Nobel Laureates call for Turkish-Armenian reconciliation

The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Huma-nity (EWF) released an appeal signed by 53 Nobel Laurates endorsing Turkish-Armenian reconciliation.

Nobel Laureates call for Turkish-Armenian reconciliation
The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Huma-nity (EWF) released an appeal signed by 53 Nobel Laurates endorsing Turkish-Armenian reconciliation.

The appeal stressed on that the Genocide Conven-tion has never been applied retroactively and, therefore can not be used as the basis for reparations or territorial claims.

The appeal called on the Turkish government to end discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities and abolish Article 301 of the penal Code, which makes it a criminal offense to denigrate Turkishness. Laurates also called on Armenia to reverse its authoritarian course, allow free and fair elections, and respect human rights. Fifty-three Nobel Laureates, not including Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, who won the last Nobel prize for literature, call peoples of Turkey and Armenian for tolerance, contact and cooperation. The appeal urged civil society to advocate steps by the governments of Turkey and Armenia to overcome distrust and divisions that affect relations between the two peoples.

Laurates also urged the Turkish Govern-ment and Armenia to open the Turkish-Armenian border thereby improving economic conditions on both sides of the border and enabling human interaction, which is essential for human understanding. They called on the governments to accelerate bilateral contacts and the establishment of full diplomatic relations. They also supported practical projects between civil society representatives that address shared problems. In addition, the appeal suggested a legal approach to address the gap in national perceptions over the "Armenian genocide". It also noted that the Genocide Convention has never been applied retroactively and, therefore can not be used as the basis for reparations or territorial claims.

EXCERPTS

Organized by the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity, which was established after Professor Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1986, the appeal of Nobel Laureates calls on Turks and Armenians to:

* Open the Turkish-Armenian border. An open border would greatly improve the economic conditions for communities on both sides of the border and enable human interaction, which is essential for mutual understanding. Treaties between the two countries recognize existing borders, call for unhampered travel, trade.

* Generate confidence through civil society cooperation. Turks and Armeni-ans have been working since 2001 on practical projects that offer great promise in creatively and constructively dealing with shared problems. The governments should support such efforts by, for example, sponsoring academic links between Turkish and Armenian faculty, as well as student exchanges.

* Improve official contacts. Civil society initiatives would be enhanced by the governments' decision to accelerate their bilateral contacts, devise new frameworks for consultation, and consolidate relations through additional treaty arrangements and diplomatic relations.

* Allow basic freedoms. Turkey should end discrimination against ethnic and religious minorities and abolish Article 301 of the Penal Code, which makes it a criminal offense to "denigrate Turkishness." Armenia also should reverse its own authoritarian course, allow free and fair elections, and respect human rights. 

Source: Today's Zaman
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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