Schulz advised Turkey to face its own history
Brussels, 7 Februar 2012 - By Fiona Lorin / Roni Alasor / Ararat News Publishing-ANP - The Armenian – Turkish relations were one of the main topics in a press conference of the European Parliament’s President Martin Schulz with the Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bagis.
While Bagis left to the historians to deal with the past events in 1915, Schulz recommended to Turkey to face its own history.
At the press conference, President Schulz praised the role of Turkey in Syria and supported Turkish membership in EU, as well as visa liberalization for Turkish citizens.
But the questions of the journalists to Bagis and Schulz were mainly focused on the Armenian Genocide and the new bill adopted by the French senate. Egemen Bagis refused to answer a question about the investigation launched by Switzerland for his remarks denying the Armenian Genocide. Last month in Zurich Bagis said that there was no Armenian genocide and Swiss authorities could arrest him if they wanted to. During the press conference in the European Parliament today Bagis said: “Switzerland is not member of the EU and I will not spend one second to talk about non EU issue”.
Martin Schulz underlined “the clear position of the European Parliament regarding the Armenian Genocide”. In a resolution in 2005 the Members of EP called on “Turkey to recognise the Armenian genocide and consider this recognition to be a prerequisite for accession to the European Union".
From his personal point of view Schulz said: “As German I know also the history of my own country and the role the imperial army of Germany played in previous time. Nevertheless, my recommendation to the Turkish authorities is today the same as it was in previous times. You should face your own history and you should allow independent inquiries about your history. If the independent inquires come to the conclusion that it was Genocide, you should recognize it. But I think it’s first up to Turkey to solve the problem. I respect the parliamentarian autonomy and the independence of the French Parliament and I respect the law adopted in France. I know that there are a lot of people in the European Union sharing the views of the French Members of the Parliament”.
Bagis said: “This is an issue, which the science should look in. Turkey is ready to establish international committee of historians and scholars and to accept their findings, as long as those findings are based on archives not only of Turkey and Armenia, but also other countries involved, including Germany who was one of the Turkish best allies in 1915. Also UK, Russia, France, USA etc.”
Bagis also added: “We are politicians; we have responsibilities in shaping the future, not the past. Politicians should not steal the role of the historians who should study history and make judgements.”
But Martin Schulz gave a different recommendation: “As German and especially as German president of multinational parliament, I have to live every day with our past, which is not easy past. It is a very difficult one. Demons of the past are lasting until today, every day I am confronted with the past of my country. But my country, and I am proud of this, during six decades is facing its own history; is recognizing not to be guilty – because our generation is not guilty for the crimes committed in the past. But we are responsible to avoid that it could happen once more. To be as open as possible to the past is the best way to the future.”