Losses of World War I our common pain: Presidential spokesperson
The deaths that occurred during World War I are the common pain of all, presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said, referring to the deaths of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 in a statement, released on the anniversary of April 24, which Armenians mark as a day of commemoration of what they call the “Armenian Genocide.”
“The losses of the First World War are the common pain of all of us. The loss of the lives of our Armenian citizens, who had to migrate with the decision of deportation and banishment, the killing of innocent Anatolian people in the Armenian revolts, and the deaths of nearly five million Muslims during the migration and wars between 1850 and 1920 is our common pain,” Kalın said.
Those engaged in hostilities for small political interests cannot cover up the facts of history, he said.
The deportation and banishment decision dated April 24, 1915, taken under the “destructive and traumatic conditions of the First World War, was not the product of a policy aimed at eliminating the Armenians, which were referred to as ‘nation-loyalty’,” said the spokesperson.
The “genocide lobby” and “anti-Turkey political circles,” are pursuing an effort to plant new enmity and hostility seeds distorting historical facts, said Kalın, emphasizing that Turkey and its nation will not credit these “exploitation, lies and slander campaigns.”
He stressed that those who “escape” from the historical facts “refuse to respond to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s calls for establishing a joint historical commission.”
The protocols signed in 2009, but not implemented, were a historic step for the solution of the Karabakh conflict, political and economic normalization, and the establishment of peace and stability in the southern Caucasus, he said, adding: “This step was left unrequited by Armenia and by the pressure of the genocide lobby.”
Countries that try to “convict the Turkish nation for a crime they have not committed” and take some parliament decisions must first look at their “dark history,” Kalın 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 the incidents as “genocide” but describes the events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.
Armenians dispersed around the world, however, call it a genocide, pressing for its recognition by Turkey and other countries.