WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America’s (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian commented on a recent statement by Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in which the premier attempted to nullify the issue of the Armenian Genocide while offering no real recognition of the attempts by the Ottoman Empire to wipe out the Armenian people.
“Facing a global wave of Armenian Genocide recognition – from the Pope to the European Parliament – Turkey’s leaders are defiantly doubling down on denial,” Hamparian said in his comments. “Prime Minister Davutoglu’s fake apology today grants no recognition, accepts no responsibility, expresses no regret, and offers no reparations.”
“On April 24th, President Obama has a historic opportunity to reject Turkey’s gag-rule, ending a shameful chapter of U.S. complicity in Ankara’s denial, and moving Turkey, Armenia, and the region toward a better future based upon a truthful and just resolution of this crime.”
In his statement on Monday, Davutoglu said Turkey “shares the pain of Armenians whose parents or grandparents were killed under the Ottoman Empire during World War I.”
“We once again respectfully remember and share the pain of grandchildren and children of Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives during deportation in 1915,” Davutoglu said, avoiding any mentions of massacres, let alone genocide.
The relatively calm tone of the statement contrasts with the furious reactions from Ankara early this month when Pope Francis and the European Parliament used the term genocide to describe the killings.
Davutoglu had on April 12 lashed out at Pope Francis for what he described as “inappropriate” and “one-sided” comments on the issue. He pointed the finger at European countries who he said had committed many crimes against humanity, mentioning the ousting of Muslims from Spain five hundred years ago.
Threats from Ankara were also followed by accusations and insults, including some in the Turkish Foreign Minister’s comments when he called Argentinians “brainwashed” and accused the country of harboring Nazis in the past.
Davutoglu said Turks and Armenians should “heal their wounds from that century and reestablish their human relations.”
The statement echoed a similar one from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who last April offered “condolences” to the Armenian people, while in the same manner failing to admit any fault or any recognition of crimes against humanity.