Turkey condemns Armenia president's 'invitation' remarks

Turkish presidential spokesperson calls Armenian president's remarks on Turkey's invitation for Battle of Canakkale commemoration 'unacceptable'

Turkish presidential spokesperson calls Armenian president's remarks on Turkey's invitation for Battle of Canakkale commemoration 'unacceptable'

ANKARA – Turkey’s presidential spokesman has said Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s statement in regards to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s invitation for the commemoration of the Battle of Canakkale is contrary to diplomatic practices and is ‘unacceptable.’

Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told AA correspondent on Saturday that it was known that the Armenian government was trying to turn the year 2015 into an international campaign against Turkey and Turks, and to this end Yerevan was ready to make statements that contained insults and hate speech and violated diplomatic practices.

Kalin said that Armenian President Sargsyan’s remarks on January 29, 2015 at the “State Commission for the Coordination of 100th Anniversary Events” in Yerevan about Erdogan's invitation earlier in January was “a new manifestation of this unfortunate attitude.”

“It is impossible for us to accept these expressions that target the president’s invitation to Armenia and that are in contravention of diplomatic practices. We return these remarks that are unbecoming of a statesman to Mr. Sargsyan,” Kalin said.

President Sargsyan reportedly denounced President Erdogan's invitation as a "short-sighted" attempt to overshadow the hundredth anniversary of the events of 1915, according to ArmeniaNow.com.

The spokesman further said: “Turkey will continue to stand against all attempts to manipulate a one-sided view of history through exploitative politicking. Our President called on historians for the establishment of a “Common History Commission” in 2005 to examine Turkey and Armenia’s common history and ensured the signing of 2009 protocols that paved the way for the normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations. As a continuation of this peaceful and constructive attitude, he issued a condolence message addressing all Armenians on April 23, 2014.

“With these brave and extraordinary steps, a clear position has been established against policies based on exploiting the pain of 1915. But on every occasion, Armenia gave no response to these moves by Turkey.”

Kalin also added that the Armenian government was welcoming towards neither having a fair discussion for the events of 1915 nor ending the occupation in Nagorno-Karabakh to normalize its relations with Turkey and Azerbaijan and to establish peace and stability in the region. 

“This attitude is particularly damaging to Armenia and Armenians,” he said.

Emphasizing that irrespective of what happened Turkey had been taking many steps for the benefit of both its Armenian citizens and the state of Armenia, Kalin said: “The long-established Turkish-Armenian friendship will continue to survive despite the provocations of radical groups.”

He said that it appeared unrealistic to expect Turkey’s sincere steps to be appreciated by President Sargsyan and his administration.

“The Armenian government’s shallow and hateful discourse seems incapable of grasping the meaning of the Battle of Canakkale,” Kalin said.

He added that the 100th anniversary of the battle -- which stands as an epic victory by the Anatolian people -- and the memory of the martyrs would be marked with an international ceremony.

Stressing that Canakkale land and see battles have been commemorated on March 18 and April 24-25 for years, Kalin said that this year the centennial ceremony would be conducted with the highest participation at the national and international level, and it would issue a message of peace and brotherhood to the world.

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