Turkey shares ‘historical pain of Armenian citizens’


    Turkey shares "historical pain of Armenian citizens," said President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday.

    In a statement sent to the Armenian Church in Istanbul over a commemoration ceremony for the loss of Armenian lives during the World War I, Erdogan said it is Turkey's "conscientious responsibility to share historical pain of Armenian citizens."

    "I would like to ask you, just like before, to not allow those who want to thrive through animosity by twisting common history," the statement said.

    The president offered condolences to families of the Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives during the 1915 events. He also offered condolences to Turkish nation over loss of lives of millions of Ottoman citizens due to wars, migrations, conflicts and diseases during the same period.

    Turkey shares pains of others, Erdogan said, adding: “We always rush to help not only our people, but also those from Andalusia to Africa, South Asia to Europe, irrespective of their beliefs, cultures and races."

    Erdogan said Turkey in the future will continue to "share the pain and try to find solutions" to the problems of Armenian citizens.

    "I believe our Armenian citizens will continue their humane, political and economic contribution to our culture," he said.

    Turkey's position is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

    Ankara does not accept the alleged genocide, but acknowledges that there were casualties on both sides during the events of World War I.

    Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.

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


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