“Irrespective of what decision the European Parliament may take, it would go in one ear and out the other," he told reporters in Ankara before departing for a visit to Kazakhstan. “Because it is not possible for Turkey to accept [having committed] such a crime. Everybody should know that,” the Turkish president continued.
“There is no shadow, no stain, of "genocide" on us,” Erdoğan declared.
The European Parliament is set to vote during a plenary session today on a resolution to officially commemorate the centennial anniversary of the “Armenian genocide.” The vote comes in the wake of remarks by Pope Francis at the weekend characterizing the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I as “the first genocide of the 20th century,” angering Turkey.
Erdoğan said 100,000 Armenians are living in Turkey and that they have equal access to public services. “Have we had any negative position towards our Armenian citizens?” he asked, adding that Turkey could deport those Armenians who live in Turkey now but are not citizens. “We can deport them, but we haven`t,” he said.
It is widely expected that the European Parliament will adopt the resolution, which states, "The year 2015 marks the centennial of the Armenian genocide perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire." The European Parliament`s annual human rights and democracy report last month called on European Union member states to legally acknowledge the Armenian “genocide.”
It also points out that Turkey and Armenia have embarked on a process of diplomatic normalization by signing protocols in 2009 in Zurich, stressing that “the importance of keeping alive the memories of the past is paramount, since there can be no reconciliation without the truth and remembrance.”