Sweden sets commission to research 1915 Armenian events

Sweden establishes commission to investigate 1915 Armenian events and defines its Armenian policy in accordance with results obtained

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Sweden was reportedly said to set up an independent commission of experts, politicians and historians that will research on the Armenian deaths during the World War I when the Ottoman Empire relocated Armenian population in the eastern front

The Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom, who spoke in the parliament (Riksdag) on Friday, was cited by Sweden’s national news agency Tidningarnas Telegrambyra as saying that her country is keen to establish such a commission for the investigation of the 1915 Armenian incident.

Wallstrom said Sweden would evaluate the results obtained through the aforementioned commission in line with the norms of international law whether the deaths of Armenians can be regarded as “genocide”, according to the report of Tidningarnas Telegrambyra.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Erik Boman has confirmed that the Swedish government would act accordingly to the commission’s results, the Swedish news agency said.  

Sweden previously used the term of “genocide” for the 1915 Armenian events in 2010 when the country’s former moderate government led-by prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt adopted a parliamentary resolution.

Last month, the EU parliament had also adopted a resolution which termed the 1915 Armenian incidents as “genocide” whereas the EU Commission called the mass deportation of Armenians in 1915 a “tragedy.”

Immediately after the EU parliament’s resolution, Turkey’s incumbent Justice and Development Party together with the two main oppositions- the Republican People’s Party and the Nationalist Movement Party released a statement that regarded the decision as “extremely unfortunate and regrettable”.

The joint declaration of Turkey’s governing and the two opposition parties stressed that the EU Parliament’s approach was ‘selective’ and ‘one-sided’ to the issue as its resolution has only acknowledged the Armenian deaths and dismissed the killings of Muslim Turks by the then Armenian gangs in Eastern Anatolia.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also designated the EU Parliament’s resolution as “null” and “void” by emphasising its unbinding hallmark for Turkey.

Ankara opposes all kind of political moves made by third parties which attempt to define the 1915 events as “genocide” in their parliament since it does not contribute to the normalisation of relations between Turkey and Armenia.

Instead, Turkey believes that only an international commission constituted by historians of the late Ottoman era would be able to decide what actually happened during the mass deportation of Ottoman Armenians in 1915.

For this purpose, Turkey made over one million documents accessible online and call for the other parties to open their archives to historians studying the issue.
Ankara also announced in April that it will make its military archives accessible for the sake of understanding the issue properly.

TRTWorld and agencies