Erdogan: Armenians ‘Fixed’ Genocide Events to Coincide with Gallipoli Ceremonies

ANKARA (A.W.)—Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Armenia of “fixing” the date of the Armenian Genocide commemorations this year to coincide with the Gallipoli ceremonies Turkey is hosting on April 24. Erdogan made his comments during an interview conducted by France24’s Marc Perelman on March 27.

“It’s the 100th anniversary of the land battles of Gallipoli, and it has nothing to do with the ceremonies to be held by Armenia.  It has absolutely nothing to do with them,” said Erdogan, adding, “Quite the contrary: They fixed their ceremonies to coincide with our date. We have no such consideration. We have no such worry to coincide it with that event on the 24th of April.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his  interview with France 24 on March 27
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his interview with France 24 on March 27

Perelman had interviewed Armenian President Serge Sarkisian on March 23, during which the latter called Turkey’s commemoration of the Gallipoli battles on April 24 a “cynical act.”

“Unfortunately, once again we find ourselves facing a negationist approach and I’m sorry to use this expression, but it is a particularly cynical act. The Battle of Gallipoli did not start on April 24 [1915], nor did it end on April 24. It’s self-evident. This is a way of injuring, of wounding the Armenian people and at the same time, it is intended to set obstacles on the path to Centennial commemorations [of the Armenian Genocide],” Sarkisian told Perelman.

Erdogan has sent official invitations to more than 100 world leaders, including Sarkisian, to take part in the Gallipoli ceremonies. The date designated for these commemoration events—April 24—created uproar among Armenians worldwide, while Turkish human rights groups urged world leaders to boycott the Gallipoli events.

On Jan. 16, Sarkisian responded to Erdogan’s invitation to Turkey in a strongly worded letter. “Turkey continues its conventional denial policy and is perfecting its instrumentation for distorting history. This time, Turkey is marking the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli on April 24, even though the battle began on March 18, 1915 and lasted until late January 1916, while the Allies’ operation started on April 25,” he wrote, adding, “What is the purpose [of this] if not to distract the world’s attention from the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide?”

Below is the relevant transcript from the interview:

Perelman: There is a controversy with Armenia over the commemoration of the 1915 events. The president of Armenia is accusing you of sabotaging the commemoration of the events by hosting a commemoration in Turkey on the same day—on April 24. He’s saying that you’re cynically sabotaging the Armenian memory. What’s your response?

Erdogan: Well, until today, when it comes to the problems between Turkey and Armenia, we have always been the ones to take positive steps. Armenia has never taken any positive steps. We have always extended our hand in peace, but our hand was never met by theirs. Last year, on the 23rd of April, I published a letter—I don’t know if you are aware of that—this letter received quite positive feedback. But, I did not get the same positive feedback from Armenia.

This year, we are commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli land battles. We are in no position to obtain permission from Armenia to do so. It’s a date in history. It’s set in history. It’s the 100th anniversary of the land battles of Gallipoli, and it has nothing to do with the ceremonies to be held by Armenia.  It has absolutely nothing to do with them.

Quite the contrary: They fixed their ceremonies to coincide with our date. We have no such consideration. We have no such worry to coincide it with that event on the 24th of April.

We will hopefully contribute to world peace. On the 18th of March our prime minister attended an event, and on the 24th of April, I will be the host of these ceremonies. The 23rd of April will be a peace summit, and we will be sending out some messages. The Canakkale events will be on the 24th, and again, we will send out messages. On the 25th, our guests will attend a dawn ceremony to send out the same messages.

33 Comments

  1. This criminal Erdogan is talking out of his mind, i donèt think we should be concernedof his empty talk. Yes it is synical that he purposely coincided the Galipoli which all these 100 years they never held memorial and invited people, in fact Britain, Australian, Newsland are way to naieve that they lost ther own young men i wonder instead they mourn on their dead soldiers they are caving to Turkeyès ignorant leader Erdogan knowingly that this is 1915 1.5 million Armenian martyrs were exterminated from their own home land and other more than million dispersed all over the world whereever they could reach and live in the most disaterous life under tents.

    • Actually the naval war during the Gallipoli Campaign was fought between February 19th-March 18th and the land war between April 25th-January 9th. Anzac Day which commemorates the beginning of the allied landing in Gallipoli has been celebrated in Australia and New Zealand on April 25th for over 60 years. Turks have instead preferred to observe the repulsion of the naval attack on Gallipoli on March 18th as a day of commemoration. The April 25th date is not entirely without basis and it is favored by the Aussies but it represents a change from the usual practice of the Turks.

  2. {Turkish film director Mustafa Altıoklar, who is charged with insult after he said then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan should be certified insane during comments he made about the Gezi protests, has backed his remark in court by saying he had made a diagnosis as a qualified physician.}

    {The trial’s second hearing was held on Tuesday at the Bakırköy 4th Criminal Court of First Instance. At the hearing, Altıoklar, who graduated from İstanbul University’s Cerrahpaşa medical Faculty in 1984, defended himself by saying: “I did not insult Erdoğan. I also did not criticize him. As a medical doctor, I just diagnosed.”} (TodaysZaman March 17, 2015, Tuesday/ 18:08:02/ MAHMUT KURNAZ / ISTANBUL)

  3. What a loser! Any lie will do. Apparently any lie is good enough for the Turkish people in the eyes of their government.

  4. WE ARMENIANS and the TRUE NATIONS know what the ottoman turks did to US ; the current turkish low class murderes goverment they will rotte in much LOWER than HELL their TIME WILL COME’ PATIENCE

  5. Did you forget that this denialist Erdogan was every where saying that these were Armenians who killed Turks? Did you forget the same erdogan said armenian Genocide is a myth? So what you expect this time, ofcourse he will overturn the truth , but who gives a damn what he says the world is aware of what happened in 1915

  6. I believe they are panicking and they don’t know which way is the way, to get out of this mess they are constantly creating for themselves. The truth will prevail whether they like it or not. They simply don’t have the courage to come out and say “lets talk”. I don’t know how this whole thing is going to work out for everyone but unfortunately for them, they are trying to find “Turkish solution” which is by lying, distorting, vile actions and above all “delaying” which is the true Turkish character. Delay, delay and delay.

  7. Sorry for the second comment. There was a mistake in the first one.

    Mr. Erdogan, you are a LIAR, who will believe you.

    Read the following written by David T. Rowlands or use the

    URL: http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/53885 and say the truth.

    The date of Gallipoli is April 25, 1915, and not 24 April, 1915.

    “ One of the central features of the Australian ANZAC myth is that the “national character” was born as the first landing boats came ashore in the pre-dawn darkness of April 25, 1915. ”

    ‘Gallipoli, Inc’ helps the denial of genocide
    Tuesday, April 23, 2013
    By David T. Rowlands

    https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/53885

  8. Lol, wow. April 24th has been the official day of remembrance for the Armenian genocide for how long? Almost 100 years by now? And the battle of Gallopoli started in March? You’d have to be a complete moron to believe anything that comes out of Erdogan’s mouth.

  9. What else would one expect from this bumbling idiot? In the twisted psychotic world of the these cynical Turkish Genocide perpetrators and deniers… “the Armenians must have started commemorating April 24 for almost a hundred years on purpose as a conspiracy against the great nation of Turkiey, because they knew and predicted in 2015 Turkiey would commemorate that day, and we can be thankful for the new Ataturk Erdogan for catching their deception!” – If only mass communications did not exist in this day and age, Turkey would already be preparing for more Genocide of the rest of the minorities.

    Imagine this, on the day of the greatest sorrow of our people and of historic importance, this bold-faced pezevenk makes a mockery of it by comparing it with… nothing worthy. That tells us a lot about what today’s Turk government is… it is a lot worse than we have been thinking all along.

  10. I’ve been on this earth for seventy years and never seen Armenian spirit as high as mount Ararat all around the world .
    It seems the more these guys try to distort the history or the facts the stronger we get .

  11. What a lunatic! My condolences to the Turkish people for having such a stupid and constant liar as their President. Desperate people take desperate measures and the more they do, the more they fail. Woe onto you Turkey.

  12. Turks have remembered Canakkale usually on March 18, start of the naval attack. I am not sure what is behind the April date. Erdogan, in his usual crude style tries to manipulate facts and dates. Only causes embarrassment. I will continue to remember grandpa and the sacrifices of his generation made on March 18.

  13. There is a larger issue here, that the Turkish strategy of “reconciliation” towards Armenians is now over. It has evidently given way to a return to the more “offensive” strategy seen during the heyday of CHP rule. How should Armenian and Diaspora policy adapt to this development?

  14. Shame on Erdogan. I am 68 years old and for as long as I can remember April 24 has been a day of mourning in my home. How in good conscience he can blatantly say that the Armenians fixed the date to coincide with the Galipoli function is beyond my comprehension. In my mind this only underscores the desperate attempts to nullify the truth of history.

  15. Are you surprised to hear such a statement coming from someone who considers an insult being equated with Armenians? I am not. The more these opportunistic and devious Turkish leaders, wolves in sheep’s clothing, talk the more they incriminate themselves and the more they show their true faces and Armenians should take notice. This goes double for the Armenian leaders who deal or have to deal with such scoundrels.

    These scavenging hyenas are experts in improvising a fictional story line and fill in the blanks, as they go along, to suit the story to their aims. This is nothing new. They have been doing this for a hundred years and when they realize they can no longer fool people that’s when they begin to change their tunes. For Turkish leaders to come clean and speak the truth about the Armenian issue is equal to insulting and giving up their “Turkishness.” You see, you can’t be a “loyal” Turk and be truthful at the same time when it comes to dealing with the Armenians because the truth then becomes the existential threat to your false existence.

    • “You see, you can’t be a “loyal” Turk and be truthful at the same time when it comes to dealing with the Armenians because the truth then becomes the existential threat to your false existence.”

      I can. I am.

    • Sadly, RVDV, those like you (….and Ayse Gunaysu, and Ragıp Zarakolu, and Orhan Pamuk, and Dr. Taner Akçam,….) are a tiny, tiny, tiny minority amongst Turks.
      So even though in a strict logical preposition you are correct – since even one counter example invalidates the preposition – in practice [Ararat] is correct.
      Because for the super-majority of Turks and those why identify themselves as Turks, it is a contradiction in terms to think of themselves as loyal Turks and to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. And it is not ignorance: most know what happened, but cannot bring themselves to accept what their ‘glorious’ ancestors did: it would be similar if someone told you that the father you admired all your life is in fact a slimy, repellent paedophile.

      And it is not fear of Turkish authorities either: I am sure you have seen the despicable, disgusting spectacle of young Turkish-American men and women celebrating the beginning of the mass murder of Armenian women, children, and babies on April 24th in 2010 outside the Embassy of Turkey in Washington D.C.
      And I am not aware of single Turkish-American NGO or prominent Turkish-American calling them out on it.

      That is the unfortunate reality of your adopted ethnos, Turk friend.

    • Avery, aside from handfuls of just and forthright Turks, I would basically agree. But it runs deeper then that. Turkish industry was about conquering . Conquering assumes an air of superiority over its conquered. Demonizing your victim is part of it. Armenians have lived under that Turkish yoke for hundreds of years. The major Armenian atrocities stared much earlier then the genocide. Genocide? They view that as their just right as a superior race. Remember the ‘Turkish sufferings too’?
      It was Ataturk that later basically decried the reality of the Armenian Genocide, and I’m paraphrasing, ‘as the single biggest threat that the Turkish State can face’? Therefore the mass collective amnesia was installed but the demonization of Armenians as “traitors” and being called one is something of an insult, continued.

      Lets be clear: the Armenian Genocide was about theft of wealth. “Genocide” does scare the Turks mostly because it has legal obligations of reparations and restitution.

    • These are all true for all settler colonies around the world…look at what is happening in Israel and the U.S. It’s the same old colonial crap. Massacring the natives, plundering their lands, appropriating the labor of those left alive, you know it…same old relics of colonialism and imperialism.

    • We as Armenians are no exceptions…we were imperial subjects under the Ottoman rule, we were colonized by the Ottoman Empire, our stories, deaths and sufferings don’t matter just like the Palestinians and the Native Americans. When America recognizes it’s genocide against the Native Americans, when the U.S. commemorates the Trail of Tears, then we can expect Turkey to do the same.

  16. This is the continuation of another Turkish crafted plan. Erdogan and his party have already twisted the truth about who and how the Gallipoli battles took place. The truth is that it was the German officers who recognized the criticality of defending Galipoli and where Ataturk showed his strength in leading Turkish army. Today the Galipoli museum does not mention the importance of either factors. Instead it claims that Muslim faithful turkish soldiers with God’s guidance won the war. Just as the truth is changed to a lie, the same approach is followed on the event celebration date. This is the beginning of this switch that the Galipoli event will be celebrated on the 24th from her on.

  17. I believe the ones who should be really angry are not Armenians but Turks! Even if there was nothing going on in Turkey, the ones who will go to Turkey wouldn’t come to Armenia. So we are not losing anything. This simply shows that what kind of nation Turks are. A nation which shifts an important date only to make it coincide with another commemoration. If I was a Turk, I would be ashamed of this. This is first of all a disrespect to their own people and the memory of those whom they consider heroes.

  18. Turks are desperate and insecure, that’s why these ridiculous statements are coming from Erdogan’s mouth. They know they are on borrowed time. And they also know that a simple apology will not end this saga. It will only be the beginning of something else. Their only hope is that we (The Diaspora and Armenia) somehow make critical mistakes.

    • Or that this time around history will work to their benefit, as it did in 1915 with the unpunished genocidal extermination of the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, in 1920 with the Treaty of Sèvres that the Turks breached, or in 1920 when, with the help of the Bolsheviks provided to Kemal, Armenia and the Armenian Question dissolved in the emerging Soviet Union, or in 1923 with the establishment of the Turkish Republic when they hastily ran under NATO’s defense umbrella.

      Luck always runs out. Do you, Turks, know that?

  19. People who cannot face the serious transgression of the past are cowards. And people who follow cowards are slaves. I feel sorry for the people of Turkey, who are led by a set of cowards, as they have no freedom.

    Despite the horrific events of Armenian Genocide our people will continue to flourish throughout the world. In the words of William Saroyan “When two of them (Armenians) meet anywhere in the world see if they will not create a new Armenia.”

  20. To john,
    Vartan is right, the turks are on borrowed time. they’re economy is hemmoraging, the Kurds are growing stronger and are popular with the west. Causing chaos in the middle east delays the inevitable. I don’t think fate will be kind to them like it was in 1915. The west now knows they are an unreliable partner and they’ve overplayed their hand with the US and its military base. They’re handling of the Armenian genocide issue is, to many outside observers becoming obscene. Watch, my prediction is the west is going to stop covering for them with the Armenian Genocide events.

  21. Wake up the souls!
    The soul can sleep but cannot die!
    Forget about politics and forget about country you live and which country is better, stronger, smarter and older!
    We are all human beings, regardless as we call our God, God is One!
    Life gave to us the Lord God, and nobody has the right to take it!
    And now each of us, regardless of race, creed should be involved in this case in order to punish the killers, punish the government of the country that encourages or tries to hide this crime against humanity that took place in 1915! But not the people of that country, who himself is confused and does not know where the truth and a lie!
    If we will not do it Today -it will come back to each of us Tomorrow!
    Came the time and Turkey must be punished for Armenian Genocide! Souls of 1.5 million died children’s, women’s and men’s are moaning and asking God’s justice!
    God Bless all of us!

  22. Erdogan is a liar. YES. The Turkish state is denialist, YES. For Erdogan to say that Turkey has extended its hand in peace to Armenia is another lie. Armenia has never closed its border to Turkey. On the other hand Turkey has closed its borders to Armenia now for 25 years, and to this day practices blockade. Is this what the Lying Erdogan means by extending his hand in peace? The Turkish State and its leadership are LIARS, especially when it comes to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. BUT PLEASE, let us, as peace loving Armenians draw a distinction between the State and the Turkish people. The significant majority of the Turkish people are not what they are vilified to be. Generations of propaganda and whitewashing of history has led them away from the truth. But year by year, generation by generation they are learning about the truth. Let’s embrace the people and show them the evil ways of their government.

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