Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Armenian Massacres

Financial Times - November 5th 2007

Sir

The Armenian massacres may have been "airbrushed from history" by modern Turkey ("Laying memory's ghosts to rest", editorial October 29) but, more importantly, not by most serious independent historians.

The fact that no one remembers the events is no excuse for questioning whether it happened. To follow this logic would mean that denial of the Nazi Holocaust eventually became acceptable and commonplace.

There are of course only a handful of Armenians still alive who remember - or survived - the massacres, but the victims' descendants, some of whom are my constituents, will never allow Turkey to forget.

Speaking personally, it is entirely right that Turkey's entry into the European Union is incumbent upon recognition of the events of 1915 in the wider context of reconciliation with Armenia, including reopening of the closed border. Equally, Turkey's occupation of northern Cyprus must also end. That, at least, is one recent event that Turkey cannot obscure from its collective memory, although publicly criticising it remains a criminal offence under Article 301 of the Turkish penal code.

Charles Tannock MEP
Conservative, London Region