Turkish children drawn into Armenia row





Serdar Kaya is 43 and has never been to court before; now he's suing the Turkish ministry of education.

The father of an 11-year old girl, Mr Kaya is angry that she was forced to watch what he calls a "very bloody propaganda film" at school.

Sari Gelin, or "Blonde Bride", was commissioned by the Turkish General Staff and distributed in recent months by the education ministry.

It is an attempt to counter what Turkey calls "baseless" claims that Ottoman Turks committed genocide against the Armenians in 1915.

The DVD was sent to all elementary schools with a note instructing teachers to show it to pupils and report back.

Mr Kaya has applied to the courts to sue Education Minister Huseyin Celik, arguing the film incites ethnic hatred against Armenians.

Sari Gelin presents the Turkish state's case that the Armenians betrayed the benevolent Ottoman Empire during World War I, siding with invading foreign forces and massacring thousands of Turks.

The film says the Armenians were "relocated" as a result of their actions.

There is no mention of the hundreds of thousands who perished or were killed on the long march through the desert.

Turkey is coming under increasing international pressure to acknowledge the 1915 deportation and mass killing of Ottoman Armenians as genocide.

The US House of Representatives has just introduced a resolution on the issue and when Barack Obama was campaigning for the presidency, he pledged to recognise the Armenian genocide as a "widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence".





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