Turkey has condemned a move by the NSW Parliament to recognise as genocide Armenian, Assyrian and Greek deaths while Turkey was under Ottoman rule.
Turkey accepts that there was a loss of life on both sides but rejects the genocide charge – saying most of the deaths were the result of starvation and disease.
The Turkish Consul General in Sydney Gulseren Celik (chill-ick) says it’s not up to individual governments to pass judgement on historical events that occurred outside of Australia.
Professor Vrasidas Karalis said Turkey’s stance fails to bring justice to the millions of victims.
“Who is going to bring some justice and closure to the victims and the descendants of the victims?” he asked.
“I think Turkey at this very moment, with its very sterile rejection of every allegation, evolves into a sort of mythmaking process for the state instead of looking to the past with a fair and honest appreciation of what happened.”
Turkey and Armenia have yet to formalise plans for a joint commission looking at the historical events which led to the deaths of Turks, Armenians and others between 1915 and 1923.