The message issued by the Turkish president on the occasion of April 24 is “yet another failed manifestation of denialism”, Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan said, commenting on the statement by Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“[This is] an explicit attempt to put the responsibility for the genocide committed by the authorities of the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians on the Armenians themselves. Turkey continues its efforts towards equalizing the victims of war and those who became victims of a genocide that was pre-planned and perpetrated on the state level,” Kocharyan emphasized.
“Turkey’s denialist stance further deepens the gap between the Armenian and Turkish people, while the best way to fill it is facing history and repentance.”
In his statement read out by Archbishop Aram Ateshian, the Vicar of the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, during a liturgy at the Holy Virgin Mary church of Istanbul, Erdogan once again referred to the “common pain” shared by Turks and Armenians, stressing that the near 1,000-year-old “culture of cohabitation between Turks and Armenians” would always be remembered.
“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 said, in particular.
“With this in mind, I once again commemorate the Ottoman Armenians who passed away and extend my condolences to their children and grandchildren.”
Erdogan already made a similar statement on April 24, 2015, when Armenians marked the centennial of the genocide, as well as the previous year. It was discarded by Armenia as genocide denialism back then, too.