ANKARA — President of Turkey said Armenia had fixed April 24 date to coincide with the anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli.
In a weekend interview with the France 24 TV channel,Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli Battles and “we are in no position to obtain permission from Armenia”.
Erdogan denied any ulterior motives behind that timing. “It is a date in history and it has nothing to do with the ceremonies in Armenia. Quite on the contrary, they fixed their ceremonies to coincide with our date,” Erdogan said.
Speaking about problems between Armenia and Turkey, he said it was Ankara that always “took a positive step”and “extended our hand in peace”.
In a related issue Erdogan has attempted to prevent Russian President Vladimir Putin’s participation in the April 24 official ceremonies in Yerevan that will mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Erdogan has phoned his Russian counterpart and discussed the genocide issue with him on March 17. Erdogan told Putin that the issue should be tackled from a “fair perspective.”