Turkish Deputy PM blasts Putin's remark over 1915 events

Turkish Deputy PM blasts Putin's remark over 1915 events
01:07 25 Aprel 2015
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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan Friday has called on VladimirPutin to condemn killings in Syria after Vladimir Putin described the 1915 events as "genocide", Anadolu agency reported.

Putin used the word "genocide" to qualify what happened to Armenians during the First World War in a statement released on the Kremlin's website Thursday.

“April 24, 1915, is a mournful date, related to one of the most horrendous and dramatic events in human history, the genocide of the Armenian people,” Putin said in a letter called "World Without Genocide."

"Hundreds of thousands of people were killed in Syria. I wish Putin could have made a statement about it and condemned (Bashar Al-) Assad and shared these pains," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan said Friday in response to Putin’s statement.

"Armenians were a really honorable part (...) of the Ottoman (Empire). And today, the Republic of Turkey has very honorable Armenian citizens," he said. "This kind of statement (...) neither contributes to Armenian-Turkish relations nor benefits the future of Armenians living (here)."

Davutoglu also reacted to Putin's statement. "Any position that disturbs and insults our history, abuses our trust," he said on Friday.

Putin was among the leaders, along with French President Francois Hollande, who were in Armenia's capital, Yerevan, to participate in the events marking the 100th anniversary of the 1915 events.

Regarding the German parliament's controversial motion concerning the 1915 events, Davutoglu said it was "unacceptable."

German lawmakers from governing parties and the opposition submitted Friday draft parliamentary motions to parliament which labeled the incidents in 1915 as “genocide.”

On Thursday, German President Joachim Gauck referred to the 1915 tragedy as “genocide” at a memorial service at the historical Berlin Cathedral.

On Wednesday, Turkey summoned its ambassador in Vienna hours after the Austrian Parliament described the 1915 events as "genocide."

Last week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution recognizing the 1915 events as "genocide." It came three days after Pope Francis also called the 1915 incidents a "genocide," drawing sharp criticism from the Turkish government.

The 1915 events took place during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and revolted.

Turkey has called for the establishment of a joint commission of historians and the opening of archives to study and uncover what happened between the Ottoman Empire and its Armenian citizens.

The relocation by the Ottomans of Armenians in eastern Anatolia following the revolts resulted in numerous casualties. Turkey does not dispute that there were casualties on both sides, but rejects the definition of "genocide."

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