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Turkey

Volume 716: debated on Friday 15 January 2010

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether Turkey has developed or is developing the technology necessary to manufacture nuclear weapons. [HL1036]

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not received any information that Turkey is developing the technology necessary to manufacture nuclear weapons. Turkey is a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty and as such has agreed not to develop such weapons. Turkey has civil nuclear sites declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency under safeguards and brought an additional protocol into force in 2001 providing the highest standards of transparency.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their stance on the treatment of Armenians by Turkey in 1915 and 1916 takes account of its being a criminal offence in other European Union member states to deny that that treatment was genocide. [HL1121]

The Government are aware that several EU member states have adopted legislation recognising the crimes and massacres of 1915 and 1916 as genocide. Terrible suffering was inflicted on Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. We must ensure that the victims of that suffering are not forgotten. The Government's main concern is how we can ensure that the lessons are learnt and relationships are rebuilt to ensure a peaceful and secure future for everyone living in the region.

For this reason, we believe that it is first and foremost for the Turkish and Armenian people to address their common history. We welcome the recent signature of protocols on establishing and developing relations between Turkey and Armenia as an important step in this direction. In particular, we welcome the fact that the protocols provide for an intergovernmental sub-committee to examine historical issues. It is important that this process is owned by the parties directly concerned.