Armenia fosters ‘genocide’ campaigns in France, Israel

Armenia fosters ‘genocide’ campaigns in France, Israel

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Armenia fosters ‘genocide’ campaigns in France, Israel

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (C) and his Armenian counterpart Serge Sarkisyan light candles in the Etchmiadzine Patriarcat Cathedral after a meeting with Armenian patriarche Karekine II in Erevan on October 6, 2011. AFP photo

Armenia has sped up its efforts to promote its genocide claims ahead of the 100th anniversary of the 1915 killings of Armenians, with actions in two countries – France and Israel – whose relations with Turkey have deteriorated over the past few years.

The Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Yerevan and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem will establish cooperation in many areas, according to an Israeli minister. Reports from France also claim that newly issued history textbooks contain Armenian genocide claims, a move likely to further strain already tense relations with Ankara.

“I offered the Genocide Museum-Institute administration to cooperate with Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem,” Israeli Minister of Information and Diaspora Yuli Edelstein was quoted as saying by the Panarmenian news website. “Both our nations have been victims of horrible crimes against humanity. I think the two institutions would cooperate quite effectively in terms of the selection of exhibits and the organization of pavilions,” Edelstein said Aug. 24 during a visit to Yerevan.

Although Israel does not officially recognize the alleged Armenian genocide, Edelstein wrote the following in the visitor’s book at the genocide museum in Yerevan: “Nobody in Israel denies the fact of Armenian Genocide.”

Süha Umar, a retired Turkish ambassador, told the Daily News that the two developments were a sign of the failures of Turkish foreign policy, caused by perceived Turkish weaknesses on the issue.

‘Redundant’ details in French textbooks
Turkey’s relations with Israel are tense, since Israeli commandos killed nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists on May 2010 in a raid on the Mavi Marmara flotilla, which aimed to stop the embargo on Gaza.
Cultural cooperation between Armenia and Israel is not surprising at a time when Turkey’s relations with Israel have come to the zero point, Turkish columnist Semih İdiz told the Hürriyet Daily News yesterday.

France, where a recent bill penalizing the denial of Armenian “genocide” was annulled by the French Constitutional Council, will start to teach Armenian genocide allegations to secondary students.

History-Geography Teachers Council Secretary General Hubert Tison said the chapter in the new French textbooks gives “redundant” detailed information on the issue, according to daily Hürriyet. Turkish Education Ministry officials say they will respond in line with international law through diplomatic channels. İdiz, a columnist for Turkish daily Milliyet and also for the Daily News, said the concept of that the Armenians suffered a genocide was part of French society, and also said further campaigns would continue until 2015. French President François Hollande has vowed to introduce a new bill penalizing denial of the Armenian genocide.

Hollande’s approval declines

PARIS - Reuters

French President François Hollande’s approval rating fell to 54 percent in August, continuing a steady decline since he came to office, according to a poll released on Aug. 25. The poll, by Ifop for Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper, marked a slide from 61 percent who were satisfied or very satisfied with Hollande’s performance in May, the month he became president, to 59 percent in June and 56 percent in July. The declining ratings reflect the challenges Hollande faces in tackling high unemployment and a stagnant economy.