Hollande urges Turkey to 'break taboos' on Armenia WWI killings
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
Hollande on Jan 28 called on Turkey to take new steps towards the "truth" behind the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman forces during WWI, saying "it is time to break the taboos". AFP PhotoFrench President Francois Hollande on Jan. 28 called on Turkey to take new steps towards the "truth" behind the mass killings of Armenians a century ago, saying "it is time to break the taboos".
"The effort towards the truth must continue and I am convinced that this centenary year will see new gestures, new steps on the road to recognition," Hollande said at a dinner with Armenian groups in Paris.
According to Armenians and many historians, up to 1.5 million Ottoman Armenians were killed starting in 1915 in a systematic campaign. Turkey denies that the deaths amounted to genocide, saying the toll during mass deportations of Ottoman Armenians has been inflated and that those killed in 1915 and 1916 were victims of broader unrest during World War I.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan this month said he would "actively" challenge a campaign to pressure Turkey to recognise the massacres as genocide, though a year ago he offered an unprecedented expression of condolences for the 1915-1916 killings.
Recalling Erdoğan's stance last year, Hollande told members of France's Armenian community, the biggest in the European Union, that Ankara's position "cannot stop there".
"It is time to break the taboos and for the two nations, Armenia and Turkey, to create a new beginning," he said.