Turkey’s President Erdoğan: Armenia ‘genocide’ Used to Blackmail Turkey

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his party members at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011. Erdogan said for the first time that Syria's president must step down over the country's brutal crackdown on dissent, ratcheting up the pressure on the increasingly isolated Bashar Assad. In his harshest words yet, Ergodan reminded Assad of the bloody end of the Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, as well as past dictators, including Adolf Hitler.(ddp images/AP Photo)Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said charges the Ottoman Empire committed a genocide against the Armenians are being used as “blackmail” against Turkey, insisting that Ankara will “never” accept such accusations.

On Thursday, the German parliament voted to label the 1915 killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as “genocide”, prompting Ankara to recall its ambassador.

In his strongest reaction yet, Erdoğan said on Saturday the German parliament’s resolution will have no impact on Turkey’s position on the issue.”The Armenian issue is a useful blackmail opportunity against Turkey all around the world, and it is even starting to be used as a stick,” he said in a televised speech.

“I am addressing the whole world. You may like it, you may not. Our attitude on the Armenian issue is clear from the beginning. We will never accept the accusations of genocide.”

Turkey agrees that many Armenians died in ethnic fighting and the deportation process between 1915 and 1917 during World War I, putting its estimate at 300,000 casualties.

Armenia says 1.5 million died in the process in what it calls a “genocide”.”The Armenian issue is a useful blackmail opportunity against Turkey all around the world, and it is even starting to be used as a stick,” he said in a televised speech.

“I am addressing the whole world. You may like it, you may not. Our attitude on the Armenian issue is clear from the beginning. We will never accept the accusations of genocide.”

Turkey agrees that many Armenians died in ethnic fighting and the deportation process between 1915 and 1917 during World War I, putting its estimate at 300,000 casualties.

Armenia says 1.5 million died in the process in what it calls a “genocide”.

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