Turkey hopes call on 1915 'will not hang in the air'

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Turkey's offer of joint research 'is a call for Armenia that we hope to be answered' says FM

Turkey's offer of joint research 'is a call for Armenia that we hope to be answered' says FM

ANKARA - The Turkish foreign minister has expressed hope that Turkey's call for a joint academic research on the events of 1915 to Armenia "will not hang in the air".

Turkey's move "is a call for Armenia that we hope to be answered," Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters on Wednesday, referring to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's offer.

Turkey has called for the research of the 1915 events to be carried out by a commission of Turkish, Armenian and international historians, the Turkish Prime Ministry said in a statement earlier on Wednesday ahead of the anniversary of the events. 

The 1915 events took place during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and uprose against the Ottoman authority. The uprisings were followed by a relocation decision of the Ottoman Empire concerning Armenians living in eastern Anatolia.

As a result, an unknown number of people died amid civil strife.

 "History isn't just black and white - a grey area is needed. Everyone needs to show virtue by sharing the pains of the past," Davutoglu said at a reception held in Ankara for Turkey's April 23 National Sovereignty and Children's Day. 

- 'Humanitarian attitude'

Davutoglu said Turkey's move could be surprising to some, adding: "However, everyone is aware of Turkey's humanitarian and universal attitude towards the pains of humanity." 

He said Turkey and Armenia had wanted to hold talks concerning the 1915 events in 2009 when an accord was signed to normalize relations.

"Turkey sees all losses regardless of ethnicity and religion as the losses of humanity," he added.

He said Turkey did not make Wednesday's statement under pressure and it did not have a cyclical dimension.

"We call on Armenia not only to display a common and humanitarian attitude, but also to build a future together," he said. "I am sure our call will not be left hanging in the air."

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