July 24, 2005, Sunday
15:45:29 Central European Time
Turkish politician repeats denial of Armenian genocide
A Turkish politician repeated Sunday his claim that it was an
"international lie" to speak of genocide of Armenians during World
Dogu Perincek, chairman of the Turkish Labour Party, was speaking at
a ceremony in Lausanne marking the signing of the treaty establishing
the modern Turkish state in the Swiss city on 24 July 1923.
Perincek was detained Saturday by the Swiss authorities and
questioned by a state prosecutor for two hours about making the same
claim at a conference in Winterthur earlier this year, Zurich police
The public denial of genocide is a crime in Switzerland.
The Turkish government Sunday called Perincek's temporary detention
in Switzerland "unacceptable".
The arrest was "completely inconsistent with the principle of freedom
of opinion", said Turkey's Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Ankara.
Around 300 Kurds, Armenians and Assyrians demonstrated at Sunday's
ceremony, protesting that the 1923 treaty destroyed their hopes of
independence and autonomy.
Turkey refuses to label as genocide the deaths of hundreds of
thousands of Armenians during forced expulsions under the Ottoman
Empire. dpa bi mga gm pmc pb