débats sur le négationnisme du génocide arménien


zaman.com Published: (May) Thursday 05, 2005

To Prevent Punishment for Genocide Deniers Tough in Belgium

By Selcuk Gultasli

Turkish Ambassador in Belgium Erkan Gezer is hopeless about the stopping of the bill in the Senate anticipating penalty of imprisonment and fine for those denying the so-called Armenian genocide.

Pointing that the Belgium Parliament was not protective about Turkey, Gezer emphasized that the senators were very liberal about the issues on foreign relations. The Ambassador determined that the Belgium Senate had taken the decision about the so-called genocide in 1998; however, the Parliament had not approved the same bill. Gezer disclosed that the Senate would not hesitate to make the decision practical this time. Those denying the so-called Armenian genocide will be sentenced ranging from eight days and one year in prison and fined by 5,000-26,000 euros according to the bill. Gezer evaluating the genocide bill confirmed that Turkish society in Belgium was unpleased about the developments. Although Ankara made necessary applications at the Belgium government, Foreign Ministry, Parliament and the Senate, Turkish government does not think that they will be able to stop the bill in political ways. If the bill is adopted, Belgium will be the first country that will punish people denying the so-called Armenian genocide. French Socialist Party had also decided to submit a bill draft as a group for the French Parliament to punish the deniers of the so-called genocide.

Armenians as well after change

Living in Belgium, 150,000 Turks are disturbed by the developments. Spending efforts to pass the bill the Armenian lobby of 6-7,000 people have on the other hand complaints about the required court decision for the punishment. The Lobby is now trying to remove the condition of "court decision" from the text of the bill. Armenians assert since there is no court decision to confirm genocide allegations, the laws cannot be applied.

Gezer informed that letters were sent to the Parliament, Senate presidents as well as the Justice and Foreign Affairs commission heads and two points in particular have been brought to the attention:

1 - We offered a joint commission. We want an independent, joint commission to evaluate the allegations. Convince the Armenians to come to the table for negotiations.

2 - The ground of bill has errors. First of all, there is no statement in any of the United Nations (UN) resolution regarding that the Armenian genocide took place. The European Parliament's (EP) decision dated 1987 is of a recommendation. Armenians "genocide" application to the EU Court of Justice was overruled. These parts should be crossed out from the text of the ground.

Ambassador Gezer answers the question why some of the EU members brought "denial of genocide" to the agenda now. In his two phase answer, Gezer says, first of all, the December 17 decision extremely bothers Turkey opponents in Europe. Secondly, of Turkish origins in particular in Belgium, are raising in the European politics and that disturbs many circles. Turkish community on the other hand complaints about no unity among themselves. The Ambassador is offly concerned that the turnout for a rally against Armenian allegations to take place on May 7 will be low. Since the authorities do not deliver the promises given to Turks, the trust for them diminishes.



débats sur le négationnisme du génocide arménien