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Wednesday, 15 December 2004 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Voting time

  Carlotti (PSE), in writing. (FR) Although the Commission’s report was well-founded, its recommendations of 6 October no longer required Turkey to recognise the Armenian genocide of 1915.

This genocide resulted in the death of over one million people, which was equivalent to nearly two thirds of the country’s largest minority.

This crime, which was carried out with intent and which led to widespread and systematic destruction, was the first genocide of the twentieth century, and yet even today the Turkish State continues to oppose references to it.

The worst possible course of action now would be to remain silent. The Commission’s silence could lead one to think that this tragedy does not concern it in any way, and that it is a problem for Turks and Armenians alone.

This is something I find disturbing, not for reasons of religion, history or community, but because this is a political issue which has direct bearing on democracy and human rights.

This is an issue which goes back to the very foundations of the European Union, laid after the Second World War when France and Germany affirmed their desire to bring peace to Europe. This meant that our continent’s most tragic hours were overcome, even though the full extent of the extermination of Jews would not be fully acknowledged until later.

This is why the Armenian issue is crucial for a Europe seeking to become an area of freedom and anti-totalitarianism where a modern and secular citizenship flourishes.

(Explanation of vote abbreviated in accordance with Rule 163 of the Rules of Procedure)

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