During a press conference at the G20 summit in Argentina, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan denied the Armenian Genocide after a question from a journalist of Armenian origin, Prensa Armenia Agency reports.
"I am one of the descendants of the families that suffered the Armenian Genocide," said the journalists as he asked President Erdogan about minority rights.
"Turkey cannot be blamed of having committed a genocide against the Armenians," said Erdogan. "On the question of genocide, please let's leave the discussions to historians and let's listen to what they have to say. This is not a part of our history and I can very confidently say that and we are ready to get involved in any discussion whatsoever," added Erdogan.
"Do you know how many Armenians live in my country right now? Hundred of thousands. About 30,000 of them are citizens and the rest are undocumented. They have fled Armenia only to settle in Turkey. And we allow them to do so. A total of 100,000 Armenians live in our country. They were never discriminated on the basis of citizenship, we have never deported any Armenians on those grounds. We are very humane in our conduct and we will keep on doing so," said the Turkish President.
"The response is cynical for several reasons, including the validity of Article 301 of the Turkish Criminal Code, which under the figure of 'denigrating Turkish identity' has allowed prosecuting and imprisoning intellectuals, including Historians, for speaking explicitly about the Armenian Genocide," replied the Armenian National Committee of South America.
"Turkey blocked unilaterally its border with Armenia in support of Azerbaijan for the Nagorno-Karabakh war, which makes the argument of the welcome it gives to Armenian residents in their country very unconvincing," they added.
Before the arrival of the Turkish President to Argentina, the Armenian community held a demonstration in front of the residence of the Turkish Ambassador on Monday, November 26. "Erdogan is the head of a state that maintains a state policy of denial and non-recognition of the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Turkish State between 1915 and 1923," denounced the Armenian community at that time.