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Turkey rejects Trump’s description of 1915 events

ANKARA, Turkey on Wednesday rejected US President Donald Trump’s “inaccurate expressions and the subjective interpretation of history” regarding the 1915 events, according to a statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as “genocide,” but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides. Turkey’s expectation from the US administration was a “fair assessment of a period during which all the peoples of the Ottoman Empire suffered tremendously,” Anadolu News Agency quoted the statement as saying.

The statement reminded President Trump that “during the same period, more than 500,000 Muslims were slaughtered as a result of the events in which Armenian insurgents took part”.

It added that Turkey continues to offer the establishment of a Joint Historical Commission “in order to shed light on this painful period of history and has opened its archives to researchers”.

The statement said that Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives during World War I were commemorated on April 24 in a ceremony held at the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul “suiting the respect they deserve and befitting the 800-year long friendship between Turks and Armenians”.

It also recommended that US administration consider the message of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the Armenian Church in Istanbul during the commemoration ceremony “addressing the descendants of Ottoman Armenians, which reflects Turkey’s approach to this sensitive issue”.

Besides all these points, we think it is in line with common sense that the statement made by the US president remained within international legal norms and did not refer to baseless genocide allegations,” it added.

Ankara does not accept the alleged genocide, but acknowledges that there were casualties on both sides during the events of World War I. Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to tackle the issue.

Source: Kuwait News Agency