Anadolu Agency, turkey
April 24 2015

24 April 2015 17:45 (Last updated 24 April 2015 17:47)

'Hurts that sorrow only discussed after hundred years,' says acting


One of the most senior figures in the Armenian church on Friday spoke
out against the politicization of the deaths of Ottoman Armenians
during World War I.

In a sermon to mark the centenary of the 1915 tragedy, Acting
Patriarch Aram Ateshian seemed to refer to recent declarations made
in the European Parliament, Austria and the Vatican that marked the
deaths of Armenians as "genocide."

"Armenians in Turkey are an inseparable and loyal part of this
country," he told the congregation at the Armenian Patriarchate in
Istanbul. "They are aware of their citizenship responsibilities."

"It hurts us that only after a hundred years is the sorrow of our
people being discussed like this."

He added: "Under freedom of expression, everybody can say what they
want. Many countries are supporting our hurt nation in the name of
justice. However, it will hurt us many times more to see our pain
being politicized."

Ateshian did not use the word "genocide" during his sermon, but said
that "children lost their lives during the exile and hurt so much
because of brutal politics."

A revolt against the Ottoman Empire by some sections of the Armenian
population in eastern Anatolia in 1915 resulted in relocations that
led to deaths. Armenia claims that up to 1.5 million were killed
while Turkey disputes the figure, and the use of the word "genocide,"
and says both Armenians and Turks died in significant numbers.

Turkey has called a joint commission to uncover what happened in 1915.

From: A. Papazian