Turkey ready to take required steps if ‘found guilty’ of Armenian killings

ISTANBUL — In an interview with the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), Erdogan said on Thursday that the Armenian diaspora is pushing for the acknowledgement of the 1915 events at the end of the World War l to be recognized as genocide in other countries and is trying to create pressure for Turkey, but this issue needs to be handled by the historians, Today’s Zamman daily reports.

Erdogan also said Armenians have a strong lobby around the world and it is a fact that Turkey’s exerting efforts against them is somewhat weak on this issue.

He said Turkey has opened its archives and is ready to do what is necessary. “We don’t have to acknowledge the so-called Armenian genocide by the order of others. What we say is, if you are sincere about this discussion, leave this issue to the historians and let them work on it,” said Erdogan

Accusing Turkey of committing genocide is a form of execution without trial, Erdogan has indicated, while also stating that Ankara is “ready to pay for any misdeed” if an “impartial board of historians” concludes that it was at fault for the events of 1915.

“We are not obliged to accept that the so-called Armenian genocide was ‘made-to-order. We are saying, if you are sincere on this matter, then come, let’s leave this to historians, let historians study the issue, let’s open our archives,’” Erdogan said

“We have opened our archive. We have revealed more than one million documents on this. If Armenia also has an archive, then they should open it too. If third countries have archives, they should do the same. Let them study and then let them present their reports to us. Then let’s sit around the table as politicians,” he added, referring to his proposal in 2005 for the establishment of a joint commission of historians and experts from both Turkey and Armenia to study the events of 1915 together.

“If the results reveal that we have committed a crime, if we have a price to pay, then as Turkey we would assess it and take the required steps,” Erdogan said.

“But let’s be careful here. The 1915 events are out in the open as history. The State of the Republic of Turkey is out in the open. Our archives have been opened and are out in the open, but the archives on the opposite side are not open. They are just saying ‘Turkey is guilty,’ but Turkey is not guilty just by saying so,” he added.

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