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Bosporos-universitetet i Istanbul avlyste en historikerkonferanse om hva som skjedde med armenerne i 1915-16, etter å ha mottatt trusler. Justisministeren sto opp i nasjonalforsamlingen tirsdag og kalte en slik konferanse et nasjonalt forræderi. EU er sjokkert.

De fleste tyrkiske historikere deler det offisielle synet: mange armenere ble drept, men enda flere tyrkere.

En gruppe historikere er villig til å belyse saken på fritt grunnlag. Det falt ikke i god jord hos mange.

Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said in parliament on Tuesday the conference by Turkish historians who say genocide occurred was a «stab in the back of the Turkish people».

«We must end this treason, the spreading of propaganda against Turkey by the people who belong to it,» he said.
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An EU diplomat called Cicek’s remarks «unbelievable».

«It not only kills the government’s policy on the Armenian issue. It will also kill support for Turkey’s EU drive,» the Turkey-based diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

Several European nations, including Poland, France and Greece, have passed resolutions that recognise genocide. Turkey has accused Europe of using the Armenian issue to mask efforts against Turkey’s inclusion in the affluent bloc.

«This strengthens the hand of those outside Turkey who say, ‘Turkey has not changed, it is not democratic enough to discuss the Armenian issue,'» Hrant Dink, editor of the Armenian weekly Agos and a conference participant, told Reuters.

«It also shows there is a difference between what the government says and its intentions.» (reuters)