Turkish president calls on Armenians to study archives pertaining to WW1 era to uncover what actually happened between Ottoman government and its Armenian citizens.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Armenia will not gain anything from “propaganda against Turkey.”
Armenians will commemorate 100th anniversary of the 1915 incidents on April 24.
“The purpose of this campaign against Turkey is to treat our country as an enemy instead of keeping alive Armenians’ sorrow,” Erdogan said on Thursday in Istanbul.
Erdogan also called on Armenians to study archives pertaining to the era in order to uncover what actually happened between the Ottoman government and its Armenian citizens.
The president said Armenia never answered Turkey’s call to study the archives adding: “You cannot gain anything from the propaganda against Turkey with bribing countries, immoral ways and lobbying.”
He claimed that the purpose was not to find the truth, but to damage and attack Turkey, adding: “We do not have to account to anyone on this issue. If we pursue our nation’s 100, 150 years of sorrow we can find more than Armenian allegations.”
Not just Armenians were affected by the war but hundreds of Muslims also, he added.
The debate on “genocide” and the differing opinions between the present-day Turkish government and the Armenian diaspora, along with the current administration in Yerevan, still generates political tension between Turks and Armenians.
During the First World War, the Ottoman Empire approved a deportation law for Armenians, amid their uprising with the help of the invading Russian army. As a result, an unknown number of people died in civil strife.
Turkey’s official position against the “genocide” allegations is that they acknowledge that the past experiences were a great tragedy and that both parties suffered heavy casualties, including hundreds of Muslim Turks.
Turkey agrees that there were Armenian casualties during World War I, but that it is impossible to define these incidents as “genocide.”
Resource: Word Bulletin, March 19, 2015