Turkish: Nothing in our history embarrasses us

Volkan Bozir, the Turkish EU Minister and Chief negotiator said that historical incidents should not be used as political tools

Turkish: Nothing in our history embarrasses us

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Turkish nation is comfortable because there is no point in Turkish history or in Ottoman history which would embarrass us, Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkir has said in an interview on the channel Euronews Thursday.

“Historical incidents should not be used as political tools,” Bozkir said. “Politicians cannot make decisions about historical events.”

Last week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution recognizing the 1915 events as "genocide." It came three days after Pope Francis also called the 1915 incidents a "genocide," drawing sharp criticism from the Turkish government. 

On Wednesday, Turkey summoned its ambassador in Vienna hours after the Austrian Parliament described the 1915 events as "genocide."

“In the World War I years millions were killed. Maybe it should be analysed from a perspective starting in 1870 and going to the 1920s. Great pain was experienced. This is not only about our Armenian brothers. In this atmosphere Turks also suffered as well as the Kurds,” Bozkir said.

Bozkir said that "any academic from any part of the world, say Canadian, Swedish, German, Armenian, or American can come and research our archives."

“Armenia has not opened its archives. Turkish academics cannot go and study the Armenian archives. The Armenian president does not let Armenian academics to study Ottoman archives. This is the situation we face,” he said.

The 1915 events took place during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and revolted. 

The relocation by the Ottomans of Armenians in eastern Anatolia following the revolts resulted in numerous casualties. Turkey does not dispute that there were casualties on both sides, but rejects the definition of "genocide."

Last Mod: 24 Nisan 2015, 10:04
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