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Media Watch 2007

27 April 2007
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author: Athena Karsera
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 27 April 2007.
Cyprus marks anniversary of Armenian genocide
"The community's representative to Parliament, Vartkes Mahdessian, said on Wednesday: "It is time for Turkey's political leadership to find the courage to recognise the crimes committed by previous Turkish governments, vindicating the victims of the genocide - Armenian, Greek, Cypriot, Kurd, Arab, Pontian and others - within their hopes of joining the EU."

"CYPRUS this week marked the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

The community's representative to Parliament, Vartkes Mahdessian, said on Wednesday: "It is time for Turkey's political leadership to find the courage to recognise the crimes committed by previous Turkish governments, vindicating the victims of the genocide - Armenian, Greek, Cypriot, Kurd, Arab, Pontian and others - within their hopes of joining the EU."

He continued that the Armenian people were determined to continue to fight for this until the end.

Speaking at a Wednesday event organised in commemoration of the victims of the genocide and condemning its taking place 92 years ago, Mahdessian said that the evening's main aim was to consider the success of the Armenian people's campaign so far.

"The international outcry, which is growing day by day, over Turkey's refusal to accept the crime it committed in carrying out the Armenian genocide is making the Turkish political leadership nervous and there are indications that they are panicking," he said. This, Mahdessian continued, had been compounded by the recent Constantinople murder of an Armenian journalist.

The representative also remembered former President Spyros Kyprianou who, he said, had been the first political figure to condemn the genocide in front of the UN's General Assembly.

"That event has been marked in Armenian history and the coming generations will honour his memory forever," Mahdessian said.

On Monday, a church service was carried out at the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Nicosia, This was followed by the reading of poems and singing of Armenian songs.

Speaking at a Sunday Thessalonica event in memory of those killed during the genocide, Euro MP Ioannis Cassoulides underlined the strong ties between the people of Greece and Armenia.

He continued that solving its differences with Armenia would assist Turkey in its EU accession.

Cyprus political parties also remembered the genocide.

In announcements throughout the week, the parties condemned Turkey's actions.

Akel expressed its support for the Armenian people and called the genocide a heinous crime and blight on world peace.

Akel also noted that: "The Turkish people will never truly be free or enjoy human rights if the governments of Ankara refuse to recognize the previous and contemporary oppression of other peoples including the Kurds and Cypriots."

Disy said that Turkey's action "against the peace-loving Armenian people will always be hanging over it and deprives it of the right to be included in the civilized nations of the world.

In Diko's announcement, the party said that the anniversary of the genocide was a stark reminder of Turkey's serious crimes against humanity.

"Turkey's remaining unpunished for the Armenian genocide and other ensuing crimes has given the Turkish leadership the audacity to continue to act in violation of universal principals and human rights," the party said.

Edek said that the genocide of the "Armenians, Greeks, Syrians and Kurds was not a momentary crime but a tool and organized policy for homogenising Turkish land."

The party continued that the people of Cyprus had fallen victim to the same barbaric policies and would always be at the side of the Armenian people.

The European Party Evroko also said that the peoples of Armenia and Cyprus travelled along the same path and noted that Turkey's remaining unpunished for the Armenian genocide opened the way for similar practices against other peoples.

Epalxi said that Turkey should now more than ever denounce its past and bring its principals in line with those of the rest of the world.

The Eleftheri Polites, meanwhile, said: "The genocide of these historic people still moves us to this day, particularly because we have also witnessed the same brutality.""