By Sarp Ozer
ANKARA (AA) - Politicians have no basis for making decisions on historical issues, said Turkey's national defense minister on Friday, arguing against lawmakers passing resolutions on the events of 1915.
"Politicians making decisions or making claims on this historical issue is unfounded," Hulusi Akar told a military graduation ceremony in the Aegean city of Izmir, referring to recent U.S. congressional resolutions on the Armenian claims.
He added that anyone who looks at the archives can see that the hands of the Turkish nation are clean and have never been associated with the alleged incidents.
Following a similar House motion, on Thursday the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing Armenian claims over the events of 1915.
Turkey's position on the events is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.
Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.
Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to examine the issue.
Touching on the maritime pact signed last month between Turkey and Libya, Akar said that the two countries are exercising their rights under international law.
"The agreement with Libya is not infringing on the rights or law of third parties. We are only protecting our rights arising from international law," he stressed.
The pact with Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) was signed on Nov. 27 and passed by Turkey's parliament on Dec. 5.
It went into effect as of Dec. 8 after the two countries published it in their respective official gazettes.
The memorandum setting both countries' marine jurisdictions rejects unilateral and illegal activities by other regional countries and international firms and aims to protect the rights of both countries.