Armenian diaspora runs smear campaign: Turkish parliamentary speaker
Çiçek (R) and Zgonea attend an opening ceremony of a Romanian section in the National Library in Ankara.Turkish Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek said on April 28 that Armenia is conducting a “smear campaign” against Turkey, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the 1915 incidents.
Last week, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan released a statement in nine languages, including Armenian, in which he described the incidents of 1915 as “inhumane” and offered condolences to Armenians.
“Millions of people of all religions and ethnicities lost their lives in World War I. Having experienced events that had inhumane consequences – such as relocation – during World War I, should not prevent Turks and Armenians from establishing compassion and mutually humane attitudes between each another,” Erdoğan had stated in one part of the message.
However, Çiçek said all countries were subject to a “smear campaign” of the Armenian diaspora, speaking after a meeting in Ankara with the president of the Romanian House of Representatives, Valeriu Stefan Zgonea. “We have asked the Romanian Parliament to be sensitive about this issue,” he added.
Speaking after his meeting with Çiçek, Zgonea described Erdoğan’s statement as a “perfect stance,” and a “positive policy.”
“Romania has not issued any formal statement on the 1915 incidents. We agree with the idea that the incidents should be dealt with by historians,” Zgonea also said, adding that relations between Turkey and Romania are “not superficial but pragmatic.” Meanwhile, he also said Romania’s Turkish minority had been promised the means to establish a mosque in his country’s capital, Bucharest. “We will soon release information about the location of the mosque and also hope to build a social and cultural center in Istanbul,” Zgonea said.