Armenia focused on hampering bilateral relations, says Turkish parliament speaker
WASHINGTON – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoTurkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek has said that even though Turkey is “approaching Armenia with candidness in an effort to resolve the 1915 incidents,” Yerevan focuses on the events to hamper the normalization process between the two countries.
“We see that Armenia chooses to focus on intensifying its anti-Turkey events organized within the concept of the centenary of the 1915 incidents, rather than carrying the normalization process further on the path towards April 24. This is despite all the well-intentioned initiatives coming from our country,” said Çiçek during a speech titled “Turkey-U.S. Relations in the 21st Century” at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington on March 24.
He said there was “no change” in Turkey’s stance toward normalizing relations with Armenia, adding there was still hope for it to improve.
“The condolences messages and statements about these issues by our president and prime minister are important steps taken in this way,” Çiçek said, referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s message issued in April 2014.
Çiçek also said Turkey had opened all of its archives to researchers and wished that the Armenians would do the same.
“We want the exploitation [of the subject] to be removed and for peace to be supported by enlightening historical facts. We are ready to give support to any kind of research,” he added.
The year 2015 marks the centenary of the 1915 Ottoman Armenian mass killings during World War I.
While Armenia and a number of other countries and international organizations legally refer to the incidents as genocide, the Turkish state does not accept the term.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry’s view of the issue, published on its website, states that Turkey “does not deny the suffering of Armenians, including the loss of many innocent lives, during the First World War.
However, a greater numbers of Turks died or were killed in the years leading up to and during the War. Without belittling the tragic consequences for any group, Turkey objects to the one-sided presentation of this tragedy as genocide by one group against another.”