On Genocide anniversary, Erdogan honors victims with vague wording

On Genocide anniversary, Erdogan honors victims with vague wording

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday, April 24 commemorated the lives of Armenians lost in the Genocide of 1915, citing the massacres as “tragic conditions” of the war.

The statement was read out by the head of the Armenian church in Turkey at an Istanbul ceremony to remember those who died in the early years of World War I, Anadolu Agency reports.

“I welcome this commemoration which is taking place once again in Turkey to share the grief endured by the Ottoman Armenians, as well as to honor their memories,” he said.

Erdogan said the near 1,000-year-old “culture of cohabitation between Turks and Armenians” would always be remembered.

“I honor the Ottoman Armenians who passed away and extend my condolences to their children and grandchildren,” he added in the statement, read by Patriarch Aram Ateshyan.

The president went on the pay tribute to all Ottoman citizens “regardless of their ethnic or religious origins” who lost their lives.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres and deportations, involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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