Let’s build future instead of magnifying pain, Erdoğan tells Armenian community
“I commemorate the Ottoman Armenians we lost in the war. Let’s build the future instead of magnifying the suffering,” Erdoğan said in his message.
“The patriarch of the Armenians of Turkey, Sahak Mashalyan, esteemed members of the Armenian community, my esteemed citizens, I greet you with my most heartfelt feelings and affection,” he said.
The Armenian community of Turkey gathered under the roof of the Istanbul Armenian Patriarchate on April 24 to commemorate the Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives in the “harsh conditions imposed” by the World War I, he said. “I respectfully commemorate the deceased Ottoman Armenians once again, and convey my sincere condolences to their surviving relatives,” Erdoğan stated.
He wished God’s mercy to “all Ottoman citizens who passed away forever in the difficult conditions” of World War I.
“The last years of the Ottoman Empire, corresponding to World War I, were a very painful period for millions of Ottoman people. It is a duty of humanity to understand and share these common pains without any religious, ethnic or cultural discrimination,” the president stated.
Erdoğan stressed that it is important for the people, who have been “partners in joy and worry for centuries, to bind up together the wounds of the past and strengthen our human ties even more.”
“With this understanding, I believe that we should build the future together, inspired by our deep-rooted unity of up to a thousand years, instead of magnifying the pain,” the president said.
He recalled a recent normalization process with Armenia, saying, “This process is sincerely supported by our citizens of Armenian origin, who favor close cooperation between the two neighboring countries, and I attach great importance to this.”
Erdoğan said he expected the Armenian people to make a “strong contribution to the evaluation of this historical opportunity that has emerged in the name of permanent peace and stability” in the region after many years.
The president said he wanted to make the Armenian people sure that they will make every effort to ensure that its Armenian citizens, who have “left indelible traces” in Turkey’s cultural and human lives throughout the centuries-long partnership on this land, lead their lives with peace, security and safety.