Erdogan Denies Genocide, Links Karabakh to Armenia Ties On Prime Time TV

roseHOLLYWOOD–Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared on the Charlie Rose show in New York on Tuesday evening to discuss his meeting with President Obama in Washington DC earlier this week. Speaking on Prime-Time television, he directly linked the normalization of his country’s relations with Armenia to a pro-Azerbaijani settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and called the Armenian Genocide a complete lie.

During the course of the televised interview (Watch the video  | Read the transcript), Erdogan was asked by Rose “what more evidence does history need” for Turkey to accept the Genocide.

The Turkish Premier, whose comments were broadcast on prime-time television, responded by denying the Armenian Genocide, saying the annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government in the early 20th century was “completely a lie.”

“I can say very clearly that we do not accept genocide,” he said.

“I invite people to prove it. I wrote a letter in 2005, and I said that this is not up to politicians. It is up to historians to look into this,” Erdogan said about the crime against humanity that has been acknowledged and condemned by the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

Erdogan sought to marginalize efforts to condemn genocide in the United States Congress, describing the humanitarian cause as “lobbying and going to politicians and asking them to take certain decisions.”

In another question, Rose asked Erdogan if he spoke to Obama about his country’s rapprochement with Armenia. Erdogan, who said Armenia-Turkey ties was high on the agenda of his talks with Obama, used the opportunity to vocalize, on US television, his administration’s preconditions on Armenia to accept a pro-Azerbaijani solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict before its relations with Turkey can be normalized.

“It was Turkey that initiated the normalization process,” Erdogan said.”What we would like to see is for this normalization process to go forward. And in that it’s important that we go into that and the Karabakh issue between Azerbaijan and Armenia be resolved. There is an occupation.  We have to solve that problem.”

“The [Karabakh] problem has to be solved,” he said. “And once that problem is solved then that region will be a region of peace. Why?  Because once the problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia is solved, that hatred is going to dissipate. There is the decision of the United Nations Security Council which will be implemented. And the problems between Turkey and Armenia will definitely be resolved. I believe in it.”  

The lack of a settlement on the Karabakh front, Erdogan asserted, was the reason for the Turkish Parliament’s hesitation on ratifying protocols mending ties between Armenia and Turkey.

“It’s the Turkish parliament who has to make a decision on this agreement between Turkey and Armenia. They have to approve it,” Erdogan said.

“The Turkish parliament too is very sensitive about this issue. And if the positive developments that we would like to see do not come about, then I do not believe that our parliament will have a positive result as a result of its deliberations,” he said. “We will have a secret ballot, but I don’t believe that without any other positive developments there will be a positive outcome.”

In anticipation of Erdogan’s denialist rhetoric, Armenian Americans sent letters to the Charlie Rose show, expressing concern with the Turkish politician’s appearance on the show and asking that the broadcast journalist speak truth to power on air and challenge Erdogan on his government’s bullying of Armenia into conceding its national interests. The letters, detailed the facts surrounding the Turkish-Armenian normalization process and asked Rose to  “to use your influence to confront Mr. Erdogan with these facts.”

“Please ask Mr. Erdogan how he can possibly reconcile his position that the implementation of these protocols is dependent upon a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabagh issue concerning Azerbaijan, which he has enunciated over and over again, most recently today at the White House,” the letter said.

It also provided Rose with a list of possible questions to ask Erdogan during his interview:  “You may ask why Armenia would sign the protocols with Turkey if they are so clearly one-sided in Turkey’s favor? The only explanation is that Armenia is a small land-locked country which is blockaded from its western border by Turkey and from its eastern border by Azerbaijan. It has virtually no resources to survive. It is a fledgling republic with deep economic woes. It is being pressured by the U.S., Europe, and Russia to reconcile its differences with Turkey in exchange for promises of international aid which it desperately needs. And what is Turkey conceding in these negotiations? Zero. Just ask Mr. Erdogan to list one single thing that Turkey has given up in exchange for peace with Armenia. He will be unable to do so. Turkey may as well have single-handedly drafted these protocols and forced Armenia to sign them, and it is only Turkey which will benefit if the protocols are actually implemented when it suddenly gains open access to Armenia’s vulnerable free markets.”

Neither of those questions or issues were asked by Rose during his interview.


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  1. Lusik said:

    Charlie Rose, Erdogan got “mistaken”. There is no “decision of the United Nations Security Council”. I have checked on “United Nations Security Council Resolutions” site. For years 2008 and 2009. Unless it is hidden, because it is a shame. There are few per year Resolutions concerning Rwanda and Sudan, although. Why did not you ask about this hot issues?

  2. Frank said:

    His inner feelings were exactly the opposite of what he was saying and this was very obvious.
    I think the Americans can see this.
    I liked it when he was saying he is not anti-Semitic over and over again.
    You could see that he really is anti-Semitic.
    He was invited to America for a test and he failed that test.
    This is good news for us and we should  take advantage of it.

  3. Harout Akhverdian said:

    You moron how can you evevn say that the Armenian Genocide is a lie when you are spending millions and millions to deny the Armenian Genocide now who is the lier you or us it is abvouis that you turk are the liers and keep spending millions to lie but the time has come just like former soviet union was pregnant and gave birth to the new era the same way the Armenian Genocide question is and that time is just around the corner you are not just lieng to the world but to your own people your people the turks are begining to know the truth and the truth will be born very very i mean very soon

  4. Araxi said:

    Erdogan to the gallows.
    I wonder what would happen to this man if he denied the Jewish Holocaust.

  5. totig said:

    there is an occupation. turkish prime min. is right. the whole world knows about an aggressor, who occupied whole western armenia. so as of linkage to any solution, lets link everything back, to solve and bring lasting peace to the area, by withdrawing and replacing with some international forces.

  6. R. Stahl said:

    More significantly, Charlie kept trying to bait the Turkish PM with hidebound Zionist bile that would try to paint him into a corner as an “Islamist extremist”. Instead, the PM deftly never rose to the bait and came across as an eminently sensible and very intelligent man. The first Turkisk national leader to ever meet with Turkey’s rabbis, and a man who’s condemned anti-Semitism at every turn before Islamic audiences as a “Crime Against Humanity.” Yes, Erdogan has distanced Turkey from Israel, but in the wake of Israel’s  racist mass murder of 434 Palestinian children in Gaza – who wouldn’t? Israel’s crumbling moral stature has become a factor in every country on earth’s relations with it, and why Charlie Rose keeps trying to sell the poor, poor Israel canard likely has more to do with “commercial interests” than any real feeling of solidarity (misguided or not) with the Apartheid State.

  7. Pingback: Erdogan Denies Genocide, Links Karabakh to Armenia Ties On Prime … | azerbaijantoday

  8. gharakhanian said:

    i tried really hard to catch Charley with any hint of a sly or even gutless remark, i was ready and expected him to sell out or be timid and he surprised and pleased me. even though i love all your comments. i saw this as a victory for us, a big victory, let me say right of the bat we have to be a lot more grateful for all that others do for us, we have to come from gratefulness. now Charley used the word and its not how many questions he asks is what he said in the question, the manner the pauses, it was gutsy brilliant, and flawless..  give credit for this wonderful job, there is nothing anyone can say or do that can harm us anymore we at the mountain top please, it was tremendous good news for us, he was strong, so much so the Turkish leader showed his hand and his face turned white it was unbelievable first, then showed his anger as a disapproval, see the leader of that nation calling into question and disregarding world scholars holocaust experts then continues to talk holocaust, perfect. saying he relates closely with one billion Muslims in the world brilliant,  he said Azerbaijan issue resolved will stop the in the region, we don’t exist that’s perfect see we need to keep him talking that’s all.