Turkish-Armenian friendship nearly 1,000 years old - Minister

Thu 29 Dec 2011 02:03 GMT | 06:03 Local Time

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Turkish Customs & Trade Minister Hayati Yazici inaugurated Vortvots Vorodman Armenian Church Culture Center in Istanbul on Wednesday.

The building was restored within the scope of projects of 2010 Istanbul European Capital of Culture.
Referring to a recent French resolution which criminalizes the denial of Armenian allegations regarding 1915 incidents and was adopted at French Parliament, Yazici said that it was wrong to assess Turkish-Armenian relations within the scope of only a short period of time during the World War I. He added that Turkish-Armenian friendship was nearly 1,000 years old.
Yazici noted that Armenians were defined as "loyal people" during Ottoman Empire period, and said that there had been no problem between Turks and Armenians until the 20th century.

Today, according to unofficial figures, nearly 100,000 Armenians are living in Turkey, said Yazici.
Noting that Turkey's views about 1915 incidents were based on archives, documents and scientific researches, Yazici said that it would be the most correct thing to leave the issue to historians of both countries.
Parliaments should not act like courts and not make judgements in such issues, said Yazici, adding that involvement of third countries such as France in this process for political advantage was wrong.




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