Turkish Press Review

Friday, April 25, 2014

Turkish dailies on Friday covering local and international reflections on the Turkish PM's condolences to Armenians who died in 1915

Turkish dailies on Friday covering local and international reflections on the Turkish PM's condolences to Armenians who died in 1915

ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

Most Turkish dailies on Friday covered domestic and international reactions to the statement by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing the anniversary of the events of 1915, during which an unknown number of people died during civil conflict after officials in the Ottoman Empire approved a deportation law for Armenians on April 24, 1915.

On Wednesday, Erdogan extended condolences to the grandchildren of the Armenian Ottoman victims of the events of 1915, also mentioning other Ottoman citizens who perished during World War I.

"Regardless of their ethnic or religious origins, we pay tribute with compassion and respect to all Ottoman citizens who lost their lives in the events of 1915," he said in a written message published in nine languages, including Armenian, English, French, German, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic and Russian.

Daily SABAH ran the headline "Unique reconciliation," saying a number of world-known newspapers and TV channels from Europe and U.S. to China and Japan praised Erdogan's 'historic condolences'.

"Erdogan's comments may well be an important step in reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia, the beginning of a dialogue about a tragic moment in history," the daily quotes The Washington Post. The paper also covers The Guardian quoting Erdogan as saying the issue should not be used for political gains.

"We welcome the condolences which alleviate our pains," daily SABAH quotes Deputy Patriarch Archbishop Aram Atesyan of the Turkish-Armenian Patriarchate in response to Erdogan's message.

Daily YENI SAFAK also covered international responses to Erdogan's statement under the headline "World said Amen," says both U.S. and EU officials welcomed the message, adding Archbishop Atesyan said "Amen" to Erdogan's wishes.

"Brave step broke the routine," is how daily STAR covered international responses, saying this is first time in Turkish history for a Turkish PM to share the pain of Armenians. "Erdogan's condolences have started a new period in Turkey's foreign policy," the paper says.

"Now the ball is in their court," ran headline in the daily MILLIYET, citing Turkish PM as saying Turkey had established their position concerning the issue. According to the paper, Erdogan says they will continue to make further humane gestures and has sent a message to Armenia saying 'Now the ball is in your court.'

Daily RADIKAL says the second step is granting citizenship to the grandchildren of the Armenian Ottoman victims of the events of 1915. The daily says the issue is on the political agenda, adding the foreign ministry will discuss a proposal to offer citizenship to the descendants of Armenians.

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