As work began on the text of the new constitution, political parties began to announce their proposals on rights and freedoms and their proposals began to be discussed in earnest in the public sphere. One of the most noteworthy proposals on rights and freedoms—an area of such central importance to any constitution—came from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in the form of a “right to learn the truth.” In their words: “Everyone has the right to learn the truth, to access substantive information about the country’s history, and to request that documents and information about this history be made public, including from government archives. There is no statute of limitations on genocide or crimes against humanity”.
“Right to Know the Truth” as a Constitutional Right, and the Constitutional Issue of “Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide”*
Bir Anayasal Hak Olarak “Hakikati Öğrenme Hakkı” Bir Anayasal Mesele Olarak “İnsanlığa Karşı Suçlar ve Soykırım”*
Yeni anayasa metni üzerindeki çalışmaların başlamasıyla birlikte siyasî partilerin hak ve özgürlükler ile ilgili önerileri de daha net bir biçimde kamuoyunda duyulmaya ve tartışılmaya başlandı. Anayasaların en hayatî önem taşıyan bölümlerinin başında gelen hak ve özgürlükler ile ilgili öneriler arasında dikkat çekici olanlardan biri de BDP’nin “hakikati öğrenme hakkı” önerisi. Buna göre: “Herkesin hakikate ulaşma, ülkenin tarihsel geçmişiyle ilgili gerçek bilgilere erişme, devlet arşivi dahil bu geçmişe ilişkin belge ve bilgilerin açıklanmasını isteme hakkı vardır. Soykırım ve insanlığa karşı suçlarda zaman aşımı işlemez.”
What we need is justice, not compassion
I’m thankful that I haven’t witnessed as many deaths close by. But in most visits of condolence, I came across a similar scene. As the suffering had soared up to an almost tangible degree, someone would suddenly burst into tears and moan that they so wanted to bring the deceased back from the tomb to the extent of declaring a willingness to go into the grave instead. Under the gaze of the surprised family members, people would secretly ask each other who that person might be. And, often, it would turn out that the ‘grief-thief’ was someone who had pangs of conscience for they would feel indebted to the deceased in one way or the other. The strangest thing would be the family’s almost forgetting their own grief to make grief-thief feel better. The real torment would begin when it befell on them to console that person with ill conscience.
I do wish to be a person without a blemish on my conscience and life, and I try to do my best to live like one. Being persons with ‘clear consciences’ was an expression in the declaration of the ‘This Pain is Ours’ initiative that more frequently appeared on social and other media as April 24th drew near. The declaration claimed that what had been done to the Armenians who were
By Ayda Erbal and Talin Suciyan
The Armenian Weekly
April 2011 Magazine
The history of the Ottoman Armenians in the 19th century is a history of great promises but also of greater abandonment. More than 200 Ottoman-Armenian intellectuals who were arrested the night of April 24, 1915 and the two weeks that followed possessed the damning knowledge that they were left alone. Zohrab’s Unionist friends, with whom he had dined and played cards, would choose not to stop his assassination. But abandonment will not abandon the Armenians. The survivors in the camps of Mesopotamia were alone, as were those hiding in the secluded mountains or villages of Anatolia. And those who survived through conversion or forced concubinage were left alone not only in the summer of 1915, but also in the hundred years that have followed.