(AA) – Turkish Deputy Economy Minister Adnan Yildirim has said Turkey is very open to international cooperation to examine Armenian allegations about the 1915 events.
“Turkey is extremely transparent in opening its official and military archives to international historians,” Yildirim told reporters in the Italian city of Milano Monday.
He also referred to Pope Francis’s remarks made earlier this month about terming the 1915 events as the “first genocide of the 20th century.”
He invited the pope to visit Turkey’s pavilion at the EXPO 2015 mega event to get a glimpse of Turkey’s rich history and contributions to international peace.
The pavilion will open on May 1 with the motto “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” to highlight solutions for challenges in nutrition and energy.
Turkey has called for the establishment of a joint commission of historians and the opening of archives to study and uncover what happened between the Ottoman Empire and its Armenian citizens.
The 1915 events took place during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with the invading Russians and revolted.
The relocation by the Ottomans of Armenians in eastern Anatolia following the revolts resulted in numerous casualties. Turkey does not dispute that there were casualties on both sides, but rejects the definition of “genocide.”