars
spent by the Turks on similar initiatives to undermine the recognition of
the Armenian Genocide, such as the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation
Commission (TARC) and the Institute for Armenian Research (EREN), have
failed miserably.
The Turkish government recently set up a "National Committee for
Turkish-Armenian Relations" (NCTAR), under the immediate control of the
State Council on Higher Education which was established by the military
junta after the 1980 coup. The ostensible aim of this committee is to
conduct scholarly research on Armenian issues. The real purpose, however, is
to expand the Turkish government's intelligence gathering on all facets of
Armenian life under the guise of academic studies.
The Official Gazette published on April 26, 2003, this group's cleverly
couched aims, structure, functions, and budget. In order to bring to the
public's attention NCTAR's establishment and its sinister designs, I have
translated its by-laws into English:
AIMS
-- Conduct scholarly research in universities on Turkish-Armenian relations,
Armenian culture, politics, community institution, and history;
-- Create the proper environment to carry out such research;
-- Generate interest in researching Armenian issues;
-- Expand existing programs on this subject;
-- Aid Turkish and foreign scientists overseas to carry out objective and
scholarly research in the Turkish archives;
-- Secure cooperation between Turkish and foreign scholars who specialize in
Armenian issues;
-- Provide scholarly cooperation and guidance to researchers on Armenian
topics;
-- Provide researchers with necessary information and source materials;
-- Meet the public's and media's demand for scholarly information;
-- Ensure that the results of the research reach the target audience.
STRUCTURE
The National Committee for Turkish-Armenian Relations is composed of 14
members:
-- Two members from the State Higher Education Board selected by the Council
on Higher Education;
-- Seven members from among Caucasian and Armenian specialists selected by
the Council on Higher Education; and
-- Five members from specialists on this topic who serve in high posts
within state or private institutions or foundations.
The President and the Vice President of NCTAR are appointed by the Presidium
of the Council on Higher Education.
FUNCTIONS
-- Closely follow and evaluate the work performed within and outside
universities on Armenian history, cultural politics, economy, foreign
relations, language and literature;
-- Prepare proposals on this subject for submission to universities and
other institutions;
-- Develop training courses on Armenian issues at universities and other
institutions;
-- Create for Turkish specialists on Armenian research an environment for
accurate information and scientific research. Establish for this purpose,
libraries and depositories at universities and other institutions;
-- Establish information centers with free admission for scholars and the
public in order to publicize these studies among scientific circles inside
Turkey and overseas;
-- Prepare for Turkish scholars archival materials that include the latest
developments;
-- Inform Turkish scientists about the studies carried out overseas;
-- Ensure that research conducted objectively and based on scientific
evidence is widely disseminated through electronic means;
-- Provide guidance to individuals or institu tions doing research on
Armenian topics and direct them to new areas of research;
-- Prepare new programs on the topic of Armenian research, covering either
areas that have not been studied or new areas that require urgent attention.
Ask universities, other institutions, and experts to submit research
proposals;
-- Disseminate widely to other institutions the research carried out or the
scholarly material obtained through field trips;
-- To boost research done in Turkey on Armenian topics, encourage
researchers in Armenian, Russian, English, Arabic, and other languages, to
carry out their studies on Armenian issues in an objective and scientific
manner;
-- Encourage exchanges between Turkish and Armenian educational
institutions, and secure their cooperation;
-- Encourage scientific cooperation with researchers on Armenian topics in
North America, Western Europe, Russia, neighboring states, as well as other
countries;
-- Establish cooperation with official and unofficial institutions doing
research on Armenian topics. Create the need to establish cooperative
efforts with other institutions on the topic of Armenian research;
-- Organize international symposia and conferences.
BUDGET
The annual budget of NCTAR is provided by the Council on Higher Education
(amount not disclosed).
It is amazing how much time, effort and money the Turkish government is
willing to expend to counter the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. It is
obvious that the Turkish officials are taking so seriously the Armenian
successes that they feel obligated to devote such massive amounts of money
and effort. Now that the Turks are committing more resources to this battle,
Armenians must persevere to bring the fight to a successful conclusion!
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