Turkey: French declaration on 1915 events null and void
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
“Allegations of a so-called Armenian genocide are political lies lacking any legal basis, contrary to historical facts. They are null and void for Turkey,” Turkish presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said in a statement.
“Those who ignore Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call in 2005 to establish a joint historical commission to shed light on historical realities are trying to manipulate historical events,” Kalın added.
He also said that Macron, cornered by political woes and months of protests, is trying to rescue himself by using historical events as political fodder.
Macron on Feb. 5 declared April 24 as “the date France will commemorate the Armenian Genocide.”
Macron said he informed Erdoğan about the decision beforehand, adding that he wanted to keep an open dialogue with Turkey.
“We have disagreements over the fight against the Islamic State, human rights in Turkey and on the genocide,” Macron said, using another name for ISIL.
“We also have points of agreement such as the necessity for a political transition in Syria. As such, dialogue with Turkey is indispensable,” Macron said.
France officially recognized the killings as genocide in 2001.
Turkey accepts many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in clashes with Ottoman forces during World War One, but says the figures are inaccurate and denies the killings were systematically orchestrated. It rejects to use the term “genocide” and says many Muslim Turks were also killed at that time.
But Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their people were killed during World War I as the Ottoman Empire was falling apart, with almost 30 countries to date having recognized the killings as “genocide.”