Turkey turns attention to genocide claims, vowing steps against Armenian lobby

Turkey has attacked what it calls the "Armenian lobby" and its “groundless and anti-Turkey allegations” relating to the 1915 Armenian Genocide, Anadolu news agency said on Wednesday.

Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said in a statement that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had stressed that “hostility seeds that were tried to be sown through distorted historical events would not be able to find the opportunity to flourish in the land of truth,” following a five-hour meeting of the Turkish presidency’s high advisory board on Tuesday.

Anadolu said the meeting was over "groundless and anti-Turkey allegations" regarding the events of 1915, but neither the statement nor Anadolu’s report specified when the latest allegations were made, or by whom, or what they actually said.

The statement accused what it referred to as the "Armenian lobby" of exploiting the "challenging and painful era endured by all Ottoman citizens for the sake of political calculations through lies and slanders that were invented by various power groups".

Altun said that during the meeting comprehensive steps were discussed to prevent the Armenian lobby from using the 1915 events to "defame Turkey and our nation and also the propaganda made by countries through unrealistic allegations that manipulate the issue with political calculations".

Most non-Turkish historians that study the subject agree that the Ottoman government from 1915 carried out the systematic mass murder and expulsion of around 1.5 million ethnic Armenians, which meets the definition of a genocide.

There is also a growing global consensus, as governing bodies in 32 countries, including the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Brazil have recognised the genocide.

Turkey's position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians, mostly in eastern Anatolia, took place when some sided with invading Russians during World War 1.

Turkey objects to the presentation of these incidents as "genocide," describing them as a fighting in which both sides suffered losses.