Yerevan Calls Erdogan’s April 24 Address ‘Denial’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

YEREVAN—Armenia called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement issued on April 24 a “failed expression of denialism.”

Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan told a press conference Sunday that the Turkish leader’s policy to equate victims of war with that of a state-planned and perpetrated crime on the same level further increases the wedge between the people of Armenia and Turkey.

“Acknowledging history and making restitution is the best way to overcome the past,” Kocharyan said.

On Sunday, Erdogan issued a statement in which paid tribute to the victims of “tragic conditions” of war. The statement was read at a commemoration event for the Armenian Genocide in Istanbul by the Locum Tenens of the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul, Archbishop Aram Ateshian.

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

“In the lands of Anatolia, where humanitarian duties are never neglected and happiness and grief are sincerely shared, the sense of conscience and justice are held above all,” added Erdogan.

“We will never give up working for amity and peace against those who try to politicize history through a bitter rhetoric of hate and enmity and strive to alienate the two neighboring nations, who are bound with their common history and their similar traditions,” he added.

“With this in mind, I once again commemorate the Ottoman Armenians who passed away and extend my condolences to their children and grandchildren,” said Erdogan who went on the pay tribute to all Ottoman citizens “regardless of their ethnic or religious origins” who lost their lives.

“I would like to reiterate that we share this common pain,” he said.

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