Turkish VP: No one can defame Turkey over 1915 events

By Mehmet Tosun

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's vice president on Monday slammed countries which recognize the Armenian allegations on the events of 1915.

“We don't respect the decisions of the parliaments that bow before the Armenian diaspora and ban Turkish views,” Fuat Oktay told a gathering of historians in the capital Ankara.

Underscoring that the efforts to smear Turkey have failed, Oktay said: “Despite all efforts, those who aimed to defame our history by using the events of 1915 did not reach their goals.”

“The slander campaigns, which intensified particularly before 2015, have been pushed back with our country’s stance and the efforts of our official institutions, such as the Turkish Historical Society,” he told the 18th Turkish History Congress at the Bestepe National Congress and Culture Center.

Saying Turkish history is a “whole,” Oktay added: “We do not need to approach our history with a ‘disclaimer of inheritance’ or take a 'revisionist' perspective.”

Turkey's position on the events of 1915 is that deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 occurred after some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Ankara does not accept the alleged "genocide," but acknowledges there were casualties on both sides during World War I.

Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as “genocide” but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to tackle the issue.