In a statement issued on Wednesday, Turkey’s foreign ministry issued a statement calling President Emmanuel Macron of France “arrogant” and “uninformed,” in response to the French leader’s announcement on Tuesday that April 24 will be designated as a national day of commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in France.
“There are no lessons to be learned by us from arrogant French politicians, devoid of basic knowledge of history, representing a country known to us by its atrocities,” said the Turkish foreign ministry announcement targeting Macron.
“We have explained to French officials, on several occasions at every level and notably to the French President, that the events of 1915 constitute a legitimate subject of legal, historical and academic debate,” added the announcement.
“Nevertheless, it is understood that the French President Macron seeks to fulfill his election promise in the hope of receiving the votes of French electorate of Armenian origin,” continued the announcement.
“It is regrettable that a politician, uninformed in Ottoman history, ignores the French and European jurisprudence and takes a one-sided position with regard to a historical issue of highly sensitive nature for Turks for the sake of his personal political gains,” asserted Turkey’s foreign ministry, which, once again, called for the formation of a historical commission to “shed light” on history.
In response to a question about whether Ankara reacted to Macron’s announcement, France’s foreign ministry said that official Paris has “had several opportunities to exchange views with the Turkish authorities on this issue. They have been informed of our positions just as we have been informed of theirs.”
“In establishing this day of commemoration, the President is fulfilling his well-known pledge to honor French citizens of Armenian descent,” explained the French foreign ministry.
Macron made the announcement on Tuesday evening during a gala banquet organized by the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF), adding that plans were underway to declare April 24 a national day of commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
He also clarified that prior to making the announcement he had contacted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to inform of him of his intentions.
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin “strongly condemned” Macron’s statement about the Armenian Genocide, reported the Anadolu news agency.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan took to Twitter to express his gratitude to Macron. His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia also thanked Macron for the designation.
“I salute the statement of Emmanuel Macron. Powerful manifestation and act of solidarity, determination to protect human rights and prevent mass atrocities,” Pashinyan wrote on Twitter.