Voting for the Liberal Democrats in the South East England Euro constituency would be worse than voting for the BNP. Emma Nicholson's record as an MEP shows that she is a genocide-denier. She is second on the Lib Dem list for this constituency. www.stopthebnp.com lists information about all the BNP candidates, and there is nothing particularly objectionable about their South East England candidates. Unlike Nicholson, none of them stand accused of denying or trying to play down a genocide.

Turkey's genocide against the Armenians is well documented. It has been recognised by the European Parliament and 15 national parliaments, including those of France, Italy and Canada. (On 30th November 2004 the National Assembly of Slovakia became the 16th to recognise Turkey's genocide against the Armenians. The resolution was passed unanimously). It remains relevant today because they refuse to acknowledge and make restitution for it, and because of the way they treat surviving Armenians. In 1988 the Azeri Turks resumed murdering Armenians with the Sumgait massacre, which made headlines around the world. This was their response to peaceful agitation by the Armenian majority of the Karabakh region for unity with Armenia. Although it didn't send its forces to directly participate in the following massacres, Turkey supported its ethnic kin in various other ways. It is still operating a blockade against the poverty-stricken Armenian Republic (the Armenians in this territory survived the genocide because they had been under Russian control). One of its demands for lifting the blockade is that Armenians must stop campaigning for the Genocide to be recognised.

1.5 million Armenians and large numbers of other Christians were murdered between 1915 and 1923. It was the first planned genocide of the twentieth century. The Young Turks wanted to turn Anatolia into a purely Turkish land by murdering or expelling all Christian peoples, and assimilating all Muslim non-Turks. The American Ambassador in Istanbul, originally a German Jew, was among those who helped gather evidence of the genocide. After Turkey's defeat in the First World War, the Allies insisted on trials of those who had committed genocide. Much damming evidence was made public, including memos from Young Turk leaders. However, after Ataturk staged his successful military coup, he put an end to the trials. Those already convicted were pardoned, provided they joined his new movement. Having absorbed the remnants of the Young Turks, he completed their project by murdering or expelling most of the remaining Christians and instituting severe cultural repression of the Muslim Kurds. The massacres in Eastern Anatolia received little attention. However, in 1922, he captured the predominantly Greek city of Smyrna (now Izmir) which had a large Armenian community and many western expatriates. Eyewitnesses reported his forces went systematically from house to house in the Armenian Quarter, murdering everyone, including women and children.

Here, in full, is what Nicholson said in the EU Parliament sitting of Tuesday, 14 November 2000

"Mr President, it is a matter of regret that our debate today has been marred by a small cluster of hostile amendments. These have been put forward by the TDI, GUE et al. I find them unseemly, ill-advised, untimely and inappropriate because these are amendments which use three words "genocide", "Muslim" and "Asian" in a way that is racist, derogatory and discriminatory and which causes impenetrable and false barriers to be erected against Turkey's accession to the Union.

"Muslims follow one of the three Abrahaminic faiths. Islam is the brother of Christianity and Judaism. "Asian", in this context, is used as a racist term to be deplored and dropped. As regards genocide: Turkey is not responsible for the Armenian massacre. If we accept that, do we then place all of the Ottoman Empire's crimes against humanity at modern Turkey's door? Indeed, the UN Convention of 1948 has not been broadened to include the Armenian tragedy. Until that happens I do not think this Parliament should act differently. I welcome Turkey's careful progress towards the Union and I support the Commission and the Morillon report."

Nicholson refuses to call the genocide a genocide on the grounds that it occurred before the 1948 Genocide Convention was drawn up. That may or may not carry weight in a legal argument, but in a moral terms it is a mere technicality. It is a loathsome and despicable excuse . Nicholson also implicitly denied that part of the genocide which was perpetrated under Ataturk, the founder of the current Turkish republic. Lastly, she claimed that the current Turkish Republic was not responsible for what happened under the Ottoman Empire. If that were correct, then the post war Federal Republic of Germany would have no responsibility for the genocide perpetrated by the Third Reich.

We all know that Germany acknowledges its genocides and has made numerous gestures of restitution, including large financial compensation. Turkey refuses to make any conciliatory gestures and instead continues its hostile attitude towards Armenians. German children are taught that Hitler was a criminal and his regime was evil. Furthermore, anyone who denies the Nazi genocides is guilty of a crime in Germany and may be sent to prison. In Turkey it is the people who talk about the genocide who get sent to prison (in the mid 90s the publisher of the Turkish edition of Encyclopedia Britannica was given a prison sentence merely for mentioning that Armenians had once lived in Eastern Anatolia). Children are taught that there was no Genocide and that Ataturk and the Young Turks are national heroes. If Germany behaved as Turkey does, Nicholson would not dare to side with them.

The idea that we should let Turkey into the EU because it is a Muslim country is nonsense. Albania is the only Muslim country in Europe (Turkey is in Asia). Currently it does not expect to join until 2010-2015. If having a Muslim country is so important, why isn't Albania being fast-tracked for EU membership? The truth is, powerful interest groups want Turkey in the EU because of its strategic position in relation to the oil producing regions of the Middle East and the Caspian Sea. They don't give two hoots about Human Rights. Its is ridiculous to suggest that we can create "a tolerant multi-ethnic Europe" by taking in a country which behaves like an unreformed Nazi Germany.

I have no family or personal ties with Turkey or its enemies. I am not anti-Muslim or even anti-Turkish.

I am not a member or supporter of any organisation. At the last General Election I put up a Liberal Democrat poster in my window, but I was never a member and I have not "fallen out" with them. I am writing this purely because I am against all genocides and cannot stomach what Nicholson has done in our name. "The truth must be told and it must be acknowledged".

Also on this site: Say No to Turkey's EU membership

External links: Armenian National Institute, List of Turkish Genocides and Smyrna 1922