Message by Turkish President for the religious ceremony held in the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul on 24 April 2018
General Vicar of the Armenian Patriarch of Turkey,
My distinguished Armenian citizens,
I affectionately salute you with all my heartfelt feelings.
You have gathered today under the roof of the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul to remember the Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives during the fierce and harsh conditions of the First World War.
Once again, I remember with respect the Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives, and offer my sincere condolences to their children and descendants.
On this occasion, I also pray for God’s grace and mercy on millions of Ottoman citizens we lost due to contagious diseases, migration, war and clashes during the same period.
Throughout the history, we have always been a nation that shared the sufferings, never discriminating between peoples or pitting them against each other.
Besides our people living on our own lands, we have extended assistance to all those in need of help from Andalusia to Africa, from Southern Asia to Europe.
When doing that, we have never taken into consideration their belief, language, religion, ethnic or cultural identity.
Keeping that heritage as a nation, we strive today to strengthen the brotherhood, empathy, peace and serenity.
To be aware of the sufferings of our Armenian citizens in history and to share these pains is a requirement of the conscientious and moral posture of the Turkish Nation.
God willing, we will continue to share your sufferings and bring solutions to your troubles and problems in the days ahead.
No matter how, we will not tolerate marginalization or discrimination of any of our citizens based on their faith, religion or outlook.
I feel confident that our Armenian citizens will continue to contribute increasingly to our cultural, social, political and commercial life.
As hitherto, I kindly request you to avoid helping those who resort to create hatred, grudge and hostility by distorting our common history.
With these thoughts in my mind, I remember with respect, once again, the Ottoman Armenians whom we lost during the First World War.
I extend my greetings and tribute to all my citizens who joined the memorial ceremony.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
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