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 PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:25 pm    Post subject: English: Preincek condamned, Press Revue Reply with quote Back to top

PERINCEK CONDAMNED FOR DENIAL OF THE ARMENAN GENOCIDE
=> Overview
=> Press Revue of the trial, 2007
=> Comment by Harut Sassounian, Publisher of California Courier


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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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Turk goes on trial in Switzerland for denying Armenian genocide
Reuters


GENEVA: A Turkish politician went on trial Tuesday in Switzerland for denying that the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I amounted to genocide.


Dogu Perincek, head of the Turkish Workers' Party, called the Armenian genocide "an international lie" during a speech in the Swiss city of Lausanne in July 2005.

The state prosecutor has called for a six month prison term for violating a 1995 Swiss law that bans denying, belittling or justifying any genocide. The maximum penalty is three years.

Perincek told the Lausanne criminal court that there had been no genocide against Armenians, but there had been "reciprocal massacres," according to Swiss Radio.

"I defend my right to freedom of expression," Swiss Radio quoted Perincek, 65, as saying in German. "There was no genocide, therefore this law cannot apply to my remarks."

The case has further soured relations between Switzerland and Turkey. Ankara criticized the decision to prosecute the case and later canceled an official visit in 2005 by Joseph Deiss, who was the economy minister at the time.

If found guilty, Perincek would become the first person to be convicted under the law. Twelve Turks were acquitted of similar charges in 2001.

Turkey denies charges by Armenia and other countries that 1.5 million Armenians died in a systematic genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turks beginning in 1915.

Turkey says that hundreds of thousands of both Muslim Turks and Christian Armenians died in a conflict during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

A verdict is expected Friday.
 
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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Direktlink
The Associated Press
Published: March 8, 2007


Prosecutors seek fine for Turkish politician who denied Armenian genocide

LAUSANNE, Switzerland: Prosecutors asked a Swiss police court Thursday to fine a Turkish politician 3,000 Swiss francs (US$2,450; €1,870) for denying that the killing of Armenians in the early 20th century was genocide.


Dogu Perincek, the leader of the Turkish Workers' Party, was charged with breaking a Swiss law by rejecting that the World War I-era killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians amounted to genocide during a visit to Switzerland in 2005.

He has since repeated his claim, including at his trial earlier this week.

The case is seen as a test of whether denying that the Turks committed genocide is a violation of Swiss anti-racism legislation. The law has previously been applied to Holocaust denial.

Prosecutors also sought a suspended fine of 9,000 francs (US$7,360; €5,600). A decision in the trial, which has strained Swiss-Turkish relations, is expected on Friday.
 
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:05 am    Post subject: BBC| Swiss 'genocide' trial for Turk Dogu Perincek Reply with quote Back to top

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 17:28 GMT


Swiss 'genocide' trial for Turk
Dogu Perincek


Dogu Perincek's case risks straining Swiss-Turkish relations
A Turkish nationalist leader has gone on trial in Switzerland for denying that the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey in 1915 amounted to "genocide".



Dogu Perincek, 65, is accused under Swiss law of racial discrimination.

The Swiss parliament, along with more than a dozen countries, recognises the killings as "genocide". Turkey firmly rejects the "genocide" allegation.

The prosecutor in the city of Lausanne called for a six-month jail sentence for genocide denial.

Dogu Perincek, head of the Turkish Workers' Party, made the statements in a public speech in Lausanne in 2005.

"I have not denied genocide because there was no genocide," he said in court on Tuesday.

Cristoph Blocher
Cristoph Blocher opposes the criminalising of genocide denial

Armenians say 1.5 million of their people were killed in a genocide by Ottoman Turks during World War I, either through systematic massacres or through starvation. More than a dozen countries, various international bodies and many Western historians agree that it was "genocide".

Turkey says there was no genocide. It acknowledges that many Armenians died, but says the figure was below one million.

A law criminalising the denial of genocide was adopted in 2003 by the parliament in the Swiss canton of Vaud.

Twelve Turks prosecuted in Switzerland on similar charges in 2001 were acquitted.

In a controversial move, Swiss Justice Minister Christoph Blocher, who opposes the Swiss law on genocide, met his Turkish counterpart Cemil Cicek in Bern at the weekend.

Mr Blocher, leader of the right-wing Swiss Popular Party, caused a furore in Switzerland when he suggested in October 2006, during a visit to Turkey, that the Swiss law should be changed.

_______________________________

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007


Turkey's Armenian dilemma

Turkey did not always deny the mass killing of Armenians. As the US House of Representatives prepares to vote on recognising the 1915 massacres as genocide, journalist and historian Bruce Clark looks at how and why Turkish attitudes have changed over the past 90 years.


"The more foreign parliaments insist that our forebears committed crimes against humanity, the less likely anybody in Turkey is to face up to the hardest moments in history."

That, roughly speaking, is the message being delivered by Turkey's hard-pressed intelligentsia as the legislators in one country after another vote for resolutions which insist that the killing of hundreds of thousands of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 amounted to genocide.

"Will the adoption [of a resolution] help to inform the Turkish public... on the great tragedy which befell the Ottoman Armenians?

"No, it can hardly be expected to... broaden the debate on the history of the Ottoman Empire's final period."

So writes Sahin Alpay, a liberal-minded Turkish academic, in a recent column in Zaman newspaper.

What such appeals reflect, of course, is an elementary fact of human psychology: the phenomenon of individual and collective defensiveness.

When people feel completely secure, and among friends, they can be very frank about misdeeds which they, or people close to them, have committed.

But hackles will go up again as soon as they become insecure, because they feel their accusers are acting in bad faith, or that accepting their accusations will have bad consequences.

On the defensive

In recent years, liberal Turkish scholars have expressed the hope that membership, or even prospective membership of the European Union, will give the country enough confidence to discuss the Armenian tragedy without threatening those who use the "g-word" with prosecution.

Sceptics may retort that in recent years, things have been moving in the opposite direction: the revised Turkish penal code and its preamble, adopted in 2005, make even more explicit the principle that people may be prosecuted if they "insult Turkishness" - a crime which, as the preamble makes clear, includes the assertion that the Ottoman Armenians suffered genocide.

It is certainly true that Turkish defensiveness - the sort of defensiveness which can treat open discussion as verging on treachery - has been running high since the 1960s when the Armenians round the world began lobbying for an explicit acceptance, by governments and parliaments, that their people suffered genocide in 1915.

A campaign of violence launched by Armenian militants in the 1970s, who mainly attacked Turkish diplomatic targets and claimed over 50 lives, raised hackles even higher.

All that raises a question: has there ever been a moment, since the events of 1915, when the Turkish authorities might, conceivably, have acknowledged or even freely discussed the view that almost every Armenians regards as self-evident: the view that in addition to relocating the entire ethnic Armenian population of eastern Anatolia, the "Committee of Union and Progress" (CUP) which wielded effective power in the Ottoman empire also gave secret orders to make sure that as few as possible of the deportees survived the experience?

In fact, there was such a moment: the immediate aftermath of World War I.

Tried and executed

At that time the Ottoman government was intact but dependent for its survival on the good graces of the victorious British Empire.

The sultan's regime was desperately trying to distance itself from the actions of the CUP, the "state within a state" which in 1915 had masterminded the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Armenians - and is alleged to have given secret "extermination" orders at the same time.

During the early months of 1919, few people in Anatolia publicly doubted that Armenians had suffered atrocities that were egregious even by the standards of a terrible war.

The sultan and his foreign minister were at pains to reassure the British of their determination to punish the perpetrators of these atrocities, and they held four big and revealing trials whose proceedings were published in the government gazette.

In April 1919 a local governor, Mehmed Kemal, was found guilty and hanged for the mass killing of Armenians in the Ankara district.

But the climate shifted rapidly after May 1919, when Greek troops were authorised by the victorious Entente powers to occupy the Aegean port of Izmir and, in another part of Anatolia, Mustafa Kemal - later known as Ataturk - began his campaign to make the Turks masters in their own land.

Nationalist feeling

Turkish rage over the Greek landing lent fuel to the Kemalist cause, and discredited the Ottoman government.

With every passing month, the British government's leverage over the Ottoman authorities waned, and so did British enthusiasm for the conduct of war crimes trials.

In 1921, the British government made a pragmatic deal to release a group of Turkish prisoners it had been holding in Malta on suspicion (among other things) of crimes against the Armenians.

They were freed in exchange for Britons being held by the Turks.

In Turkish lore, this release is held up as proof that no serious evidence against the captives existed.

What it certainly proves is that British zeal for investigating the past was waning, even as the Kemalist cause gained strength and the British-influenced Ottoman regime faded into oblivion.

In any case, the officially cherished version of the Turkish state's beginnings now insists since the empire's British adversaries and occupiers were the main promoters of war crimes trials, those trials themselves must have been worthless or malicious.

A new state

But in the midst of all this nationalist discourse, something rather important is often obscured, and there are just a few Turkish historians who dare to point this out.

The atrocities against the Armenians were committed by an Ottoman government, albeit a shadowy sub-section of that government.

There is no logical reason why a new republican administration, established in October 1923 in an act of revolutionary defiance of Ottoman power, should consider itself responsible for things done under the previous regime.

In fact, when the nationalist movement was founded in 1919, the climate of revulsion over the sufferings of the Armenians was so general that even the neo-nationalists were keen to distinguish themselves from the CUP.

Some see significance in the fact that the nationalist movement chose to rally round an army officer, Mustafa Kemal, who had never been anywhere near the places where the Armenians met their fate.

The very fact that the Turkish republic bears no formal responsibility for eliminating the Armenian presence in eastern Anatolia (for the simple reason that the republic did not exist when the atrocities occurred) has given some Turkish historians a flicker of hope: one day, the leaders of the republic will be able to face up to history's toughest questions about the Armenians, without feeling that to do so would undermine the very existence of their state.

Fatma Muge Gocek, a Turkish-born sociologist who now works as professor in America, has said there are - or will be - three phases in her country's attitude to the fate of the Armenians: a spirit of "investigation" in the final Ottoman years, a spirit of defensiveness under the Turkish republic, and a new, post-nationalist attitude to history that will prevail if and when Turkey secures a places in Europe.

That makes perfect psychological sense, even if the immediate prospects for a move from phase two to phase three do not look very bright.

Bruce Clark is international news editor of the Economist newspaper.

_______________________________

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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 October 2006


Q&A: Armenian 'genocide'

French MPs have passed a bill making it a crime to deny that the Ottoman Turkish empire committed genocide against Armenians in 1915.


The decision has delighted Armenians and infuriated Turks.

Why put "genocide" in inverted commas?

Whether or not the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians during World War I amounted to genocide is a matter for heated debate. Many Western historians believe it falls into the category of genocide. Some countries have declared that a genocide took place, but others have resisted calls to do so.

What happened?

During World War I, as the Ottoman Turkish empire fought Russian forces, some of the Armenian minority in eastern Anatolia sided with the Russians.

Turkey took reprisals. On 24 April 1915 it rounded up and killed hundreds of Armenian community leaders.

In May 1915, the Armenian minority, two or three million strong, was forcefully deported and marched from the Anatolian borders towards Syria and Mesopotamia (now Iraq). Many died en route.

What do Armenians say?

Armenians say 1.5 million of their people were killed in this period, either through systematic massacres or through starvation.

They allege that a deliberate genocide was carried out by the Ottoman Turkish empire.

What does Turkey say?

It says there was no genocide.

It acknowledges that many Armenians died, but says Turks died too, and that massacres were committed on both sides as a result of inter-ethnic violence and the wider world war.

What is genocide?

Article Two of the UN Convention on Genocide of December 1948 describes genocide as carrying out acts intended "to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group".

What do others say?

France, Russia, Canada and Uruguay are among those countries which have formally recognised genocide against the Armenians.

The UK, US and Israel are among those that use different terminology.

Why does the row continue?

Armenians are one of the world's most dispersed peoples. While in Armenia, Genocide Memorial Day is commemorated across the country, it is the diaspora that has lobbied for recognition from the outside world. The killings are regarded as the seminal event of modern Armenian history, and one that binds the diaspora together.

In Turkey, the penal code makes calling "for the recognition of the Armenian genocide" illegal. Writers and translators have been prosecuted for attempting to stimulate debate on the subject.

Turkey has condemned countries that recognise the Armenian genocide, and was furious when the French parliament passed a bill outlawing denial of it.

The European Union has said that accepting the Armenian genocide is not a condition for Turkey's entry into the bloc. But some, including French President Jacques Chirac, have said it should be.
 
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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www.aina.org
Posted GMT 3-7-2007 15:33:43


Genocide Denial Trial Raises Many Questions

The trial has opened in Lausanne of Turkish politician Dogu Perinçek, who made comments in Switzerland denying the 1915 Armenian massacre was genocide.


The court case, which is centred on Swiss anti:racism legislation, is set to test the already shaky relations between Bern and Ankara.

A meeting between Swiss Justice Minister Christoph Blocher : an opponent of the law : and his Turkish counterpart Cemil Cicek in Bern at the weekend raised eyebrows.

Perinçek, the head of the left:wing Turkish Workers' Party, stands accused of racial discrimination after he called the genocide "an international lie" during a public speech in the city of Lausanne in July 2005.

Lausanne is the main city of canton Vaud, where the parliament in 2003 voted to recognise the killings as genocide.

An estimated 150 supporters of Perincek held a silent protest in the city on Tuesday to coincide with the start of the trial.

In court, Perinçek admitted there had been massacres but said there could be no talk of genocide.

"I have not denied genocide because there was no genocide," he argued.

Under the Swiss penal code any act of denying, belittling or justifying genocide is a violation of the country's anti:racism legislation.

Armenians maintain the mass killings in 1915 were genocide, a charge Turkey disputes.

Experts say the presiding judge at the district court in Lausanne will have to negotiate some tricky waters concerning both the law and Swiss:Turkish relations.

Tensions between Bern and Ankara were high in 2005 after Turkey criticised the Swiss authorities' decision to investigate Perinçek. It also later cancelled an official trip to Turkey by the then economics minister, Joseph Deiss.

Law debate

The law itself has been the subject of debate since Blocher announced during a visit to Turkey last October that the legislation was incompatible with freedom of expression.

The comments were welcomed by Ankara but caused a storm of protest in Switzerland.

Blocher has again come in for criticism by the media and some politicians over the timing of the meeting with his Turkish counterpart at the weekend. According to the justice ministry bilateral issues ? and not the trial ? were discussed.

Legal experts have also raised questions about the law ? albeit in a different context.

"The lawmakers wanted to assimilate the negation of a historical reality to a racist proclamation. This is controversial, because it is about two different things," said Robert Roth, dean of the faculty of law at Geneva University.

But Roth believes the central question of the trial will be something else ? who should make a judgement on historical events?

Genocide or massacre?

The Armenians say Ottoman Turks slaughtered up to 1.8 million Armenians in a planned genocide between 1915 and 1918. Turkey denies the mass killings were genocide, saying the death toll is inflated.

So far most historians, the Council of Europe, the French parliament and the Swiss House of Representatives ? plus two cantonal parliaments in Switzerland ? have all recognised the events as genocide. The Swiss government does not officially speak of genocide.

Francesco Bertossa, who was part of the defence team in another Turkish genocide denial trial in 2001 in Bern, believes the definition question should not influence the verdict.

"The anti:racism law does not only punish genocide denial but also any crime against humanity," he said.

Swiss:Armenians

For its part, the Swiss:Armenian Association, the private party associated with the public prosecutor in the trial, welcomes the case.

"We will finally know if denigrating our people and tarnishing our memory is a crime in Switzerland," said co:president Sarkis Shahinian.

Prosecutor:general Eric Cottier has been quoted as saying that unless shown to be otherwise, the Armenian genocide was "sufficiently recognised to be defined as such".

But Perinçek remains defiant. Arriving in Switzerland at the weekend he reiterated his call for the law to be abolished and said he could prove that genocide did not take place.

A verdict in the trial is expected on Friday.

www.nzz.ch

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08.03.2007 13:03


Armenian Genocide denier’s sentence to be announced March 9


YEREVAN (YERKIR) - The verdict on the case of Dogu Perincek, head of the leftist-nationalist Turkish Workers’ Party, will be announced in Lausanne March 9, PanARMENIAN.Net reported.


In the words of chairman of the Armenian-Swiss Union Sargis Shahinyan, the Turkish side was accompanied in the court by Prof. Norman Stone, Prof. Justin McCarty, Paul Leidenberg and Jean-Michel Thibaux, the latter requested Turkish citizenship after the adoption of the French bill criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial. The Armenian side was represented by Tessa Hoffman and Raymond Gevorgyan. Perincek’s supporters tried to prove that “there was no Armenian Genocide and the Turkish government was unable to plan and perpetrate a genocide within several months.”

However the Armenian side refuted their statements by submitting documents. The court session transformed into a historical discussion. The conviction may become a precedent. However, it was not our goal. We wanted a condemnation for the violation of the Swiss law. The verdict to be announced on Friday will show the extent of importance of the issue for both sides,” Shahinyan said. The prosecutor demanded a 6 months’ imprisonment for Perincek, reports RFE/RL.
 
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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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Last Updated: Friday, 9 March 2007, 11:31 GMT
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Turk guilty over genocide remarks
Dogu Perincek


Dogu Perincek's case has strained Swiss-Turkish relations
A Swiss court has convicted a Turkish politician of racial discrimination for denying that mass killings of Armenians in Turkey in 1915 amounted to genocide.


Nationalist leader Dogu Perincek, 65, was on trial for remarks he made in a public speech in Lausanne in 2005.

He was given a suspended sentence and fined $2,450 (£1,270).

The Swiss parliament, along with more than a dozen countries, has labelled the killings as genocide. Turkey firmly rejects the genocide allegation.

Perincek, the head of the Turkish Workers' Party, had denied the charges.

"I have not denied genocide because there was no genocide," he told the court earlier this week.

Armenians say 1.5 million of their people were killed in a genocide by Ottoman Turks during World War I, either through systematic massacres or through starvation.

More than a dozen countries, various international bodies and many Western historians agree that it was genocide.

Turkey says there was no genocide. It acknowledges that many Armenians died, but says the figure was below one million.

A law criminalising the denial of genocide was adopted in 2003 by the parliament in the Swiss canton of Vaud, where Perincek made his remarks.

Twelve Turks prosecuted in Switzerland on similar charges in 2001 were acquitted.



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 PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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By Nathalie Ogi
ASSOCIATED PRESS
10:58 a.m. March 9, 2007


Swiss court finds Turkish politician guilty of racism for denying Armenian genocide

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – A prominent Turkish politician was convicted Friday of breaching Swiss anti-racism laws by saying that the early 20th-century killing of Armenians could not be described as genocide.


The Turkish foreign ministry reacted swiftly to the decision, saying in a statement that it was saddened by the Swiss court's ruling to punish Dogu Perincek, leader of the Turkish Workers' Party, and to ignore “his freedom of expression.”


Perincek was ordered to pay a fine of $2,450 and was given a suspended penalty of $7,360.

Perincek was charged with breaking Swiss law by denying during a visit to Switzerland in 2005 that the World War I-era killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians amounted to genocide. He has since repeated his claim, including at his trial earlier this week.

In Turkey it is a crime to use the word genocide to describe the World War I-era killings.

Perincek accused the judge of “racist hatred” toward Turkey and said he would appeal the verdict to Switzerland's supreme court.

If necessary, Perincek told Turkey's government-run Anatolia news agency, he would take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

In his closing statement, judge Pierre-Henri Winzap described the defendant as an intelligent and cultivated person, but added that to deny the Armenian genocide was an arrogant provocation because it was an accepted historical fact.

Switzerland's anti-racism legislation has previously been applied to Holocaust denial.

The case has caused diplomatic tension between the alpine republic and Turkey, which insists Armenians were killed in civil unrest during the tumultuous collapse of the Ottoman Empire and not in a planned campaign of genocide.

In its response to the verdict the Turkish foreign ministry called into question the legitimacy of the Swiss law and said the case was “inappropriate, baseless and debatable in every circumstance.”


Associated Press Writer Benjamin Harvey in Istanbul contributed to this report.
 
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March 9, 2007 - 11:51 AM


Turkish politician fined over genocide denial
Dogu Perincek has been found guilty of racial discrimination

A Swiss district court has found a Turkish politician, Doğu Perinçek, guilty of racial discrimination for denying the 1915 Armenian massacre was genocide.


The court in Lausanne agreed with the prosecutor's demand and handed Perinçek a suspended fine of SFr9,000 ($7,336) as well as a one-off financial penalty of SFr3,000.


The court also ruled that Perinçek would have to pay SFr1,000 to the Swiss-Armenian Association as a symbolic gesture.

The politician, whose left-wing Turkish Workers' Party has no seats in the Turkish parliament, was brought to court after calling the genocide "an international lie" during a public speech in Lausanne in July 2005.

Under the Swiss penal code any act of denying, belittling or justifying genocide is a violation of the country's anti-racism legislation.

And Lausanne is the capital of canton Vaud, one of two Swiss cantons along with Geneva where the parliaments have voted in recent years to recognise the Armenian massacre as genocide.


Judge Pierre-Henri Winzap accused Perinçek of being "a racist" and "an arrogant provocateur" who was familiar with Swiss law on historical revisionism.

According to Winzap, the politician's action "appears to have racist and nationalist motives". The Armenian genocide is "an established historical fact according to the Swiss public", he added.

Perinçek's lawyers have called into question the authority of the district court to hear such a case. The Turkish politician said he would appeal against the verdict, which he called "racist and imperialist".

He admitted in court earlier in the week that there had been massacres but said there could be no talk of genocide. "I have not denied genocide because there was no genocide," he argued.

Armenians maintain the mass killings in 1915 were genocide, a charge Turkey disputes.

""
We see it as a trial of freedom of thought.
""

Ferai Tinç, Hurriyet newspaper


Reactions



Sarkis Shahinian, co-president of the Swiss-Armenian Association, said there was "great relief" among the community. Shahinian said it was deplorable that the Turkish state had let itself get involved with ultra-nationalists like Perinçek.

"It is a big problem. It is necessary that Turkey recognizes the genocide."

Ferai Tinç, a foreign affairs columnist with Turkey's Hurriyet newspaper, told swissinfo the case had been widely followed in the country because it was the first time a Turkish citizen had been tried abroad for expressing their opinion.

"We see it as a trial of freedom of thought, and freedom of opinion," Tinç said.

"Whether we agree or not with Perinçek, we find these type of [penal] articles against freedom of opinion dangerous because we are struggling in our country to achieve freedom of thought."

Tinç added that the decision to make Perinçek stand trial would "create a problem of confidence" between Switzerland and Turkey.


Shaky ground



Ties between Bern and Ankara are already on shaky ground.

Tensions reached a peak in 2005 after Turkey criticised the Swiss authorities' decision to investigate Perinçek. Ankara followed it up by cancelling an official trip to Turkey by the then Swiss economics minister, Joseph Deiss.

The next event to raise eyebrows was a visit to Turkey by Swiss Justice Minister Christopher Blocher last October when he announced that Switzerland's anti-racism legislation was incompatible with freedom of expression.

The comments were welcomed by Ankara but caused a storm of protest in Switzerland.

Blocher came in for renewed criticism by the media and some politicians last weekend when he received his Turkish counterpart Cemil Cicek in Bern. According to the justice ministry, bilateral issues – and not the trial – were discussed.

On Friday Blocher said he did not want to comment on the trial directly, but did not expect the verdict to lead to a serious deterioration in Swiss-Turkish relations.

swissinfo with agencies



Quote:
March 10, 2007 - 12:06 PM
Original

Swiss and Turkish press mull Perinçek verdict

Doğu Perinçek, who returned to Istanbul on Saturday, says he will fight the verdict (Keystone)

The Swiss media have taken a critical look at trial of Turkish politician Doğu Perinçek, found guilty on Friday of racial discrimination over Armenian genocide comments.


In Turkey reactions were strong, with some newspapers condeming with the verdict. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said it was "saddened" by the trial's result.



Perinçek was found guilty by a court in Lausanne, western Switzerland, of racial discrimination for denying the 1915 Armenian massacre was genocide. He was handed a suspended fine of SFr9,000 ($7,336).

The politician, the head of the left-wing Turkish Workers' Party, came before the court after calling the genocide "an international lie" during a public speech in Lausanne in July 2005.

Armenians maintain the mass killings in 1915 were genocide, a charge Turkey disputes.

Under the Swiss penal code any act of denying, belittling or justifying genocide is a violation of the country's anti-racism legislation.

The Turkish politician said he would appeal against the verdict.

"Doğu Perinçek had to be punished," wrote the Zurich-based Tages-Anzeiger on Saturday, adding that Perinçek had deliberately provoked the trial. It also criticised Perinçek's "overbearing and arrogant behaviour".

But it warned that the verdict was not water tight, raising doubts over whether the appeal court would follow the Lausanne judge's reasoning.


Sense and nonsense



Another Zurich newspaper, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (NZZ), had mixed views.

The trial had not made sense because a Turkish politician from a minor party had been judged on behaviour more relevant in his own country, it said. In addition the trial had given Perinçek a platform and blighted relations with Turkey.

But the judge had also delivered a consistent judgement, despite being criticised for using historians' views rather than medical or technical knowledge, wrote the editorialist.

"Nevertheless, the government is still free to avoid using the world "genocide" out of foreign (trade) considerations," it noted.

The Geneva-based Le Temps described the judgement as one on memory.

"The Lausanne judgement does not make history. It gives the Armenians a protection of [their] memory that has already been recognised for the Shoah victims," it wrote in its editorial.

However, the mass-circulation Blick said it was time for the government to recognise the mass killings as genocide after the Lausanne court's "courageous" verdict.

Referring to Swiss Justice Minister Christoph Blocher's controversial attempts to revise the racism law, Blick said Blocher would be better off recognising the genocide than changing legislation.

"If he keeps on, the other six [cabinet members] should at least show him the red card for this totally unnecessary messing around," said the newspaper.

For their part, Swiss Turks interviewed in the Basler Zeitung were restrained in their reaction, with most welcoming the trial as a way of opening up debate.


Turkish reaction



The press reaction comes a day after the Turkish Foreign Ministry sharply criticised the Lausanne verdict, saying it ignored "freedom of expression". In a statement, the ministry said the Swiss legal system and the press had been biased.

"The court case was inappropriate, groundless and controversial in every sense ... The verdict cannot be accepted by the Turkish people," said the ministry in a statement on Friday.

The Saturday editions of Turkish newspapers also had harsh words. The nationalist press was particularly critical.

"Dishonourable Switzerland" screamed the headline of Gözcü, which went on to say that the verdict was another proof of European hypocrisy – Europeans underline the importance of freedom of opinion but were quick to condemn it.

For its part, the right-leaning Yeni Cag newspaper wrote that Perinçek's verdict meant "the whole Turkish nation had been punished".

Other parts of the media were less severe, but were still widespread in their coverage. Hürriyet quoted Perinçek as saying his trial had started a debate in Switzerland over how to judge historical events, but that he would go to the European Court of Human Rights with his case.

swissinfo
 
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 PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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original
13.03.2007 17:40 GMT+04:00


Dogu Perincek appealed court’s verdict

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Leader of Turkish Workers’ Party Dogu Perincek, who was convicted of denying the Armenian Genocide lodged a complaint against the verdict of a Swiss court. Lawyer Loran Moreyon said that Perincek appealed to the court of Swiss canton of Wo, AP reports.


Visiting Switzerland in 2005 Perincek twice declared that the Armenian Genocide is an “international lie”. During the process judge Pier-Anri Winzap said those statements were “of unconcealed racist and nationalistic character. And there are no mitigating circumstances in defendant’s actions”. Perincek himself was characterized as an “arrogant provocateur” by the judge. He stressed that although the Armenian Genocide issue is not included in the list of similar crimes by the International Court, it is a “historical fact, which was recognized by the Swiss society, and Perincek’s statements were of provocative character”. The court in Lausanne handed Perincek a suspended fine of SFr 9,000 ($7,336) as well as a one-off financial penalty of SFr 3,000. The court also ruled that Perincek would have to pay SFr 1,000 to the Swiss-Armenian Association as a symbolic gesture, which appeared as civil plaintiff.
 
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iminhokis
Wizards


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 3321

 PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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AP Worldstream
Published: Mar 12, 2007

TURKISH POLITICIAN APPEALS SWISS COURT DECISION ON ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, SAYS LAWYER

A Turkish politician has appealed his racism conviction by a Swiss
court for denying that the early 20th century killing of Armenians
was genocide, his lawyer said Monday.


Laurent Moreillon said Dogu Perincek, the leader of the Turkish
Workers' Party, made his appeal to the cantonal (state) court in
Vaud, where he was convicted by a lower tribunal earlier this week
and ordered to pay a fine of 3,000 Swiss francs (US$2,450; A1,870).

Perincek, who was also given a suspended penalty of 9,000 francs
(US$7,360; A5,600) and ordered to pay 1,000 francs to (US$820; A620)
to an Armenian association, had repeatedly denied during a visit to
Switzerland in 2005 that the World War I-era killings of up to 1.5
million Armenians amounted to genocide.

The case was seen as a test of whether it is a violation of
Switzerland's anti-racism law to deny that the Turks committed
genocide in the killings. The legislation has previously been applied
to Holocaust denial.

The case has caused diplomatic tension between the Alpine republic and
Turkey, which insists Armenians were killed in civil unrest during
the tumultuous collapse of the Ottoman Empire and not in a planned
campaign of genocide.

Turkey called the case against Perincek "inappropriate, baseless and
debatable in every circumstance."
 
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iminhokis
Wizards


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 3321

 PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

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original
UPDATED ON:
FRIDAY, MARCH 09, 2007
15:59 MECCA TIME, 12:59 GMT


Turk convicted of genocide denial
Perincek called the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 "an international lie"





A court in Switzerland has found Dogu Perincek, head of the Turkish Workers' Party, guilty of denying that mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 amounted to genocide.


Perincek was given a 90-day suspended jail sentence and fined 3,000 Swiss francs ($2,461) on Friday in the first such conviction in the country.

The 65-year-old politician, whose party has no seats in the Turkish parliament, called the Armenian genocide "an international lie" during a speech in the Swiss city of Lausanne in July 2005.

He was convicted under a 1995 law which bans denying, belittling or justifying any genocide.

Perincek, who submitted 90kg of historical documents in his defence, argued there had been no genocide against the Armenians, but that there had been "reciprocal massacres".

Armenian deaths
Armenia says about 1.5 million Armenians died in the killings, while Turkey says the deaths were the result of inter-ethnic fighting, disease and famine in which both sides suffered.

"This decision that was taken by the tribunal ... is a racist decision, an imperialist decision. This decision is against our country our history and our nation," Memet Bedri, vice-president of the Turkish Workers' Party, told Al Jazeera.

It was the first time that Switzerland's 1995 anti-racism law has been applied to the massacre of Armenians, Doris Angst of Switzerland's official anti-racism watchdog, said.

Tamar Hacoyan of Switzerland's Armenian association, welcomed the court's verdict.

"We feel very relieved with this decision because this is the first time, at a world level, that a court has decided that the Armenian genocide is without doubt," she said.

In 2001, a court in the capital Bern acquitted 12 Turks facing similar charges.

However, two years later the Swiss lower house of parliament formally recognised the massacre of Armenians during the First World War as genocide, despite fierce protests from Turkey.

"If a country has deliberately planned and carried out genocide, it should be responsible for its acts."Adolfo Talpalar, Stockholm, Sweden
 
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