Turkish-Armenians are welcoming Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's offer of “condolences” for the mass killings of Armenian that began 99 years ago during the Ottoman era. But opinions are mixed as to whether Erdoğan’s words will lead the renewed action toward reconciliation.
Erdoğan’s comments on April 23 stopped well short of acknowledging that the deaths of between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 constituted genocide, an admission that the Armenian government has sought since the country gained independence in 1991. Erdoğan framed the tragedy, as Turkish officials have traditionally done, as occurring amid the chaos of World War I – a period when Ottoman citizens of every nationality were dying in large numbers.
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Joshua Kucera is a journalist based in Istanbul. He is the editor of EuraisaNet.org's Bug Pit blog.