Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-10-24-Speech-3-027"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, I would firstly like to thank Mrs Oomen-Ruijten for the constructive message we are preparing to send to the Council and the Commission, but also to the Turkish Government and Parliament. I regret, however, that our Parliament did not express itself more clearly on an issue that is undoubtedly sensitive but no less important: I am talking about the Armenian genocide. Since 1987 this Parliament has applied the word ‘genocide’ to the massacre between 1915 and 1917 of 1.2 million Armenians, i.e. two-thirds of the Armenian population living at that time under the Ottoman Empire. The US Senate and House of Representatives have just said the same and it is unfortunate that this Parliament is lagging behind the Americans on this issue. As highlighted recently in a press release by the International Federation for Human Rights, many Turkish citizens are charged with insulting Turkish identity on the basis of Article 301 of the Penal Code. In order to tackle this period in history publically, I believe that this article has to be abolished as soon as possible. We are not benefiting our Turkish friends in any way by making them forget their history. This duty to remember is also a duty to the descendants of the people who survived the genocide and to the international community itself. I thus call on Parliament to support the amendments that call for recognition of the Armenian genocide and those that underline the need for complete respect for religious freedoms and minority rights."@en1

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