Press Release Regarding The Statement Of The Armenian President On 29 January 2015

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 31.01.2015

No: 45, 31 January 2015

The ceremonies commemorating the Battle of Canakkale, one of the milestones of our recent history are important as they demonstrate that nations who fought each other in the past can commemorate their losses together in a friendly and peaceful environment.

Being fortunate to have reached such a level of maturity, Turkey has sent out an invitation to Armenia, as well, to ensure that the Armenians who lost their lives in this territory are remembered and duly represented at the Centenary of the Battle of Canakkale.

The Battle of Çanakkale, during the World War I, epidomizes the great sufferings and the great losses of all the nations of the Empire, in particular those of the Turks. Accordingly, Turkey certainly knows the sufferings of the Armenians and shares sincerely their pain, rather than denying. In fact, this humane approach of Turkey was clearly communicated in the message of condolence dated 23 April 2014, and the message kindly reminded these two ancient nations of the attitude that should prevail for friendship and peace. Moreover, the call to the Armenians we have made on 20 January 2015 on the anniversary of the passing away of Hrant Dink, an esteemed intellectual of Anatolia, is yet another indication of our constructive approach.

However, we have regretfully noted that the statement made by the Armenian President on 29 January 2015 in Yerevan, once again overlooks these humane, reasonable and realistic initiatives of Turkey and that our invitation, as well as the hand extended to them is being rejected in an inappropriate manner.

We strongly condemn this tone which befits neither a leader of a neighbouring state, nor a representative of the ancient Armenian nation.

Taking this opportunity, we re-invite the Armenian Administration, assuming that by mobilizing all mechanisms of the state and allocating all its means with the aim of transforming 2015 into a year of hatred against Turkey and the Turkish people, it can prevent the Armenian people and the world public opinion from focusing on the current issues of the country, to act in prudence.

Although the narratives of the Turks and Armenians regarding their common history differ, it is important and possible for them to address the issue through dialogue, in a just and open-minded manner. Turkey will continue to do its part, and will resist any initiative aiming to endorse a unilateral interpretation of history in violation of international law and in contravention of the freedom of speech which is the cornerstone of democracy.

It is not surprising that radical Armenian circles, having used terrorism in the past and currently maintaining an outdated rethoric to address this historic issue, exploit the sufferings of the past. What is surprising is the similar attitude of those who are in charge of governing the State.

Nevertheless, this archaic approach of the Armenian Administration will not discourage Turkey from embracing the Armenian people and the Armenian diaspora which we see as the Anatolian diaspora. Turkey will resolutely continue to take decent steps in this regard.

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