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Home >> World
UPDATED: 08:21, September 29, 2006
Turkey expresses concerns over Netherlands' approach on Armenian genocide
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A Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman on Thursday expressed concerns over Netherlands' approach on a "so-called Armenian genocide" in early 20th century, Turkey's semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

"We are deeply worried about the one-sided approach of our ally Netherlands' political parties on so-called Armenian genocide as this puts a limit on the freedom of expression," Namik Tan was quoted as saying.

Tan's comment came after three Turkish-origin candidates were removed from their party lists in the Netherlands for the Nov. 22 early parliamentary elections because they refused to acknowledge the Armenian genocide.

Ruling out the possibility that his country would accept allegations on Armenian genocide as historical reality, Tan stressed that Turkey had opened all its archives, including military ones, so that the incidents of 1915 can be studied from a scientific perspective.

Tan also recalled that the Turkish government had proposed the Armenian side to establish a joint history commission over the issue.

Turkey, a country seeking European Union (EU) membership, has always refused to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia on the basis that Armenia claims up to 1.5 million Armenians died as a result of systematic genocide during the Turkish Ottoman period between 1915 and 1923.

Some European Parliament (EP) members characterized the removal of the three Turkish candidates as a violation of the freedom of expression, Turkish Zaman daily newspaper reported.

On Wednesday, the EP approved a report on Turkey's progress towards accession to the EU, in which the lawmakers dropped their demand that Turkey must acknowledge the Armenian genocide before it can join the bloc and called on Turkey to speed up its reform process.

Source: Xinhua

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