ANKARA—Notorious Genocide-denying Turkish Minister of EU Affairs said Tuesday that Turkey doesn’t know what Genocide is, claiming, once again, that there was never a Genocide in Turkey’s history.
Egemen Bagis comments came during the opening ceremony of an educational facility, where he also expressed his opposition to a decision in France to include the Armenian Genocide as part of French public school curriculum.
“If only all countries’ past had been simple and transparent just like Turkey’s past. No genocides have occurred in Turkey’s history. What’s genocide? Turkey doesn’t know what genocide is,” Bagis told the Milliyet daily.
Bagis claimed that Turks are proud of their history and forebears.
France announced that it has included a chapter about the Armenian Genocide in secondary school textbooks, which will be used across the country.
Bagis was quick to voice Turkey’s “strong protest” over this decision urging Paris to not test bilateral relations “once again,” reported the Hurriyet newspaper.
“I call on the French authorities to intensify efforts to resolve the Nagorno Karabakh conflict in the framework of OSCE Minsk Group rather than distort the historical facts,” Bagis said.
Turkish Education Ministry officials said they will first need to examine the book and see if it “includes phrases that incriminate Turkey and they will respond in line with international law through diplomatic channels.”
Today’s Zaman reported that the chairman of the Turkish Parliament’s powerful education committee accused the French government of planting the seeds of hate with its move to include the Armenian Genocide in history and geography books.
Nabi Avcı, chairman of the National Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Commission, told Today’s Zaman in a phone interview on Monday that “the erosion of French culture and moving to the radical right in French politics that started with [former president Nicolas] Sarkozy continues to have a negative impact on the French education system.”
“I just hope that sensible French intellectuals will raise their voices against this kind of provocative move that will plant seeds of hate into minds of young people in France,” he added.