Turkey, Politics

'Turks, Armenians can easily solve their differences'

Respect losses of both sides instead of focusing only on one, says Presidential Communications Director Altun

Vakkas Dogantekin   | 24.04.2019
'Turks, Armenians can easily solve their differences'

ANKARA  

Turks and Armenians could resolve their differences if "imperialist powers" would stop interfering and using the so-called Armenian genocide as a tool of political leverage against Ankara, Turkey said on Wednesday.

"There are no issues Turks and Armenians who have lived together for 800 years could not solve by a real dialogue if only the imperial powers didn't politicize history and attempt to use the so-called Armenian genocide as a disciplinary tool against our country," Turkish Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter.

He underlined that ignoring Turkey’s initiatives for a solution on the events of 1915 along with unilateral non-binding decisions by third parties created difficulties for efforts to uncover the truth.

Altun reiterated that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's proposal to establish a joint historical commission in 2005 with Armenia was still on the table despite being rejected by Armenia. 

Good will from Turkey

Altun cited the "historic" 2014 statement of condolence by then-Prime Minister Erdogan to Armenian communities around the world, which was published in nine languages including Armenian.

He added that Erdogan sends messages of "heartfelt" condolences to Turkey's Armenian patriarch and community every year as a goodwill gesture.

Altun said Turkey has repeatedly proved its "humanitarian approach and conscientious stance."

He also commemorated the Turkish diplomats who had been martyred by assassins of the Armenian terrorist organization ASALA across the world since 1970s.

The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) martyred 38 Turkish diplomats between 1975 to 1985, vanishing after 1988.

Many Turks today believe ASALA continues its existence within the ranks of another terror group, the PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., EU, NATO as well as dozens of other states.

Altun called for restraint and balance in the analysis of the events of 1915, calling on the international community to respect the loss and grievances of both sides instead of focusing one.

"There is no international court ruling, political consensus or academic agreement that defines the events of 1915 as genocide," Altun said.

Turkey's position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Turkey objects to the presentation of these incidents as a "genocide", describing them as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia as well aw international experts to tackle the issue.

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