Turkey condemns Canadian PM's statement on 1915 events
Turkey on Wednesday condemned Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's statement on the events of 1915, saying he was just looking after his political benefits and has dealt a blow on efforts to improve ties between the two countries, Anadolu Agency reported.
Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Harper expressed one-sided views in his message about the sad part of common history of Turks and Armenians, adding that "it is quite wrong and unfair. We condemn strongly and regretfully, and we reject it."
In his message, Stephen Harper said, "ninety-six years ago, the Armenian people experienced terrible suffering and loss of life.
"We must never forget the lessons of history. Nor should we allow the enmities of history to divide us," he added.
In 2006, the Senate of Canada adopted a motion acknowledging the incidents of 1915 as "the first genocide of the twentieth century".
Turkish Foreign Ministry said Turkey had displayed significant efforts, especially over the past year, to improve relations with Canada, however, it added that Harper's statement dealt a blow on these efforts.
Turkey said it expected Canada to avoid steps that could have a negative effect on relations that Turkey had been trying to develop in its region, and adopt a stance which would earn trust in bilateral relations.