ISTANBUL (AA) – The Armenian issue is being used to blackmail Turkey around the world, Turkish president has said.
Addressing a press conference in Istanbul Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said western countries were just using the Armenian issue as a tool to malign Turkey.
"I know in my heart that the main point is not Armenians. They are just being manipulated. The Armenian issue is just blackmail against Turkey around the world," Erdogan said.
"I want to let the world know: like it or not, we will never accept the 'genocide' accusation," he added.
On Thursday, the lower house of the German parliament approved a non-binding resolution recognizing Armenian claims of “genocide” during the 1915 events.
The resolution accused the Ottoman government of 1915 of allegedly carrying out “systematic genocide” against Armenians, as well as other Christian minorities.
According to Turkish president, Turkey had nothing to be ashamed of in its history.
"I emphasize one more time. We have nothing in our past to be ashamed of, but those countries that often accuse Turkey of 'Armenian genocide' have the blood of millions of innocent victims."
Erdogan said Germany should be the last country to speak about the so called 'Armenian genocide'. "They [Germans] should firstly define the meaning of Holocaust again. They should review the Namibia Holocaust," he said.
The Namibia Holocaust is considered one of the first genocides of the last century, which was carried out against the Heroro and Nama peoples in southwest Africa by the then German empire.
Turkey denies the alleged Armenian “genocide”, but acknowledges that there were casualties on both sides during the events taking place during World War I.
According to Turkey's viewpoint, deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 occurred after some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.
Turkey describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.
Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to tackle the issue.