Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Letter to The Edinburg City Council

The Edinburgh City Council,
City Chambers,

17th November 2006

Subject : The anniversary of ECC motion of shame

Dear Councillor,

Turks all around the world and the Turkish community in Scotland, remember the date of
17th November 2005 with great sadness and disappointment.

On that day, Edinburgh City Council (ECC) members passed a motion to recognise the so-called Armenian genocide. Unfortunately, all our efforts to inform you about ‘the events of 1915 Ottoman Turco – Armenian War Tragedy’ were ignored and the basic principles of law and respect for truth were brushed aside; instead animosity towards Turks was displayed by the majority of Labour and Liberal councillors who acted on hearsay instead of historical research.

We commend the Conservative Party group and those councillors who voted against the
said motion; for upholding a basic fundamental principle that local councils do not have the necessary resources, expertise or jurisdiction; therefore lack authority to pass judgement on
this highly disputed international historical and legal matter.

The Turkish community will remember how Lord Provost so unjustly forced the Turkish delegation to present its deputations first and then allowed the Armenians to have the last word at the Full Council Meeting, denying the Turkish delegation of the chance and the right to respond to their accusations. Such unfair treatment has left a black mark on the once untainted reputation of the ECC.

On that day, the ECC members passed, without any regard to truth, a motion that was not only unjust and contradictory but also contained material inaccuracies (such as the percentage of votes in the European parliament, a simple mathematical matter). This demonstrated to the Turkish community that the ECC does not care about the misrepresentation of facts and is poorly informed about the matters it passes judgement on.

We will always remember how the ECC leader Cllr. Donald Anderson reneged on his promises to the Turkish community and delayed the proposed amendments to the last minute denying Turkish representation the opportunity to address the revised motion. We were shocked at ECC members’ unwillingness to challenge Mr Anderson as to why he proposed so many amendments to the motion at the last minute despite being so sure of the facts it contained in the first place. This is further proof that the ECC is indifferent about the accuracy or consistency of the motions under its consideration.

On that day, the Turkish delegation witnessed how councillors preferred to focus on the daily politics of present day Turkey instead of on the historical events of 1915-18 during the Ottoman period, which was purportedly the subject of the motion. Furthermore, they made humiliating remarks about Turks and Turkey that had no bearing on the issue in question. We will always remember this discriminatory attitude as well as how readily some respected councillors exposed their own ethnic and religious prejudices while preaching to others about fairness and human rights.

The Turkish community in Scotland follows with great interest the candidacy of Mr. Anderson;
the architect of the said motion, for Edinburgh South and will inform the members of the Turkish community about his hostile manner towards Turks and Muslims. We will not forget how he took advantage of this motion, presenting it to the media as an international success and using it as a stepping-stone to launch his candidacy for Holyrood.

The 17th day of every November, will remind us of how the councillors preferred prejudice against and hatred towards us over truth and friendship and how they turned unsubstantiated historical accusations into public condemnation of Turks and Turkey, damaging the prestige of the city of Edinburgh in the eyes of the Turkish community. Until this appalling decision by the ECC is reversed and the truth brought to light at the Edinburgh City Council, the Turkish community will neither forget nor forgive.

Yours faithfully,

Şener Sağlam ( Mr )

No comments: