Dr. Bertil Dunér
Dr. Bertil Dunér is directeur van het Zweedse Instituut voor Internationale Betrekkingen in Stockholm.
"Turkey does not deny the reality of massacres, although it maintains that the campaign has seriously exaggerated the death toll. However, Ankara categorically refutes the accusation of genocide. It maintains that the Armenians were victims of inter-communal conflict during the Ottoman Empire’s dying years in the midst of the First World War and stresses that Turks as well as died en masse in this internecine war. Moreover, it maintains that there is no proof that the killings were organized or financed by the state: on the contrary, it suggests that the lack of central organization was to blame. [...]
However what happened at the Sub-commission meeting in 1985 was not (UN) recognition of the Armenian genocide, although it is frequently portrayed that way – far from it. The special rapporteur does not seem to stick to the definition study. The special rapporteur’s study also lacks weight for a different, perhaps even more important, reason. It should be emphasized that neither was there any recommendation to the superior Commission on Human Rights to adopt a resolution. [...]
The Armenian campaign seems to go against the principle of universality. Note that this is not to question that it is easier to exercise pressure on some, relatively weak, states than on others, and than the strength of the target and the power resources available have to be considered when the kind of action to take is decided upon. Here we are talking only of manifested interest, in terms of resolutions and statements, which is not a matter of strength and resources available. [...]
However a link in the reverse direction should perhaps not to be excluded, the Armenian question being an instrument rather than a goal. For instance, the president of the rightist movement for France has stated that: “Turkey’s obstinate refusal to recognize the massacres of 1915 is an additional element upon which to refuse Turkey’s entry into the European Union. It can be assumed that for this organization the more pressing question is to keep Turkey out of EU and the Armenian question is an instrument to this end.”
Dr. Bertil Dunér, What Can Be Done About Historical Atrocities? The Armenian Case, International Journal of Human Rights, Zomer 2004, Vol. 8, Nr. 2
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