PARIS—Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Armenia of “fixing” the April 24 date to coincide with the anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli.
In an interview with France 24 television, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Battles and “we are in no position to obtain permission from Armenia.”
“It is a date in history and it has nothing to do with the ceremonies in Armenia. Quite on the contrary, they fixed their ceremonies to coincide with our date,” Erdogan said.
Speaking about problems between Armenia and Turkey, he said it was Ankara that always “took a positive step” and “extended our hand in peace.”
The Turkish government to this day refuses to acknowledge that the systematic, state-sponsored murder of 1.5 million Armenians and the exile of Armenians from their historic homelands constitutes a genocide. Instead, the Turkish state claims that it was Armenians who killed Turks and that Armenians were relocated from their homes for their own safety. Writers and public figures in Turkey are arrested regularly for speaking about the Armenian Genocide, which is illegal in Turkey under certain circumstances.
Turkey and Armenia also have no diplomatic relations. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in a show of support for its co-ethnic ally, Azerbaijan, when war broke out over Artsakh. Turkey has conditioned its normalization of ties with Armenia on the ceding of Artsakh to Azerbaijan and the abandonment of claims over the Armenian Genocide.