Turk convicted of genocide denial

Swiss court fines leader of Turkish Workers' Party for denying Armenian genocide.

    Perincek called the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 "an international lie" [AFP]  

    Perincek, who submitted 90kg of historical documents in his defence, argued there had been no genocide against the Armenians, but that there had been "reciprocal massacres".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

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    "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.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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