Speaking on the 97th anniversary of the Battle of Çanakkale, Gül said that every year Turkey holds a ceremony for commemorating the French soldiers who died at Çanakkale, but France does not exhibit the same good intentioned approach towards Turkey. “After the Republic was established, we avoided reopening old wounds so future generations would not inherit these pains. Unfortunately, the Armenian Diaspora has started to use this tragic event as a tool for preserving their identity and enhancing the feeling of solidarity between themselves since the 1960s.
Some countries have unfairly ratified laws that criminalize the so-called Armenian genocide. Politicians who have voted in favor of these laws don't have any knowledge of the political conditions of the time; they are chasing political benefits,” said Gül.
Reiterating Turkey’s call for the establishment of a non-partisan commission comprised of respected Turkish and foreign historians for investigating the 1915 events, Gül noted that neither Armenia nor France have given a positive response to this call. “We frequently observe with sorrow today that French politicians are exploiting the World War I-era deaths of Armenians to gain the support of the Armenian community living in France and therefore encouraging Turkophobia in France,” he added. The Turkish Foreign Ministry released a written statement on Tuesday night accusing French presidential rivals Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande of exploiting the World War I-era deaths of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire to garner votes from its sizeable Armenian community ahead of the second presidential run-off.
The statement said declarations by the French presidential rivals regarding the 1915 events are “another example of the exploitation of controversial historical issues for political gain.” The statement added that it is unfortunate that history is politicized based on various goals, and that prejudiced behavior won’t help further justice or create a better understanding of history.