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Turkey candidate and the Armenian genocide: between nationalist denial and civil society

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French

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Abstract

The criterias of definition of a genocide by international law (UN Convention, 1948) can be applied to the massive slaughters of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-1916. For decades, the kemalist Republic of Turkey remained mute about the question. Nowadays, the Armenian diaspora, and various states and political institutions around the world, demand an official apology from Turkey about the genocide, even as a compulsory condition for entering the European Union. In Turkey, various state-controlled actors, or so-called « NGOs », are active denying any Armenian genocide, but the genocide of Muslim Turks by Armenians militias. Cautiously, the Turkish Armenian associations try to discuss the question of the Armenian genocide through the process of democratization allowed by the development of an effective civil society in Turkey, in the context of the European Union candidature. They are supported by a growing number of non-Armenian Turkish Academics and journalists. The scientific writing of the history of the genocide remains difficult, the historians being summoned to join either the official Turkish or the ultra-nationalist Armenian points of view.

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