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    Gul: Turkish people are at peace with their history

    Hürriyet Haber
    25.09.2005 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul sent a message to the opening session of the Armenian conference on Saturday:"The Turkish people are at peace with themselves and with our history," he added that, ''the approaches of our government and our people towards our past, including Turkish-Armenian relations, constitute an indication of our confidence in ourselves and our future.'' In his message, Gul said, ''the last era of the Ottoman Empire is subject to discussion and research in academic circles, with increased interest. Nearly every day new documents from the era emerge and new books, articles and research papers are published. Yet, it is not possible to say that all data and documents related to those times have been properly analyzed. With an aim to help redress this shortcoming, our government is in the process of taking important steps to enable the Ottoman Archives to serve researchers, in modern conditions. Our Archives have begun to serve scientists through documents converted to a digital medium since 2003. Within this context, many researchers, coming from 75 different countries have completed their research on the Ottoman Archives. These activities are ongoing.'' ''We want not only our own archives but at the same time all other archives that will shed light on the history of the day to be opened in an organized fashion, that will serve all researchers. We believe that deeper research into that era will bring new historical facts to light and serve an improvement in relations between countries and peoples. Thus, we have proposed to the Government of Armenia to establish a historical commission between our two countries, which will research the joint Turkish-American history and which will make its findings public. We hope to reach a conclusion on this subject,'' indicated Gul. Gul also said, ''The history of Turkish-Armenian relations is one of co-existence and common life of almost 1,000 years. During the course of this period, the Turkish and Armenian peoples have contributed to each other's culture, prosperity and security. We should not ignore this reality when we examine the tragic period when the Ottoman Empire was crumbling and the Turks and Armenians were deeply suffering, like all other peoples of the Empire.'' ''It is a fact that in some chapters of history, or even today, some societies cannot tolerate one other's language, religion, identity or even very existence. It is an unfortunate reality that such intolerance can turn into a deep-rooted and destructive ideology, which gets ingrained in the social subconscious. Some serious and very dangerous trends, from xenophobia to racism and from anti-Semitism to attitudes against Muslims are present and are on the rise today, even in societies which represent the highest level of contemporary civilization,'' underlined Gul. Gul stressed, ''it is a source of pleasure that such a psychology does not exist between the Turks and Armenians. This also constitutes a major advantage for the future of relations between the two peoples.'' ''Another issue I want to draw your attention to is that, many studies so far held on the theme of the Conference, particularly outside Turkey, have been conducted with political motivations, in a manner inconsistent with scientific ethics and objectivity. Regretfully, humanitarian issues have been sacrificed to political designs, and double standards have been applied in determining and presenting human suffering. There were attempts to impose subjective, non-legal and artificial claims upon Turkey and the Turkish people, with political motivations. Furthermore, there have been situations in which some foreign circles could not even tolerate scientific skepticism,'' said Gul. Gul concluded, ''young generations from all nations must know and draw lessons from the facts that during the last era of the Ottoman Empire the imperialist-colonial powers ruthlessly exploited peoples' ethno-religious sensitivities for their own gains and that some elements, knowingly or unknowingly, became instruments to these provocations. I hope that your Conference will be a contribution to raise awareness on this issue. The Turkish people is at peace with itself and with its history. The approaches of our government and our people towards our past, including Turkish-Armenian relations, constitute an indication of our confidence in ourselves and our future. I convey my best wishes to all participants and hope that the Conference will be a success.''
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