Saturday 26 May 2018

Turkey 'ready to confront' slaughter

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara. Reuters
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara. Reuters

Associated Press

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that his nation was ready to "confront" the nation's history of killing ethnic Armenians nearly a century ago, but stopped short of admitting it was genocide.

In a weekly speech in parliament addressing his ruling party's legislators, Mr Erdogan reiterated a call for Armenia and Armenians living abroad to participate in research with Turkey to document precisely what happened.

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event widely viewed by scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey, however, denies that the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated, and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest.

"We are saying, let's wipe away the tears, push prejudices to one side, and reveal historic truths . . . in an objective manner," Mr Erdogan said.

"I hope that Armenia and the Armenian diaspora recognise our courageous step and reciprocate," he said.

Irish Independent

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