Only a week after expressing condolences for the 1915 deportation and killings of Armenians, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the small Armenian community still living in Turkey was proof that there was no genocide in the past, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.
Speaking in an interview with Charlie Rose from PBS, Erdogan said what happened in 1915 could not be described as “genocide.”
“This is not possible. Because if there were a genocide, there would not be Armenians still living in Turkey,” Erdogan said, reiterating that Ankara was ready to open its historical archives.
“We see genocide as a crime against humanity. We will never shut our eyes to it. We are ready to open our archives. Armenia and other third party countries should do it too,” he said, adding if documents prove it, then Turkey would apologize.
“These events did not happen under the Turkish Republic, but the Ottoman Empire. If the documents show it, then we will not avoid apologizing and accepting the consequences,” he said.