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CRAG E-Alert - 11 July 2005

Dear Friends & Supporters:

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE EUROPEAN-ARMENIAN FEDERATION

"TURKEY / EU ACCESSION : NEGOTIATION FRAMEWORK CRITICIZED

** 350 European organizations and leaders from 21 countries call on European Union to integrate the Armenian Genocide in the negotiations framework

** The UMP (Union for Popular Movement) Members of the European Parliament ask the Council to modify the European Commission's negotiations mandate

Brussels, Belgium (July 7th, 2005) -- Over 350 associations and key leaders of European civil society from 21 countries responded to an appeal by the European Armenian Federation to include Armenian Genocide recognition in Turkey's EU accession negotiations framework.

The initiative, launched last April, as the world marked the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, garnered the support of groups representing Armenian Genocide survivors and their descendants, associations for the defense of victims of Genocide and crimes against humanity, Human Rights groups, member organizations of the Charter of European Armenians, as well as key figures of European political life.

The European Appeal urged the European Union to integrate calls by national and European Parliaments to include Genocide recognition in the negotiations framework.

The European Armenian Federation noted that, on Tuesday July 5th, the French delegation of European People's Party (EPP -- Christian Democrats) of European Parliament called on the Council "to modify the mandate of negotiations of the [European] Commission", notably "to reinforce the exigencies of Union on essential topics such as Freedom of Religion, Penal legislation, the recognition of Cyprus and the recognition of the Armenian Genocide".

In a July 5th press release issued by the French EPP (www.umpeurope.org), Mr Jacques Toubon, Vice President of the EU-Turkey Delegation, accused the Commission of harboring an "irresponsible attitude" which was "totally devoid of reality". He affirmed that "the official framework of negotiations essentially engages Turkey on its terms and not the criteria laid down by the [European] Union".

During the presentation of the negotiations framework to the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), Mr Olli Rehn, the Commissioner responsible for European Enlargement, revealed that a program geared to promote "dialogue between the Turkish and European civil societies" was in fact intended to improve European public opinion about Turkey's accession to the EU. That program will be allocated 40 millions euros in 2006 alone."

CRAG supported this pan-European Appeal, and you can read further the full release of this excerpt and other material by logging on www.eafjd.org

CANADIAN GAZETTE USES G-WORD

Armenian Information Centre - 72 Holford Cres., Scarborough, ON M1T 1M2 - July 8, 2005

Montreal Gazette Takes Resolute Stance on Armenian Genocide

MONTREAL--Montreal's English-language newspaper, The Gazette, issued a firm policy statement on the Armenian genocide, advising reporters and editors to freely use the word genocide--without quotation marks and qualifiers such as "alleged," "disputed," or "what Armenians call."

The Editor-in-Chief of The Gazette, Andrew Phillips, issued the statement to the newspaper's editorial staff on July 4, saying: "It seems clear from the historical record that what took place in Turkey around 1915 amounted to a genocide, as defined in the 1948 UN convention on genocide: killing or harming people 'with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.'"

The statement said that though it may report Turkish denials of such a claim when they are relevant, "we should not feel obliged to include such denials with every reference to the Armenian genocide."

"Major news organizations differ in how they handle this point. Our approach is in line with those of such newspapers as the Boston Globe, New York Times, and Ottawa Citizen."

REPEAL OF REFERENCE TO ARMENIAN GENOCIDE FROM ARTICLE 305 OF TPC

Source: Pan Armenian News on 08.07.2005

TURKEY TO CANCEL CRIMINAL PUNISHMENT FOR ARMENIAN GENOCIDE RECOGNITION
CLAIMS

The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Miklos Haraszti, today praised the Turkish authorities for introducing important changes to the new Penal Code.

Relating to Article 305 on "offences against fundamental national interests", the Representative noted with satisfaction that two examples in the explanatory "Reasoning Document" - making it a crime to demand the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus or to claim that Armenians were exposed to genocide - have been removed. To note, he revised Turkish Penal Code was finally approved by parliament on Wednesday, 29 June.

CRAG is checking this development - which certainly points in the right direction - with different NGO's that work on Turkey and its EU application.

REFERENCES TO CRAG WEBSITE

CRAG often receives queries / information about different web-links or material relating to the Armenian Genocide. We recommend that you check the CRAG website at www.crag.org.uk since it usually includes the points you raise in your messages.

One such example is www.twentyvoices.com which is a good site and has been web-linked to CRAG for months now.

Also, we do not always report every statement / article on the Armenian Genocide in order not to over-saturate readers with d-base e-alerts, but also because every single item is almost automatically disseminated by many persons - often to the same addressees.

You can always check weekly the CRAG website, and also the ACCC website at www.accc.org.uk for Armenian and community-related topics.

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The CRAG data-base network is constantly updated and edited. If you received this message in error, or would like to be removed from the list, send an e-mail with "Please Remove" in the subject heading to info@24april.org Kindly accept our apologies for any inconvenience whatsoever this may have caused as we try to deal with your request.

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Most of the news items, messages or documents that CRAG shares with you on its data-base can also usually be found on the CRAG link at www.accc.org.uk (with regular updates) or www.24april.org for background events. CRAG remains thankful to the ACCC Webmaster for keeping the CRAG page up-to-date, and welcomes all constructive and helpful comments.

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