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Member of Ataturk Society UK Betula Nelson writes about Canterbury Cathedral

Member of Ataturk Society UK Betula Nelson: I was looking forward to visiting the famous Canterbury Cathedral (Canterbury, Kent) in early March, as I had not been there for many years. I had always remembered it as being an impressive building in an impressive historical city.While walking on the grounds, I came upon an interesting garden, called the Memorial Garden, with beautiful trees and shrubs. There, right at the entrance, I was shocked to see a big notice commemorating the so-called “Armenian genocide,” referring to the events of 1914-1923! There was also a stone carving in the shape of a sword called the “Khachkar.” This was brought from Armenia and installed in the Memorial Garden. This was indeed  a big shock and led to feelings of anger and disbelief. I resolved to write to the Cathedral officials and request its removal.After some research, it has transpired that there has been visits by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and the Bishop of Dover Rose Hudson-Wilkin to Armenia and meetings with Karekin II, culminating in exchanges of praises and attending ceremonies." 

Betula Nelson: "Soon after my visit, I wrote to the only official email address I could find, pointing out my concern that the notice was describing a historical untruth, and that genocide as a crime is a legal term which did not apply to the 1915 “Relocation” event in the Ottoman era during WW-I. They should surely know that there has never been any recognition of the so-called Armenian genocide by an internationally authorized court. I also pointed out that the UK government and the Parliament have never passed any resolution recognising “Armenian genocide,” because they had all the information and the facts. In fact, they had held a trial at Malta during which no evidence was found against the Ottoman state officials.I also explained that this notice stood as misinformation to the public, and an insult to Turkish people and their history. This was surely legally and morally wrong, and demonstrated an attitude of religious and ethnic hatred." 

Member of Ataturk Society UK Betula Nelson: "In addition to this explanation, I included two articles, one providing historical facts and an argument put forward against the claim by an Irish historian Dr. Pat Walsh. I invited the Cathedral Officials to reconsider their stance and remove the notice. Events that followed my email have been equally worrying, as the first response I received was by someone called Nathan, who did not disclose his full name and position, but stated that “the Armenian genocide is a widely used term,” and that therefore the Khackar would not be removed.  This was an incredible statement. My equally unhappy and activist friend and writer from the U.S.A. received the same response following his objection email. He later obtained the email address of the Bishop of Dover, and we both wrote to her with the same complaint and request to remove the Khackar. No response was received.Perseverance by my friend forced Nathan (by now we learned that he was “Nathan Crouch” and a marketing official) to provide another name. Nathan provided the name “Orla Garratt” (media and engagement director), who did not respond to our emails. Nathan then provided another name, “Azra Küçük Karamuklu,” who also did not respond. Finally, a note from the Dean’s office stated that there was no change in the position of the Cathedral wis-a-vis the Khackar. It is not difficult to imagine how, by now both my friend and I were very frustrated and appalled by the attitude of the officials and the hierarchy of the Cathedral. Their easy acceptance of historically and legally inaccurate claims by the Armenian lobby and the Armenian church is regrettable. They do not seem to be concerned about promoting a religious and ethnic discrimination in the face of true historical facts."

This is the reason why I felt that this experience and the dismissive attitude of the Canterbury Cathedral should somehow be recorded - hence this short article. I do hope that Turkish people will try to be better informed and defend their country’s dignity and history.

Dr. Walsh revealed the truth behind "Armenian Genocide"

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Mustafa Atac 3 ay ago

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