"Those who lecture Turkey on human rights, democracy, the Armenian issue, and the fight against terrorism all have a bloody history," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a symposium on archives and historical research in the capital Ankara.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a symposium on archives and historical research in the capital Ankara. (Reuters)

Those who stir trouble with the so-called Armenian genocide allegations, particularly France, have "no concern about the truth," Turkey’s president said on Wednesday.

"When we dig deeper into genocides, massacres, and human rights violations, we see the same countries that make noise about democracy and freedom," Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a symposium on archives and historical research in the capital Ankara.

"Those who lecture Turkey on human rights, democracy, the Armenian issue, and the fight against terrorism all have a bloody history," Erdogan added.

"Turkey's archives are fully accessible", Erdogan said, calling on Armenians and third parties to research the 1915 events.

Erdogan also said that no group or state has been able to prove claims about the Armenian issue through archival evidence.

Letter to Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey

"With respect I commemorate the Ottoman Armenians who died in hard conditions during World War I,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a letter on Wednesday to Archbishop Aram Atesyan, general vicar of the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey.   

Erdogan said that peace, security, and happiness of Turkey’s Armenian community are greatly important for Turkey.   

Offering his condolences to the descendants of Ottoman Armenians who died in the war, Erdogan stated that the Armenian community has raised many valuable young people to contribute to Turkey's well-being.   

He said that as free and equal citizens in Turkey, Armenian people have important roles in the country’’s social, political, and business life.

Turkey's Presidency's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun also called for a balanced and constructive approach to the issue, saying  "1915 events should not be used as a political tool against Turkey, tell both sides' story."

"There is no problem that Turks and Armenians, who have been living together for 800 years, cannot solve today through genuine dialogue — as long as colonial powers are not allowed to politicize history with their attempts to discipline our country through so-called Armenian genocide allegations," he said on Twitter.

Erdogan’s and Altun's remarks come in the wake of France declaring a day of commemoration of the so-called genocide claims.

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 1915 events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to tackle the issue.

Source: AA