CRAG Letter to The Editor of Scotland on Sunday - 21 September 2005
I refer to Murdo Macleod’s article in the Scotland on Sunday (18 September 2005) entitled “Council in diplomatic row with Turkey”. It is surprising that your paper would publish such a one-sided account of the Motion for recognition of the Armenian Genocide that is to be voted upon by the Edinburgh City Council.
It is extremely dangerous let alone quite ridiculous to raise Islam as an emotive pretext in this article. This issue has nothing to do with Islam, since Muslims in both the Arab and Muslim worlds welcomed many Armenian survivors of the genocide during World War I. Islam is renowned for its sense of hospitality, and to talk about “divides” in today’s political context is at the very least an attempt at mischief-making - if not much more.
Also, the issue of recognition of the Armenian Genocide is not the same as that of Turkey’s possible accession to the EU. The former is decidedly a human rights issue, with moral implications, whilst the latter is primarily political and economic in ambit. I am one of many Armenians worldwide who would welcome Turkey into the EU if and when it faces up to its past and acknowledges its history.
Finally, the Edinburgh City Council has every right to discuss this matter. After all, it hosted Holocaust Memorial Day in 2003, awarded the Freedom of the City to Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi in 1997 and 2005 respectively, and is now supporting the international campaign to make poverty history.
It is disgraceful and impudent of the journalist, let alone the leader of one party within the Council, to refer to such involvement as student politics. Surely integrity and honesty have not totally become virtues of the past.
Dr Harry Hagopian, LL.D
Campaign for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (CRAG)