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    Turks get Armenian invite

    by Vercihan Ziflioğlu
    24.04.2009 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    YEREVAN-Armenian state archives are open to all and officials are ready to sit down and help Turkish historians who want access documents dating from the early part of last century, said Armenian State Archives Director Amaduni Virabyan.

    As he denied claims that the archives were closed, Virabyan said 12,000 documents were transferred to the digital medium, while the rest were being kept in special underground depots for protection.

    He said except for what is left in the Turkish military archives, Turkey had destroyed most of its documents concerning the 1915 events.

    Armenia argues that the death of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 constituted an organized genocide while Turkey denies the claim, arguing that during World War I, hundreds of thousands of Armenians and Turks perished in civil disturbances amid wartime conditions.

    Virabyan said the entire blame for what happened in 1915 was laid on the feet of Turks, but the real culprits were the Germans, an ally of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, and the Russians.

    "If Germany had not permitted it, the genocide would never have happened. Western powers that allowed it to happen, especially Germany, are now trying to place the blame on Turkey to blackmail the country in order to escape their own culpability," he said.

    He said April 24 was first a remembrance day for those who died in 1920. "On each April 24, Armenians around the world mark the day with ceremonies. However, between 1920 and 1927, Soviet authorities banned the practice," he said.

    Mediation not needed
    Virabyan said Turkey and Armenia did not need the mediation of Western countries to establish their own dialogue. "My roots are in Van [in eastern Turkey]. The antagonism between us needs to end and the new generations should be free of it. Genocide happened but it is time for Turks and Armenians to produce solutions." He also said Kurds had played a part in 1915, saying, "Kurds are now paying the price for what they did to Armenians. Most Armenians who died in 1915 died at the hands of Kurds."
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