Erdogan explains who committed genocide against whom
Summing up the results of 2017 for Armenia, many experts note that it was not successful for Yerevan in foreign policy terms. "Have we achieved the desired solution in Karabakh? - No! Was the 'Armenian Genocide' condemned by all countries of the world, in particular, Turkey? - No! Did Armenia become the best partner and global player in other areas? - No !" - the Executive Director of the International Center for Human Development Tevan Poghosyan lists the failures. Were these failures unexpected? No! Why? Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said about it in his speech on the "genocide" as early as on April 24:
"[The authorities of Armenia] declare 'the massacre of Christians', 'the massacre of Armenians'. Based on what do you make that claim? This is a dirty approach! What evidence do you have for such a conclusion? ... We opened all our archives. More than a million documents related to this issue were declared. If there are any proofs in the Armenian archives, let them disclose them as well. Let's declare them too. We suggest involving archaeologists, historians, politicians and lawyers to investigate and study the issue. If there are appropriate documents in the archives of third countries, let us consider them as well. Only after that we, politicians, must negotiate and make a judgement. You can't go accusing Turkey of the 1915 'genocide' without documentary evidence. It does no one credit.
In our society, there has never been anything remotely resembling "genocide." Therefore, we cannot agree with these accusations. We are ready to discuss this issue. At any time on the basis of facts and documents. We advise Armenia to prepare in a similar way. But they will not make us to accept the accusations of genocide through backstage lobbying in parliaments of different countries. You can label us, but we will never accept it. Provide evidence, and after that, if necessary, we will answer for our history. I tell it with all responsibility".
Responding to the former minister of foreign affairs of Armenia Vardan Oskanian's statements that "the inclusion of the international recognition of the 'Armenian Genocide' in the Ottoman Turkey into Yerevan's foreign policy agenda was the result of the foreign policy pursued by Robert Kocharian in 1998-2008, and at the same time Yerevan maintained all possible diplomatic contacts with Turkey," but then tensions have begun, Erdogan noted:" When I was appointed Prime Minister (in the spring of 2003), there was no air service between Armenia and Turkey. But when I was appointed, I opened the air corridor. Now there is a regular freight service between Armenia and Istanbul ... In the east of my country there is Lake Van. There is Akdamar Island in this lake, which has an Armenian (belonging to the Armenian citizens of our country) church. This church was destroyed, but we restored and renewed this church. Its doors are open to Armenian citizens and tourists. It was a gesture of goodwill. Now more than 40 thousand Armenians live in Turkey who came here from abroad. Why did they move to my country? Because there are no problems between us and our Armenian citizens. We have wonderful relations within the country. Turkey is a country of peace and friendship! That is why they move here. "
Touching upon the issue of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement, Erdogan expressed the opinion that "the decision is delayed by the Minsk Group, which is not able to resolve the issue."
"But the world has already realized that Armenia is an occupier in Nagorno-Karabakh. You must free Karabakh! Withdraw your troops! Give an opportunity to tens, hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis to return to their native lands. If you are so concerned about a constructive approach in this matter, then show empathy for these people. Let this be your contribution to a peaceful settlement! Who is occupying whom? Who drove whom from whose lands? Who did commit genocide against whom? The events in Nagorno-Karabakh clearly and unambiguously demonstrate the answer."