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Turks leave Social Democrats in protest
'We did not commit genocide, we defended the country', Istanbul, March 12

Turks leave Social Democrats in protest

Published: 17 Mar 2010 09:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Mar 2010 09:40 GMT+01:00

The association of Turkish Social Democrats in Gothenburg has elected to discontinue its operations after last week's parliamentary vote to recognize as genocide the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.

The left-green opposition voted unanimously in favour of the motion. As a result, the Turkish Social Democrats in Gothenburg called a meeting to consider their position on Saturday. The association's board subsequently voted in favour of closure and has recommended that its 200 members leave the main Social Democrat party.

"We feel let down, misled and cast out of the party," said the association's secretary and former municipal councillor Mustafa Atik.

Atik confirmed that he had already begun talks with other parties regarding a cooperation. As the Social Democrats, Greens and Left Party all voted in favour of the motion, there remain only centre-right alternatives.

"This issue is so important that it gives us the energy to proceed with the election campaign, but against the Social Democrat party," he said.

But the decision has been met with criticism from other Turkish groups in Sweden.

"The Gothenburg Turks are wrong. If we do not stay in the party how will we then influence the genocide question?" said Hasan Dölek, chair of the Turkish Association of Sweden and Stockholm city councillor, to news agency TT.

"We should work during the election, raise the turnout and vote red. At the next congress we can change the decision," he said.

Sweden's parliament moved last week to recognise as genocide the mass killings of Armenians and other ethnic groups - Chaldeans, Syrians, Assyrians and Pontian Greeks - in 1915 during the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, going against the government's advice.

The Swedish parliament previously voted on the issue in 2008 when the Social Democrats voted against the motion, which was rejected (by 245 to 37). The Social Democrat parliamentary bloc changed its position after a vote among members at the party congress in 2009.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:38 March 17, 2010 by Tammybonny
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=369019052001

become fan and let all the expats-living here knows how good this man is.
11:06 March 17, 2010 by bolababu
but truthfully, don't they have anything better to do at the parliament? ..they are obviously overpaid and under-utilized.
11:08 March 17, 2010 by Lukestar1991
Good Riddance
11:08 March 17, 2010 by heroine
So what ?????

let them leave....this association is just like a drop in the ocean.
12:14 March 17, 2010 by marionettes.show
Well, they're just too immature to play the games.
12:26 March 17, 2010 by Tall swede
So they care more about what a party think of something that happened in turkey 100 years ago than what the party think of the country they actually live in and that is the country the party has their power. They let that completely overshadow every other opinion regarding the politics in sweden. How about revocing the right to vote? They clearly dont want whats best for sweden when they disregard any swedish matter for a historic event in some other country.
12:38 March 17, 2010 by calebian22
I love the signs they are holding. Swedish might have been a better choice considering where they live. Way to integrate!
12:59 March 17, 2010 by Nuname
They are in Istanbul.
17:52 March 17, 2010 by quadratic
@calebian22

it is non of my business but if you bring your mouse pointer on the the picture and wait enough you can see that it was taken in Istanbul, 12 March

your welcome
20:55 March 17, 2010 by diegoveggie
the social dems should leave the party too
21:13 March 17, 2010 by Aussie_Downunder
Im glad SOMEONE has recognized this genocide. Good on ya swedes.
22:59 March 17, 2010 by int
It's not genocide. As that old woman's poster board states, they just massacred one million civilians to defend their country. They are now safe from Armenians.
05:26 March 18, 2010 by Mr. Puppy
They are overreacting. It's sickening that Turkey gets away with not calling these atrocities genocide... but Turkey is an incredibly nationalistic country and that is what strong nationalism does - it blinds you. Sure, it's no fun to live in a country founded on genocide... I'm from one (the U.S.). But come on, grow up and recognize what happened and realize that you don't have to deny history to be proud of your country... be proud that your country can recognize the mistakes of the past. I sure wish my country would go further in doing so.
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