Turkish Intellectuals Issue Apology to Armenians

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Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Action Party said: “No one has the right to insult our ancestors, to present them as criminals and to ask for an apology.”

By late Monday, there were no public threats of legal action over the petition.

The apology comes at a time when Turkey and Armenia have taken steps toward repairing ties. The two neighbors have no diplomatic relations and their shared border has been closed since 1993, when Turkey protested Armenia’s occupation of Nagorno- Karabagh. Turkey backs Azerbaijan’s claims to the region, which has traditionally been a part of Armenia, but during the Soviet times, was handed to Azerbaijan by Stalin.

In September, however, President Abdullah Gul became the first Turkish leader to visit Armenia, where he and Armenian President Serge Sarkisian watched their countries’ football teams play a World Cup qualifying match.

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