Turkish president sends letter to Armenian Patriarch
In a letter to Patriarch Sahak Mashalian, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan commemorated Ottoman Armenians who died during World War I, conveying his condolences to their descendants.
"On this occasion, I wish God's mercy to all Ottoman citizens who lost their lives in this painful period," Erdoğan said, adding that Turkey would never allow anybody in the country to be "treated differently because of their belief and identity."
Underlining that Turkey sought to establish a future of "unity, prosperity, and peace," Erdogan said that the solidarity in Turkey was strengthening during "these difficult days" amid the novel coronavirus pandemic across the globe.
"With these thoughts, I once again commemorate the Ottoman Armenians that we lost in World War I with respect and mercy," he concluded.
Erdoğan maintains diplomatic contacts amid outbreak
Meanwhile, Erdoğan spoke to 19 world leaders over the phone and joined three summits via teleconference since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed tens of thousands of lives across the globe.
On Twitter, the Turkish Presidency shared information on Erdoğan's contacts with the international community during the global outbreak.
According to the post, Erdoğan has held phone conversations with the top political figures of China, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Ethiopia, Georgia, Japan, the U.S., Russia, France,
Uzbekistan, Iran, Italy, Ecuador, Somalia, Canada, Germany and Qatar.
On March 17, Erdogan held a quadrilateral meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
On March 26, he participated in a virtual gathering of G20 leaders on the coronavirus.
He also attended an extraordinary videoconference summit of the Turkic Council on cooperation and solidarity against the virus on April 10.