Saturday, March 21, 2015

Armenia's Sargsyan slams Erdogan’s absence at genocide centennial

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to change this year’s Gallipoli commemoration to coincide with Armenia’s marking of the 100th anniversary of the genocide was a “cynical act”.

On April 24, Armenia is set to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian genocide, which saw the deportation and deaths of up to 1.5 million Armenians during World War I.

“Our intention was to commemorate the centennial together with the Turkish people,” explained Sargsyan, noting that it was the reason his government invited the Turkish leader to attend the commemorations.

Instead, Erdogan chose the same day to invite his Armenian counterpart to the centennial of the Gallipoli campaign, which marked a major World War I victory for the Ottoman forces against Allied troops, mostly from Australian and New Zealand. The date of their landing -- known as “Anzac Day” -- is marked on April 25 every year.

Turkey has long denied the mass deportation and killings of Armenian subjects of the Ottoman empire constituted genocide, claiming instead that they were the consequences of inter-ethnic violence inflamed during wartime.

Erdogan’s decision to change the date of the Gallipoli ceremonies to coincide with the Armenian centennial commemoration has drawn a sharp rebuke from Sargsyan.

“Unfortunately, once again we find ourselves facing a negationist approach and I’m sorry to use this expression, but it is a particularly cynical act. The Battle of Gallipoli did not start of April 24 [1915], nor did it end on April 24, it’s self-evident. This is a way of injuring, of wounding the Armenian people and at the same time, it is intended to set obstacles on the path to centennial commemorations [of the Armenian genocide],” said Sargsyan.

The April 24 ceremonies will be attended by a number of world leaders, including French President François Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin.






1 comment :

  1. American Turks have launched the “Let History Decide” campaign in the U.S. to counter Armenian allegations over the events of 1915 involving the Ottoman Empire during World War I....

    The campaign has been organized by the Turkish American Steering Committee, which consists of 145 Turkish American organizations. Several events have been planned under the campaign that will take place in different parts of the U.S., including Washington DC, New York and Texas.

    The main slogan of the campaign is: “Unite us, not divide us.” According to the Turkish American Steering Committee’s website, a peace and solidarity walk is being organized on April 24 in Washington DC, which will begin in front of the White House and end at the Turkish Embassy.

    After the walk, American Turks and their campaign supporters will remain in front of the embassy in response to the Armenian groups, who too gather there on April 24 each year to “occupy the sidewalk,” a committee representative says..............


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