Turkish urged to vote amid 'genocide' row

9th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

9 October 2006, AMSTERDAM — Members of the Turkish immigrant community were urged on Sunday to vote at the November elections despite the fact the Labour PvdA and Christian Democrat CDA had dumped Turkish candidates in a dispute over the Armenian mass murders.

9 October 2006

AMSTERDAM — Members of the Turkish immigrant community were urged on Sunday to vote at the November elections despite the fact the Labour PvdA and Christian Democrat CDA had dumped Turkish candidates in a dispute over the Armenian mass murders.

The meeting at Capelle aan den IJssel — which was organised by the Turkish lobby group (IOT) — was organised in a bid to agree on a 'course of action' in response to the controversy.

The IOT wanted to ward off any damage to the "relatively large" participation rate of the Turkish community. The dumping of the CDA and PvdA candidates led to outrage among the Turkish community and calls to boycott the election.

Turkish politicians and community leaders eventually urged against a boycott on Sunday, but many speakers said voters should withhold support for the PvdA and CDA and instead vote for the Democrat D66.

D66 had won Turkish favour because leader Alexander Pechtold had earlier said that a discussion over the Armenian killings was nonsense.

"Why measure with two measurements? Why should Fatma, a Dutch MP, undergo a public exam about what happened in Armenia at the start of the last century. I balk at that," Pechtold said.

He added that he was never questioned about Dutch military actions on the islands of Java and Sumatra from 1947-49 in a battle against the declaration of Indonesian independence.

Meanwhile, Turkish PvdA politician Nemahed Albayrak, second on the PvdA candidates list, supported her party's stance that genocide took place, contradicting the opinion of ousted colleague Enrdinç Saçan. Though present at Sunday's meeting, Albayrak refused to speak publicly.

Dumped CDA candidate Osman Elmaci was also present, but also refused to speak publicly. The other two politicians who refused to admit genocide took place, Ayhan Tonca and Saçan, did not attend the Capelle aan de IJssel meeting.

The issue could have great influence on the result of the 22 November national elections. At the municipal council elections earlier this year, 80 percent of the 360,000 Turkish people in the Netherlands voted for the PvdA.

The Armenian issue relates to the mass killings of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in the Ottoman empire during World War I. Turkey admits many deaths took place, but denies genocide was committed.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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