"Turkey has always expressed that it was ready to open its archives, namely the military ones, with regards to the recent controversy surrounding 1915 events,"President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan told in an Istanbul summit Thursday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed his guests at the last session of Peace Summit - part of centenary commemorations of the 1915 Battle of Canakkale (Gallipoli) - which was held in Istanbul with such attendees as the UK's Prince Charles, Australian Prime Minister Tim Abbott and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
“I would like to address to the European Union. They have been advising us to open our archives. I have always been saying (...) we are ready to open our archives," he said, adding that there were millions of documents. “We are also ready to open our military archives.”
Last week, the European Parliament adopted a resolution recognizing the 1915 events as "genocide." It came three days after Pope Francis also called the 1915 incidents a "genocide," drawing sharp criticism from the Turkish government.
On Wednesday, Turkey summoned its ambassador in Vienna hours after the Austrian Parliament described the 1915 events as "genocide."
Erdogan reiterated that historical documents about the 1915 events were open to all for analysis and called on Armenia and other countries to open their archives as well.
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".