POLITICS > Turkey shows progress, says Armenian historian Raymond Kevorkian

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

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Vercihan Ziflioğlu Vercihan Ziflioğlu vercihan.ziflioglu@hurriyet.com.tr

Armenian-descent French historian Raymond Kevorkian says the conference held on Islamized Armenians is a result of Turkey’s positive progress in democracy, but remains pessimistic about the country to take any step towards breaking “dogmas” regarding the 1915 incidents before its 100th anniversary.

“Turkey has been changing for the good and it would be unfair not to see that, this conference is a result of that,” Kevorkian told Hürriyet Daily News on the sidelines of three-day conference regarding Islamized Armenians that started Nov. 2 in Istanbul.
“Within the past seven years, important parts of the Prime Ministry state archives have been opened,” said the French historian, who is best known for his book on the issue, “The Armenian Genocide: A Complete History.”

He noted he is closely watching the data obtained from the research done by using archives and there are new, significant documents among them.

Despite hailing the opening of archives, Kevorkian implied he still does not expect drastic moves from Turkey before the 100th anniversary of the 1915 incidents, which is anticipated as a breaking point for Armenian diaspora.

“2015 is an opportunity to break this dogma, but Turkey doesn’t look like it will take a step toward it,” he said.

“Of course as a historian, I’m not the person to tell Turkey what to do, but the first gesture could be a return of cultural assets and protection,” he added, when asked about what the Armenian diaspora could demand from Turkey in 2015.

Speaking about the idea of the establishment of a Historian’s Commission to be consisted of the two countries’ historians, Kevorkian said he is completely against the formation of a commission under a state’s guidance.

“Historians should be independent; they don’t wait for the state’s approval to start working. Besides, we, Armenian and Turkish historians, are already in cooperation and congregate together in scientific meetings,” he said.

“Moreover, there is no need to discuss the presence of the Armenian genocide as the result is obvious. The Armenian genocide is a reality acknowledged by the international community as well,” he added.
The idea of a formation of such a commission was first planted among a historic protocol signed by Turkey and Armenia to normalize bilateral relations, which was never realized.

A number of prominent Turkish, Armenian and international academics, as well as Armenians living in several Turkish provinces will be gathering at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul for the conference, which ends today.


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Notice on comments


11/4/2013 6:15:36 PM

@MM: Actually I speak with a deep knowledge of the subject and more than willing to shock and awe you any time! You do not need to look further than the comments here to see what I mean. Facts remain as facts and myths are just that no matter how much propaganda is pumped and how many poiliticans raise their hands this or that way.

ilker avni

11/4/2013 2:39:12 PM

Kevorkian is a historian with a short memory,he saysThe armenian genocide is a reliaty acknowleged by the international community,The British goverment at the time didnt think it was genocide and to this date have never changed they minds.As defined by the 1948 UN convention on genocide.

strömungs maschine

11/4/2013 10:54:51 AM

Raymond Kevorkian overlooks that Turkish society can't acquiesce the crime against humanity in its history, If this issue is not investigated publicly by a commission under a state’s guidance. To my mind , this will eleborate on all '' incidents '' and misdeeds and allow both societies to think everything through conscientiously. Does Armenia society / Armenian diaspora speak about the massacre against Turks which took place in 1917 - 1918 after 1915 '' incidents '' ?

ender bilici

11/4/2013 10:38:14 AM

There is no such a thing as islamized armenians..We can say from that standpoint..Turks also were islamized ..No one has to be muslim or christian in Turkey..It is your choice.. In my mind it is shameful that, if Christian missionaries had their way, all Buddhists or muslims would be converted until not a single one were left...Christian armenians should RESPECT other's choices! A person has a right to choose who they want to be ...No one has to be christian or atheist..


11/4/2013 9:14:19 AM

Wow Murat. Speak for yourself. Your comment highlights your ignorance.

OZman Cometh

11/4/2013 6:14:31 AM

We'll suppose it was a systematic genocide and not just chaotic killings and deportations during the death throes of an empire. and then? .. and then? and then? This is where it falls down.

Falk Bernard

11/4/2013 4:25:00 AM

"The Armenian genocide is a reality acknowledged by the international community as well,” he added." If the international community would consist of only the western world (in fact only a part of it), he would be right. Armenians like him are asking the Turks to accept their version of the history in which the Turks act as Nazis. A version of the past based on fraud and distortion. No wonder Turks rejects this falsified history.


11/4/2013 1:04:39 AM

Yes, but Armenia and so many Armenians seem to have been stuck in the mud of centuries and going nowhere.
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