Erdogan Discusses Armenian Genocide with Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pictured together in an undated photo.


ANKARA (RFE/RL)—Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly complained about Armenia’s position on the 1915 Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire in a phone call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin late on Tuesday.

News reports quoting unnamed Turkish government sources said Erdogan brought up the mass killings and deportations of Armenians during the 30-minute conversation that also touched on Russian-Turkish relations and the conflict in Ukraine.

According to the Anatolia news agency, Erdogan told Putin that the genocide issue should be tackled from a “fair perspective.” The agency said the Turkish leader also criticized Yerevan for not accepting his proposal to set up a Turkish-Armenian commission of historians tasked with looking into the events of 1915. It gave no further details.

The Kremlin did not mention the genocide issue in its readout of the phone call initiated by Erdogan. It said only that the two leaders discussed “pressing international and regional issues.”

It was thus not clear whether Erdogan objected to Putin’s decision to take part in the April 24 ceremonies in Yerevan that will mark the centenary of the Armenian Genocide.

The decision was announced after Putin’s March 12 phone call with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian. “Yes, he will fly to Yerevan,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the AFP news agency.

Russia is among about two dozen countries that have officially recognized the World War One-era slaughter of some 1.5 million Armenians as genocide. Successive Turkish governments have strongly criticized the recognitions, saying that Armenians died in smaller numbers and not as a result of an Ottoman government effort to exterminate them.

In an apparent effort to deflect international attention from the upcoming commemorations of the genocide centenary, Erdogan’s government has scheduled this year’s annual remembrance of a Turkish victory in a World War One battle for April 24. It has invited over 100 world leaders, including Sarkisian, to the celebration. Sarkisian has angrily rejected the Turkish invitation.

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8 Comments

  1. T.K. said:

    Putin is not Obama or Clinton or Bush. Erdogan can’t tell him what to do or not.

  2. Areg said:

    Oh now Erdogan wants to foll Putin on the issue of the Armenian Genocide as he wishes to do with United States and rest of the world.

    No Mr. Erdoganlu your efforts are not working and will never work. The thief is always a thief, the murderer is murderer, the crook is always a crook, the barbarian mongol Turk is always a Turk and Turkey who is the author of the Genocide will always remain a genocidal Turk. Whom are you trying to make them believe otherwise?

  3. danoog said:

    Turkey is feeling the heat. Unfortunately, I don’t trust Putin at all.

  4. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    If those politician have some
    “Genes of Humanity”…
    Let them return our lands…
    They played their games… selling us…
    So-called “Great Briton and its gangs”
    Till when we must pay
    from our blood… our lands our lives…
    It is not enough they mercilessly
    GENOCIDED us…???

    I say always
    “Politics Play, People Pay” (2009)
    one of the cover of my books and the painting is by famous
    Armenian artist Andrey Antonyan “In the Circus”

    Dr. Sylva Portoian

  5. Jove said:

    Putin will hear Erdogan’ barking, but he will not listen. I wonder if this story is credible ? Erdogan and Turkey can finagle the USA with threats and other bluster,( their interests coincide and collude against the Armenian nation and state) but turkey can not do the same with Russia. Erdogan is no fool, I would consider him so if it even crossed his mind to tackle Russia on the Armenian genocide score. What is surprising is that none of the main stream turkish media has made mention of this discussion over the genocide. Whereas blazing headlines cover newspapers when Turkey admonished and castigates the USA if the recognition is granted.

    • Vindicated Man said:

      This news sounds suspicious to me as well. Looks like an attempt to raise noise, by using Armenian media.

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