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Türkiye slams use of ‘1915 events’ for political gains

The events of 1915 are turning into a tool for political gain against Türkiye, regardless of historical facts, the country’s communications director has said.

“The events of 1915 are handled unilaterally and used against Türkiye for political purposes,” Fahrettin Altun said on Friday in a video message at The Call for Truth: Historical Facts of the 1915 Events panel held by Türkiye’s Communications Directorate in New York.

Regardless of the historical context, what happened in 1915 is evolving into a “unilateral narrative that is becoming increasingly entrenched,” he said.

He criticised world parliaments that serve their domestic politics by taking unilateral, hasty and superficial decisions and said: “Unfounded allegations regarding the events of 1915 were constantly brought to the forefront by constantly manipulating the international public, both through terrorist activities against our country under the name of ASALA [Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia] and through disinformation.”

Decrying Armenia’s allegations regarding the events of 1915, he said: “The attempt to describe and present the events of 1915 as so-called genocide without any historical and legal justification is nothing more than a slander fueled by political calculations.”

Underlining Türkiye’s efforts for scholarly research and demonstrate the facts to the world, Altun said: “It would be beneficial for both parties to address the events of 1915 in a manner that is constructive and balanced and dialogue-oriented, devoid of ideological approaches based on unilateral acts of third countries.”

Türkiye reiterated its readiness to develop relations with Armenia based on mutual respect and to establish a joint history commission.

“While historical events should be addressed and evaluated in the era in which they occurred, and their solution should be based on legal evidence and witnesses, manipulation and perception management are prevalent in politics, academia and the public,” he said.

Türkiye believes discussing historical events based on concrete evidence rather than speculations can lead to the truth, said Altun.

“We believe that it constitutes an important ground for the fair treatment of what occurred during the First World War, when all the nations of the Ottoman Empire suffered immensely, with a scientific approach, on the basis of international law and history,” he said.

READ MORE: Türkiye: 1915 events being manipulated with baseless allegations

Turkish stance on events of 1915

Turkiye’s position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with the invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces.

A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in unfortunate casualties.

Turkiye objects to the presentation of the incidents as “genocide,” describing them as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkiye and Armenia as well as international experts to tackle the issue.

In 2014, Recep Tayyip Erdogan — then prime minister, now president — expressed condolences to the descendants of Armenians who lost their lives in the events of 1915. 

Turks and Armenians should build a future together: Erdogan

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