Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday lashed out at the European Union and world leaders who have recognized the 1915 massacres of Armenians as genocide on the centenary of the events.
Erdogan accused the leaders of France, Germany and Russia of “supporting claims based on Armenian lies” after they described the slaughter of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide — which Turkey strongly objects to.
During commemoration ceremonies in Armenia on Friday, French President Francois Hollande urged modern-day Turkey to recognize the massacre as genocide while Russian President Vladimir Putin too used the controversial label though only once.
The statements were immediately condemned by the Turkish foreign ministry, which also lashed out against the “unfounded accusations” of German President Joachim Gauck, who qualified the mass killings as genocide a day before the centenary.
“We would have wished that Putin had not gone to Armenia, nor Mr Hollande” Erdogan told a meeting of businessmen in Istanbul in comments broadcast by Turkish television.
“The last countries to speak of genocide are Germany, Russia and France. What happened during the two world wars that had been initiated by Germany in the past century is before our eyes,” he said. .. see more