No:63 - 25 April 2006, Press Release Regarding the Statement by Canadian Prime Minister (Unofficial Translation)

We regret the statement by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper that characterizes the unfounded Armenian allegations as “genocide” and expresses support for them.

It is a gravely prejudiced attitude on the part of Prime Minister Harper, as a political personality, to present the allegations of “Armenian genocide” – proven by the objective studies of eminent historians to be unsubstantiated – as if they were a historical fact.

Such statements, which cannot possibly be based on objective analyses of the essence of the matter, are not only counter-productive to the atmosphere of dialogue we wish to build between Turkey and Armenia, but also adversely affect the relations between Turkey and Canada. The clearest example of this has been the stagnation observed in the relations between the two countries following the motion by the Parliament of Canada two years ago that supported the Armenian claims.

Continuation of the support rendered to the initiatives by anti-Turkish lobbies to dig out enmity and hatred from history demonstrates that our Ally Canada has failed to draw any lessons from the incidents that such enmity and hatred caused on its own territory in the past, resulting in the killing of our Military Attaché and a Canadian security guard, and the wounding of our Ambassador and Commercial Attaché by the Armenian terrorists.

Statements by foreign parliaments and governments which are made almost a century after the disputed historical events will not change the characteristics of what really occurred. Turkey rejects and condemns attempts based on long years of propaganda and political designs to create one-sided versions of history and to have lies be acknowledged as if they were facts.

Genocide is the gravest of crimes against humanity. Distorting the tragic events in history for political gains surely does not serve the objective of creating a common future for humanity based on peace and cooperation.

Armenian claims need to be assessed on the basis of knowledge, not faith. Turkey, in this regard, reiterates its proposal for the establishment of a joint commission of Turkish, Armenian and other historians to study in all the archives of the relevant countries and parties, in an impartial and unbiased fashion, of the facts about 1915 and to reach conclusions to be accepted by all. Turkey emphasizes its belief that countries with commonsense that do not shy away from confronting history will support its proposal which was officially extended to Armenia with a view to normalizing bilateral relations.

In this regard, it is our sincere wish that particularly those persons who occupy positions of responsibility leave prejudices behind and adopt attitudes with commonsense based on objective foundations of knowledge.