Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday called on the international community to strongly condemn Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s comments on the Armenian genocide.
“Armenia urges the international community to strongly condemn the insult and injury to the memory and dignity of the victims of genocide and their survivors,” the ministry said.
The statement was released in reaction to a tweet by Erdoğan’s presidential office on Wednesday.
“The relocation of the Armenian gangs and their supporters, who massacred the Muslim people, including women and children, in eastern Anatolia, was the most reasonable action that could be taken in such a period,” the Turkish president said, adding, “The doors of our archives are wide open to all seeking the truth.”
Armenia said the tweet reflects the Turkish government’s policy of “denialism” and accused Turkey of “trying to introduce a religious dimension to its ‘denialist’ narrative.”
April 24 is considered to be the start of the mass deportation of Armenians carried out by the Ottoman Empire in 1915, which, according to historians resulted in the death of up to 1.5 million Armenians.
France, which is home to an estimated 500,000 ethnic Armenians, officially recognized the World War I-era mass slaughter and deportation of up to 1.5 million Armenians as genocide in 2001. At least 22 other countries, including Germany, have taken a similar step.
Armenia argues the mass killings were one of the first examples of genocide in modern history, predating the Holocaust in Nazi Germany which resulted in the mass murder of more than 6 million Jews during World War II.
Turkey objects, saying that Armenians died in much smaller numbers and because of civil strife rather than a planned, systemic effort by the Ottoman Empire against the Christian minority.