SC:17 - 25 April 2006, Statement of Mr. Namık TAN, the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, in Response to a Question (Unofficial Translation)

The U.S. President, as in the previous years, has continued his practice this year as well to make written Presidential Statement on the occasion of the “Armenian Commemoration Day” on 24 April 2006.

Obviously, it is not possible for us to share some of the assessments contained in the Statement.

History could only be written and assessed on historical documents whose authenticity is indisputable. The sole reliable sources to be referred in this process must be the archives.

The disputed period in question of the shared history of the Turkish and Armenian peoples could academically be examined only through this way, and a subsequent assessment could then be reached in light of findings.

In this regard, we have officially proposed to Armenia that the incidents and circumstances of 1915 along with the preceding and succeeding periods be examined in a comprehensive manner by a joint commission of historians which would eventually share its findings with the public. This proposal is an initiative that merits support, for it does not only aim to shed light on this disputed period, but it would also help to normalize the relations between the two countries. We, therefore, consider the reference made in the Statement to the establishment of the joint commissions as a positive aspect.