Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 25
By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend:
Armenia must renounce claims against Turkey regarding the 1915 events and answer for the acts of the ASALA terrorist group, as well as for the crime against humanity committed in Azerbaijan’s Khojaly town, said Yalcin Topcu, Turkish presidential adviser, in an exclusive interview with Trend Feb. 25.
He noted that in 1992, the biggest crime of the century against humanity was committed in Khojaly.
“In 1915, Armenians, with the support of the Russian Empire, were exterminating civilians in Anatolia and, in particular, in such Turkish cities as Kars, Erzurum and Ardahan,” said Topcu, adding that the archives contain a lot of evidence of numerous murders of the Turkic population by Armenian band formations.
He noted that Armenia, on the one hand, refuses to recognize the crimes committed in Khojaly, and on the other hand, makes claims against Turkey regarding the events of 1915, which is unacceptable.
Regarding the prospects for repairing relations between Armenia and Turkey, the presidential adviser noted that Ankara doesn’t believe in the sincerity of Yerevan.
“It is possible that by virtue of necessity Armenia take certain steps, but believing in the sincerity of Armenia would be too great optimism,” said Topcu. “Unfortunately, our historical experience forces us to come to this conclusion.”
He noted that the position of Turkey regarding Armenia is very clear.
“Armenia must withdraw its forces from the occupied Azerbaijani territories and apologize for the crimes committed, and after that, Turkey, in consultation with Azerbaijan, will assess this step,” he added.
Topcu stressed that Armenia is an occupier state.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
During the Karabakh war, on Feb. 25-26, 1992, the Armenian armed forces, together with the 366th infantry regiment of Soviet troops, stationed in Khankendi, committed an act of genocide against the population of the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly. As many as 613 people, including 63 children, 106 women and 70 old people were killed in the massacre. Eight families were totally exterminated, 130 children lost one parent and 25 children lost both. Some 1,275 innocent residents were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 people still remains unknown.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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