At G20, Turkey's Erdoğan again denies Armenian Genocide
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan disputed the Armenian Genocide after a question from a journalist during a press conference at the G20 summit in Argentina, Armenia News reported on Monday.
Erdoğan about the rights of minorities in Turkey by A journalist who described himself as an Armenian descended from people who faced genocide, Erdoğan said the question should be left to historians.
"It is impossible to say that Turkey carried out a genocide," Erdoğan said. "A total of 100,000 Armenians live in our country. They were never discriminated on the basis of citizenship, we have never deported any Armenians because of their nationality. We are very humane in our conduct, and we will keep on doing so."
Referencing Article 301 of the Turkish Penal code, which allows prosecution and imprisonment of intellectuals and historians speaking about the Armenian Genocide, Erdoğan's response was cynical, according to the Armenian National Committee of South America.
Article 301 is a controversial article of law under the Turkish Penal Code which makes it a crime to insult the "Turkish Nation".
According to PEN, the international writers' organisation, Article 301 has repeatedly marked writers, journalists and publishers out as targets for attack, making it even more urgent that this law is repealed.
The Turkish-Armenian writer and editor Hrant Dink and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature Orhan Pamuk were charged under Article 301 for "denigrating Turkey" and "insulting Turkish identity" for referring to the 1915 massacre of Armenians as "genocide" in interviews.
The Armenian Genocide is seen as a process of the systematic extermination of the Armenian population in Turkey begun in 1915 and culminated in 1923. During those years it is believed that up to 1,500,000 Armenians, according to different estimates, died in a period beginning with the Ottoman Empire and continuing in the Republic of Turkey.
Erdoğan has repeatedly spoken out against the labelling of the suffering of Armenians during this period as "genocide," particularly around the April 2015 centenary.
Before the arrival of the Turkish President to Argentina, the country's Armenian community held a demonstration in front of the residence of the Turkish Ambassador on Nov. 26.