Kristine Aghalaryan

Diyarbekir Mayor Says Genocide Memorial a Possibility

Osman Baydemir, the mayor of Diyarbakir, says that the present generation cannot be held responsible for the tragedy of 1915 but that the facts must be brought to light and people must pay their respects; saying that they too share the pain.

Calling the losses of 1915 a great tragedy, Mayor Baydemir said that the young generation isn’t informed but that they must be able to confront those facts directly.

He also said that the idea of erecting some type of memorial for the victims of 1915 in Diyarbakir was a possibility and that it would allow local residents to also pay their respects.

“It would also help improve relations. People could come together and pay their respects,” Mayor Baydemir said.

When asked who exactly was responsible for the events of 1915, Mayor Baydemir said it was the government at the time, those in charge of the military – the Young Turks.

Mayor Baydemir also commented on Turkey’s desire to enter the European Union and said that Turkey could integrate into the EU much easier than any other Middle East nation.

He said much work needed to be done in this respect but that he was confident that Turkey would one day would join the EU.

He added that Turkish-Armenian problems wouldn’t be resolved by Turkey’s entry into the EU.

Instead, Mayor Baydemir noted that the Turkish media has a large role to play in the normalization process.

“If the Turkish media wanted to win the sympathy of the Armenian society, they could do it within three months,” said the mayor.