Turkish PM says deportation is crime against humanity
AA PhotoTurkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said he has already highlighted that deportation is a crime against humanity, less than a day earlier his former interior minister, Efkan Ala, said that what the Ottoman Empire did to the Armenians a century ago was not “genocide” but deportation.
“I am not comparing the pain [of the people],” Davutoğlu said during a televised interview on TV 24 late on April 21.
“I have made open-hearted remarks on the issue. I said deportation is a crime against humanity, wherever it is,” he said, adding that he expressed his views to the president of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, before a vote at parliament, which decided to recognize the killing of Armenians 100 years ago in Anatolia as a “genocide.”
Schulz told Davutoğlu on April 17 that he “understands” Ankara’s reaction to the motion approved on April 15.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said even before the vote took place that he would ignore the result.
Davutoğlu said he never hesitated to express such things openly on the matter. “But if we are to talk about history, let’s speak about which tribes were destroyed under [European and American] colonial administrations. If these issues are to be discussed, then no one in the world can look in the face of the other.”
But Ala, who technically resigned from his post last month as he will run for parliament in the upcoming elections in June, said in the eastern province of Kars on April 22 that the Ottomans did not conduct a genocide against the Armenians but merely deported them.
“They are accusing us of genocide, and they are making such decisions,” he said, referring to the recent European Parliament motion.
“We deported them; deported,” he said.
Kars, along with neighboring Erzurum where Ala is running, is one of the Anatolian provinces from which the Armenian community was deported.