Archive for March 11, 2009

Turkish Cities Break Twinning Agreements with Bulgarian Ones Over Armenian Genocide Declarations

Three Turkish cities have broken their twin cities agreements with Bulgarian ones and nine more are about to do it over the latter’s acceptance of declarations viewing the events of 1915 as genocide over Armenians.

Turkey’s Hurriyet daily reports that the Turkish Ministry of Interior has come up with a list of 12 Bulgarian cities whose city councils have accepted similar declarations about the Armenian Genocide, and is advising Turkish municipalities to cancel brotherhood ties with them.

The Turkish cities of Bursa, Kırklareli and Adapazarı have already cancelled their agreements with Bulgaria’s municipalities of Plovdiv, Dobrich and Shumen. All other contracts for cooperation have been cancelled as well.

In 2007 the Bulgarian Parliament failed to come up with a declaration on the events of 1915 when the Ottoman Empire (whose sucessor today is Turkey) deported or killed millions of Armenians.

Later the city authorities in various Bulgarian municipalities started coming out with their own declarations on the issue after their city councils had a vote on the declarations. Such cities include Plovdiv, Burgas, Ruse, Stara Zagora and Pazardzhik among others.

The Armenian Genocide, also known as the Armenian Holocaust, refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I.

To date, only 21 countries have officially recognized the events between 1915 and 1923 as genocide. The Republic of Turkey’s formal stance is that the deaths of Armenians during the “relocation” or “deportation” cannot aptly be deemed “genocide,” a position that has been supported with a plethora of diverging justifications. /bnn/