Saturday, January 17, 2015

Armenia’s Sargsyan rejects invitation to Gallipoli centenary (ANZAC Day)

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has rebuffed an invitation by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to ceremonies marking the centenary of the Battle of Gallipoli in Çanakkale in late April, which coincides with the Armenian remembrance day.

With plans to hold massive ceremonies to mark the centenary of the Battle of Gallipoli on April 23 and 24, Erdoğan had sent out invitations to the leaders of 102 countries, including Armenian President Sargsyan and U.S. President Barack Obama.  

In a letter addressed to Erdoğan, Sargsyan recalled an invitation handed to Erdoğan for the events to be held to mark the 100th anniversary of the 1915 mass killing of Armenians, considered as “genocide” by Armenia.

“Your Excellency, a few months ago, I invited you to visit Yerevan on April 24, 2015 to honor memory of the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide together,” Sargsyan said in the letter. “We have no tradition of visiting a guest without receiving a response to our own invitation.”

Sargsyan also ciriticized Turkey’s “traditional policy of denial,” while also questioning the timing of the Gallipoli event.

“The 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli for the first time this year falls on 24 April, in the case when it started on March 18, 1915 and continued till the end of January 1916,” wrote the Armenian president.

“Meanwhile, the operation of the Allies started on 25 April. What purpose is pursued, if not to divert world attention from the activities marking centennial of the Armenian Genocide? Prior to initiating commemoration events, Turkey had much more important responsibility towards their people and all mankind – recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide,” he said.....................




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