Armenian gangs killed more than 500,000 Turks: academic
16 April 2015 18:54 (Last updated 16 April 2015 18:59)
Erol Kurkcuoglu, professor at the Erzurum-based Ataturk University, says mass graves prove thousands of Muslims also died in the 1915 events
Armenians allegedly killed more than 500,000 Muslim Turks at the turn of the 20th century, a Turkish academic said Thursday.
Erol Kurkcuoglu, professor at the Erzurum-based Ataturk University’s Turkey-Armenia
Relations Research Center, said that excavations in 1986 and archival research prove the alleged massacre of 519,000 Muslim Turks during that time.
Kurkcuoglu said that 185 mass graves had been found in eastern and southeastern Anatolia. “Mass killings of civilians were carried out in the region, including in Diyarbakir, Mus, Bitlis, Van, Erzurum, Erzincan, Kars, Ardahan, Igdir, Trabzon, Kilis, Adana, Osmaniye, Antep, Bayburt, Unye, Maras.
“In Erzurum, 50,000 civilians were massacre by Armenian gangs, while in Van 45,000, Kars 17,000, Igdir 15,000, Erzincan 13,000, Diyarbakir 12,000 and Mus 10,000,” he said.
According to Kurkcuoglu, during World War I, Russians soldiers withdrew from the region (Eastern Anatolia) after the Bolshevik revolution. “As a result of this, there were Armenian gongs in the region, volunteer Armenian troops and their commanders,” he added.
Kurkcuoglu said that a colonel in the Russian Army, Twerdo Khleov, mentioned in his memoirs: “There were massacres against the Muslim population in the region by Armenian gangs.”
disagree on what happened during the events between 1915 and 1923, with Armenia
saying that 1.5 million people were deliberately killed and Turkey
saying the deaths were a result of relocations and civil strife.
has demanded an apology and compensation, while Turkey
has officially refuted Armenian allegations over the incidents saying that, although Armenians died during the relocations, many Turks also lost their lives in attacks carried out by Armenian gangs in Anatolia.
Last year, Erdogan expressed his condolences for the Armenian deaths that occurred in 1915 – a first for a Turkish statesman.
Pope Francis said last Sunday that “the first genocide of the 20th century struck Armenians," a statement which triggered criticism from Turkey
and led to Ankara recalling its ambassador in the Vatican and also summoning Vatican's envoy in the Turkish capital.
Also the European Parliament’s adaptation of a resolution that recognizes the 1915 events affecting Armenians as "genocide," triggered furry in Turkey
as the country’s EU Minister Volkan Bozkir called the European Parliament "a circus" following its controversial decision.
Armenian gangs killed more than 500,000 Turks: academic Anadolu Agency