ISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday slammed Armenian efforts for greater international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, urging the Armenian diaspora to prove its claims by bringing out documents to support them.
Addressing a meeting in Istanbul, Erdogan said. “The purpose of this campaign against Turkey is to treat our country as an enemy, instead of keeping alive Armenians’ sorrow.”
Erdogan said there “might have been tragedies in the time of war,” but added that thousands of Turks were also killed by the Armenians during the civil strife.
At the target of Erdogan’s statements in Istanbul are the vast numbers of diaspora Armenian groups campaigning for genocide recognition. “Oh Armenian diaspora, oh Armenian administration, our archives are here. We have hundreds of thousands of documents, over a million documents. How many documents do you have? Bring your documents, and we task the historians, political scientists, even archeologists and lawyers [with studying them] … let’s seek the truth here,” he said, adding that, “anti-Turkey campaigns carried out by paying money and forming lobbies will not earn you anything.”
Erdogan’s remarks came soon after more than 40 members of the US House of Representatives introduced a draft resolution in the US Congress describing the killings of the Armenians a century ago as genocide. The parliaments of several countries have already passed resolutions supporting the Armenian claims in recent years.
“The truth should be sought in the archives,” Erdogan said, accusing the Armenians of not responding to Turkey’s call to examine the archives and uncover the truth of the history.
“Our calls are not answered because the aim is not to explore the facts. We have nothing we cannot account for,” he said. “Instead, if we examine what our nation had to go through over the past 100-150 years, we would find far more [suffering] than the Armenians allegedly went through,” he said.