Erdogan: Turkey's ancestors never committed genocide

AP , Thursday 23 Apr 2015

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a Peace Summit ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gallipoli, in Istanbul April 23, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

On the eve of the day marking the centenary of the Ottoman massacres of Armenians, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his nation's ancestors never committed genocide.

Addressing a meeting billed as a peace summit Thursday, Erdogan also accused European nations of indifference toward refugees and wanting migrants drown at sea.

Britain's Prince Charles and the prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand were among dignitaries attending the event marking the centenary of the Gallipoli Battle in World War I.

Erdogan said: "The Armenian claims on the 1915 events... are all baseless and groundless."

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks, an event widely viewed as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide.

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