Erdogan Adamant on Turkey’s ‘Innocent’ Past

ANKARA (AA)–According to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan–Turkey has never committed genocide throughout its history–making it impossible to accept "such accusations,” he said on Wednesday.

Addressing a gathering of his governmental Justice & Development Party–Erdogan said that Armenian genocide "allegations" were discussed at the Council of Europe Heads of State and Government Summit–held in Warsaw at the beginning of this week.

Claiming that Armenia’s living during Ottoman reign fell prey to the games of foreign powers and rebelled (at this point–the prime minister resorted to slang–saying that Armenians ‘got pumped-up’)–Erdogan said the "Ottomans did what they had to do. We will never succumb to the pressure to accept the Genocide."

”During my speech [at the summit]–I said that we have opened our state archives. We don’t have any concerns about our history–and believe that reality should be revealed. Armenia’should also open its archives and historians–jurists–political scientists–and archivists should work on them. Then–we make the political decision. Unfortunately–I cannot get any positive response from [Armenian President] Kocharian so far,” Erdogan said.

Insisting that international diplomacy is contradicted because certain countries’ parliamen’s have recognized "these so-called Armenian genocide allegations," Erdogan continued–"There is no word for assuming such an attitude without basing on any document or information against a country with which you are together in international institutions. In Warsaw–I told reporters that parliamen’s of 15 countries made such a decision–and we will examine these 15 countries. There are countries among these 15 which carried out genocide in the past. We will bring them to our parliament and pass a decision–basing on real documen’s and information–not with lobbying. We will take this step because Turkey had never committed genocide throughout its history.”

”Of course some people might have died during relocation. It is true. But–why were these people forced to migrate? Documents indicate that the Ottomans were fighting in three fronts–and there was an Armenian nation which started to rebel due to provocations of some other circles. Naturally–the administration encouraged such a relocation under these circumstances. But it also met traveling costs of the people forced to migrate. And it issued circulars for the protection of these people. But the state did not carry out a genocide,” remarked Erdogan.

”There might have been some problems for this or that reason–but it is wrong to define it as genocide. We won’t build our future on hatred and resentment,” added Erdogan.

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