Erdogan Repeats Threat to Deport ArmeniansMar 29th, 2010 | Category: Featured News
YEREVAN (A1 plus), March 29–Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan again threatened to deport Armenians living in Turkey.
During his two-day visit to Germany, Erdogan gave an interview to “Der Spiegel” weekly reconfirming Ankara’s intention to deport Armenians from Turkey, reports Anadolu Agency.
“Most of Armenians living in the territory of Turkey are Turkish citizens today but there are also Armenians who have no legal status. We’ve never raised the issue of deportation, but if [the] Diaspora keeps tough pressure we’ll have to do it,” said Erdogan.
Regarding Armenian-Turkish relations and recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Erdogan said Armenia’s former President Robert Kocharian urged him in a letter in 2005 to discuss the matter at a historical, non- political level.
“We are ready to admit the past if further historical surveys expose serious facts. It is recommended that Armenia also admit it,” said Erdogan.
The Turkish premier said that US President Barack Obama will make a major mistake by uttering the word “genocide.”
“If a president of some country uses that word it doesn’t become truth. Besides, the US isn’t a conflict side. The US is an observer like others sitting in Tribune. It’s our history,” said Erdogan.
On March 26, Erdogan met the head of the Turkish-Armenian community Petros Shirinoghlu who advised the Turkish premier to forget the past and look towards the future.
According to some sources, about 25,000 illegal Armenian migrants live in Turkey today. Some believe that number is as low as 10,000.
Photo caption: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan