Turkey to Commemorate Armenian Victims of Ottoman KillingsSoutheast Europe | April 21, 2015, Tuesday // 13:08| views
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. File photo
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced on Monday that Turkey will commemorate the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians, which occurred during the First World War.
Davutoglu said that April 24, the day Armenians commemorate the mass killings of their ancestors by the Ottoman Empire, will be marked by a religious ceremony, Hurriyet Daily reports.
While Davutoglu expressed condolences to the grandchildren of the Ottoman Armenians killed in 1915, he abstained from describing the mass killings as genocide.
The first such message of condolence was delivered by then Prime Minister and current President Recep Erdogan in 2014.
Davutoglu assured that the protection of the Armenian cultural heritage and their Ottoman predecessors was a human and historic duty of Turkey.
He announced that the Ottoman Armenians will be commemorated with a religious ceremony organised by the Armenian Patriarchate.
Davutoglu called for a joint commemoration of the victims by Turkey and Armenia and objective assessment of historical events rather than their politicisation.
This statement comes as the West has increasingly renewed its call on Turkey to recognise the mass killings as genocide.
Pope Francis described the killings of Ottoman Armenians as the “first genocide of the 20th century”, while the European Parliament followed suit by adopting a resolution calling on Turkey to recognise the genocide.
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