New body on ‘1915 events’ to be set up
NURAY BABACAN - ANKARA
An independent civilian body responsible for addressing claims surrounding the 1915 events, which the Armenians call a “genocide,” is planned to be set up, according to daily Hürriyet.
The decision to establish such a body was made at the High Advisory Board meeting at the Presidential Complex on June 16.
Presidential High Advisory Board member Cemil Çiçek and presidential adviser Seyit Sertçelik, who introduced the proposal, briefed the attendees about their proposal, saying that Turkey did not have an institution directly involved in dealing with genocide allegations.
They noted that relevant ministries stepped in when necessary, but there was a lack of a holistic policy and strategy to effectively address the allegations.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave instructions to start the necessary work after the briefing.
Ankara does not accept the killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire were a genocide but acknowledges that there were casualties on both sides during World War I.
But Armenians in the diaspora, in Armenia and in Turkey say it was a genocide and call for its recognition.