ANKARA (Rahnuma) : A Turkish opposition leader on Saturday slammed France for trying to pass judgement on the 1915 events between the Ottoman Empire and Armenians.
“French President Macron designating April 24 a day of commemoration through a presidential decree is a shameful disaster,” said Devlet Bahceli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
“If France is in the mood for commemoration, it might commemorate the victims in Africa it slaughtered or the blood it spilled here in Cukurova a century ago and then apologize to the Turkish nation,” he added, referring to France’s colonialist past and in the wake of World War II.
Turkey’s position on the events of 1915 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 tackle the issue.
Turkish, Israeli elections
Speaking at a party gathering in the capital Ankara, Bahceli addressed Turkey’s recent local elections — including the undecided election in the metropolis of Istanbul — and Tuesday’s elections in Israel, resulting in another term for controversial leader Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Organized irregularities” have been found in Istanbul’s Buyukcekmece and Maltepe districts, and they are “impossible to hide,” said Bahceli.
“If the results evolve in a way that hurts the public conscience, a repeat election in Istanbul will be considered as a solution,” Bahceli said.
Gains in 11 big cities by the main opposition People’s Republican Party’s (CHP) may be a Pyrrhic victory, he added.
“In places where the CHP took over the administration, the city council members are predominantly from the People’s Alliance,” he said, referring to the election partnership of the MHP and the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.
On the Israeli elections, Bahceli drew a gloomy picture for the Mideast.
“The elections in Israel and the position of Netanyahu is a sign that the dark scenarios for our region will grow even darker,” he said.