Turkish Ambassador Takes PBS to Task

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The Turkish ambassador is taking PBS to task for the program, The Armenian Genocide, which aired Monday on many member stations.

Ambassador Nabi Sensoy complained Tuesday that the show was "blatantly one-sided" and reflected "a self-serving political agenda by Armenian American activists." PBS has said that, while it agrees with most historians that the genocide is estabished history, it also wanted to explore questions surrounding the issue.

Although he praised PBS for holding a panel discussion about the show immediately after its airing, he said the decision to hold the panel was "in recognition of the strong bias inherent in “The Armenian Genocide," and said some stations did not air the panel, attributing the decision to "Armenian American partisans who embarked on a nationwide campaign to prevent its airing by PBS affiliates."

A PBS spokeswoman said that an "overwhelming predominance," or more than two thirds, of stations aired the panel, which she said is on par with other optional shows. Stations also have a broadcast window of a week or two in which to air PBS shows, so others could air it later in the week.

"The reason for airing the panel," said spokeswoman Lea Sloan, "was to shed more light on a very complex issue. We also specifically wanted to examine how historians have come to such radically diverging conclusions about the alleged murder of 1.5 million Armenians by the Turks in 1915.

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