Armenian president says ErdoIan sabotaging ’genocide’ anniversary with WWI events

Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan has harshly criticized events set to be held on April 24 commemorating the centenary of the anakkale Campaign of World War I, saying President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan is aiming to sabotage the 100th anniversary of what Armenia claims was a genocide against their people at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire. In his remarks to the France 24 news portal, Sarksyan said Armenia would like to commemorate the 100th anniversary of th

Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan has harshly criticized events set to be held on April 24 commemorating the centenary of the andCcedilanakkale Campaign of World War I, saying President Recep Tayyip ErdoIan is aiming to sabotage the 100th anniversary of what Armenia claims was a genocide against their people at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire.

In his remarks to the France 24 news portal, Sarksyan said Armenia would like to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the andldquoenocideandrdquo with the Turkish people, and that the basis of peace protocols signed in 2009 to normalize ties between Turkey and Armenia was also formed with this goal.

andldquoMy aim in inviting President ErdoIan [to the anniversary of the events of 1915] was Turkey and representation during the commemoration events in Armenia However, we have been met with an act of denial,andrdquo Sarksyan was quoted as saying by the Cihan news agency.

Turkey announced it will host international events to commemorate the centennial of the Gallipoli Campaign on April 24, a date that coincides with the annual commemoration of what Armenians claim was an act of genocide on Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the years of World War I

More than 100 countries, including Armenia, were invited to the events in andCcedilanakkale, but Sarksyan swiftly dismissed the invitation, saying in an open letter addressed to ErdoIan that it is an attempt to distract the worldand#39s attention from the 100th anniversary of the alleged genocide.

andldquoThe Gallipoli Campaign of World War I neither started on April 24 nor ended on April 24.

This is a step that has hurt the Armenian nation,andrdquo Sarksyan said. He also argued that Turkey is trying to create obstacles for the 100th anniversary of the andldquoArmenian genocideandrdquo by holding the events commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I on the same day.

The Armenian president stressed that the number of countries that recognize the events of 1915 as genocide is increasing day by day. He said ErdoIan is aware of this fact and has attempted to hinder the 100th anniversary of the andldquoenocide.

andrdquo

Sarksyan said the commemoration events are not anti-Turkish, underlining that Armenia and aim is to call on the international community to stand against genocide.

Sarksyan also voiced concerns about developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, adding that Armenia is ready for combat if necessary.

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh erupted in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Some 30,000 people died in the war before a cease-fire was called in 1994.

Attempts at securing lasting peace have failed, despite mediation led by France, Russia and the United States.

Nagorno-Karabakh has run its own affairs with heavy military and financial backing from Armenia since 1994.

Armenian-backed forces also hold seven Azeri districts surrounding the region.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman