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    Swiss court fines Turks for denying so-called Armenian "genocide"

    HotNewsTurkey Staff
    21.10.2008 - 14:35 | Son Güncelleme:

    A Swiss court on Tuesday ruled that three of its citizens of Turkish origin were guilty of racial discrimination after referring to the claims of Armenian “genocide” as an "international lie".

    Ali Mercan, the Europe-based representative of the Workers' Party (IP), was sentenced to pay a fine of 4,500 Swiss francs ($3,900 dollars) by the district tribunal of Winterthur.

     

    Two others, who were members of the Kemalist Thought Association (ADD), were ordered to pay 3,600 Swiss francs ($3,123) each for complicity in the racial discrimination.

     

    During a demonstration in June last year, Mercan had denied that "genocide" had taken place in regard to the incidents. The other two Turks were co-organizers of the demonstration.

     

    All three said during the court case that they were ready "at any time" to organize a new demonstration and take the same line.

     

    In 2007, the chairman of the IP, Dogu Perincek, was sentenced a postponed imprisonment and to pay a fine of nearly 17,000 Swiss francs. Perincek said he would apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), unless an appeal courts annuls the decision. 

     

    Armenia, with the backing of the diaspora, claims up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings in 1915. Turkey rejects the claims, saying that 300,000 Armenians along with at least as many Turks died in civil strife that emerged when Armenians took up arms, backed by Russia, for independence in eastern Anatolia.

     

    In 2005, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan took a first step towards resolving the issue by proposing a joint commission of historians launch an investigation and publish their conclusions, but the proposal was rejected by Yerevan.

     

    No diplomatic relations between the two countries are in place, as Armenia presses the international community to admit the so-called "genocide" claims instead of accepting Turkey's call to investigate the allegations, and its invasion of 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory despite U.N. Security Council resolutions on the issue.

     

     

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