Aram I Reacts Sharply to Turkish Foreign Minister’s Remark

ANTELIAS–His Holiness Aram I–Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia–has invited Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to visit the Cilicia Museum in Cilicia to witness the "irrefutable evidence of the genocide perpetrated by the Turks."

His Holiness was responding to Erdogan’s commen’s made during the opening of the first museum in Turkey dedicated to the country’s Armenian minority.

The opening of the museum appears to be a calculated move by Turkey–aspiring for candidacy to the European Union (EU). The 25-nation bloc has pressured Turkey to enable its recognized minorities and the Kurds to fully exercise their rights. Erdogan’s commen’s come just days before EU leaders are to meet in Brussels to decide whether to allow Turkey to begin accession talks on its membership.

"Instead of looking at facts–people have distorted history through suppositions and misinformation," Erdogan said at the opening of the museum–referring to the genocide of Armenia’s in 1915 by the Ottoman government–a fact that the Turkish government vehemently denies.

Alluding to the artifacts housed in the Cilicia museum of the Catholicosate of Cilicia in Lebanon–His Holiness Aram I told Erdogan that the remains of the spiritual and cultural heritage of the Armenian people rescued from Cilicia speak for themselves. "You would see man’scripts–church vessels–and other articles of spiritual value–that the Armenia’s of Adana–Zeytoun–Hajen–Sis–and other places in Cilicia and Western Armenia’saved as they fled the horrors of massacre. All these precious remains of our spiritual heritage reached Antelias via Der Zor. No one who sees these remains would talk of "assumptions" and "distortion" of facts," states the Catholicos–rather referring to them as "clear evidence of Turkish barbarism."

"History is based on clear facts and not assumptions," continues the Catholicos. "As much as you and others may deny [it]–the Armenian Genocide is a fact of history."

The Catholicos also states that in commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide–Armenia’s throughout the world will become one force to demand the recognition of the genocide perpetrated by Turkey and restoration of their human rights thus far denied.

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