Erdogan: "No parliament can tarnish our history"
Speaking at an official ceremony in the Marmaran province of Canakkale, which yesterday marked the 95th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli, in which tens of thousands of Turkish soldiers gave their lives, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "The spirit of Canakkale has guided the Turkish nation for years." Stating that Turkey has made great strides in development in recent years, Erdogan said, "Visa requirements were lifted with 23 countries. Our exports exceeded $100 billion. We have made remarkable investments in education, health, security, transportation, energy and agriculture." Erdogan said Turkey should celebrate its centenary in 2023 by taking its place among the world's top 10 economies. Referring to resolutions recently passed in both the US and Swedish legislatures to officially recognize the so-called Armenian "genocide" claims, Erdogan said, "I should underline that this country's history is as clean and clear as the sun. No country's parliament can tarnish it." If what happened in 1915 is to be brought to light, that will take place through archives, documents, memoirs, reports, letters and pictures, not parliaments thousands of miles away, Erdogan said. "Some states that had imperialistic desires in Canakkale then are now making irresponsible announcements, and passing unfair judgments against Turkey, which requires an apology," Erdogan said. "There is no genocide in our civilization. Our civilization is one of love, tolerance and brotherhood." Erdogan also added, "Those who stay stuck in the past can never reach a bright future." The 1915 Battle of Gallipoli was won by the defending Ottoman army against the allied powers, including Great Britain and France, laying the groundwork for the Turkish War of Independence and the later foundation of the Turkish Republic under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.