Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Published A Message On The Events Of 1915

Burgaz Başkonsolosluğu 25.04.2014
The unofficial translation of the message of The Prime Minister of The Republic
of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on the events of 1915;

“The 24th of
April carries a particular significance for our Armenian citizens and for all
Armenians around the world, and provides a valuable opportunity to share
opinions freely on a historical matter.

It is indisputable that the last
years of the Ottoman Empire were a difficult period, full of suffering for
Turkish, Kurdish, Arab, Armenian and millions of other Ottoman citizens,
regardless of their religion or ethnic origin.

Any conscientious, fair
and humanistic approach to these issues requires an understanding of all the
sufferings endured in this period, without discriminating as to religion or

Certainly, neither constructing hierarchies of pain nor
comparing and contrasting suffering carries any meaning for those who
experienced this pain themselves.

As a Turkish proverb goes, “fire burns
the place where it falls”.

It is a duty of humanity to acknowledge that
Armenians remember the suffering experienced in that period, just like every
other citizen of the Ottoman Empire.

In Turkey, expressing different
opinions and thoughts freely on the events of 1915 is the requirement of a
pluralistic perspective as well as of a culture of democracy and

Some may perceive this climate of freedom in Turkey as an
opportunity to express accusatory, offensive and even provocative assertions and

Even so, if this will enable us to better understand
historical issues with their legal aspects and to transform resentment to
friendship again, it is natural to approach different discourses with empathy
and tolerance and expect a similar attitude from all sides.

The Republic
of Turkey will continue to approach every idea with dignity in line with the
universal values of law.

Nevertheless, using the events of 1915 as an
excuse for hostility against Turkey and turning this issue into a matter of
political conflict is inadmissible.

The incidents of the First World War
are our shared pain. To evaluate this painful period of history through a
perspective of just memory is a humane and scholarly

Millions of people of all religions and ethnicities lost
their lives in the First World War. Having experienced events which had inhumane
consequences - such as relocation - during the First World War, should not
prevent Turks and Armenians from establishing compassion and mutually humane
attitudes among towards one another.

In today’s world, deriving enmity
from history and creating new antagonisms are neither acceptable nor useful for
building a common future.

The spirit of the age necessitates dialogue
despite differences, understanding by heeding others, evaluating means for
compromise, denouncing hatred, and praising respect and tolerance.

this understanding, we, as the Turkish Republic, have called for the
establishment of a joint historical commission in order to study the events of
1915 in a scholarly manner. This call remains valid. Scholarly research to be
carried out by Turkish, Armenian and international historians would play a
significant role in shedding light on the events of 1915 and an accurate
understanding of history.

It is with this understanding that we have
opened our archives to all researchers. Today, hundreds of thousands of
documents in our archives are at the service of historians.

Looking to
the future with confidence, Turkey has always supported scholarly and
comprehensive studies for an accurate understanding of history. The people of
Anatolia, who lived together for centuries regardless of their different ethnic
and religious origins, have established common values in every field from art to
diplomacy, from state administration to commerce. Today they continue to have
the same ability to create a new future.

It is our hope and belief that
the peoples of an ancient and unique geography, who share similar customs and
manners will be able to talk to each other about the past with maturity and to
remember together their losses in a decent manner. And it is with this hope and
belief that we wish that the Armenians who lost their lives in the context of
the early twentieth century rest in peace, and we convey our condolences to
their grandchildren.

Regardless of their ethnic or religious origins, we
pay tribute, with compassion and respect, to all Ottoman citizens who lost their
lives in the same period and under similar condition


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