Russian Turkologist: “It is undeniable fact that the Turkish people suffered a lot of losses in 1915”

Russian Turkologist: “It is undeniable fact that the Turkish people suffered a lot of losses in 1915”
# 24 April 2014 13:52 (UTC +04:00)

Moscow. Farid Akberov – APA. “Turkish Prime Minister's statement on the anniversary of the events of 1915 is a political statement and aims to smooth relations with Armenia. Turkey's relations with Armenia, that have been frozen for years, may improve after this statement,” well-known turkologist, head of the Asian-African Studies Center at Moscow State University, Mikhail Meyer told APA’s Moscow correspondent.

Appreciating Erdogan’s step, the turkologist said that the events of 1915 should be regarded as a tragedy of the whole population of the Ottoman Empire: “Of course, Armenian population suffered more losses that the Turks. However, the Armenian side exaggerated the figures. According to my calculations, one-third of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire was killed during the events of 1915. It is not right to say that the Armenians were brutally killed by firearms or cutting tools. Most of them died during the exile. I can not say whether it is correct to call it “genocide” or not. It is undeniable fact that the Turkish people suffered a lot of losses during that war. This can not be doubted. One tenth of the Turks living in the Ottoman Empire were killed during the events of 1915. As the main part of the Ottoman population was Turks, one can imagine how much losses suffered the Turkish population.

According to turkologist, resettlement of Armenians from the current territory of Turkey was linked not only with its position in the World War I in 1914-1918: “Some people associate the relocation of Armenians by Ottomans since 1915 with the fact that they moved to the Russian side in the Russo-Turkish War. In fact, the roof of the issue is related to previous times. Prior to the World War I, the relations between Turks and Armenians were not very good. Russia-Ottoman war deteriorated these relations”.

Asked about why Armenians are keeping close its archives to historians, M Meyer noted that the talk is about Armenian archives in the US: “I have repeatedly visited the archives in Armenia. These archives are open for all. However for some reason, the Armenian archives in the US are closed. The main archives are in the US. The essence of 1915 events can be clarified by the archives in the US. Unfortunately, I don’t know why they don’t open these archives. As a historian, I’d like these archives to be opened and historical facts to be revealed”.

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