Turkey's Armenians receive Erdogan’s condolences
Thursday, April 24, 2014
ISTANBUL - The Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey gladly received Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s condolences to the descendants of Armenians who lost their lives in the events of 1915, according to a statement released by the General Vicar on Thursday.
Erdogan released the message on Wednesday ahead of the anniversary of the events of 1915, which led to an unknown number of people dying in civil strife after the Ottoman Empire approved a deportation law for Armenians on April 24 of that year.
"Inhuman consequences, such as deportations, should not hamper efforts to establish empathy, mutual human attitudes and behaviors between Turks and Armenians," Erdogan said.
The message was well received by the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey, who considered this statement a door that "opens into a positive future" between the two communities.
"Mr. Erdogan, with this message, has opened a new page in Turkish-Armenian relations and has showed his respect for the bitter war memories of Muslim and non-Muslim Ottoman citizens," Archbishop Aram Ateshyan said.
"The hate and hatred speeches should be left so that the two communities can embrace each other," the statement also said.
According to the statement, the Armenian Patriarchate of Turkey considers the Erdogan’s message regarding the events of 1915 a "keystone for a bridge to be built between the peoples of Turkey and Armenia."
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.
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