Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was interviewed by Charlie Rose on December 8, 2009.
Here is the excerpt from the Charlie Rose interview transcript discussing the Armenian Genocide and relations with Armenia (You can find this segment of the interview at approximately 39 minutes into the show)
CHARLIE ROSE: Speaking of the Armenian church and that, there is now
an agreement between Turkey and Armenia. What is necessary in order to —
what more evidence does history need with respect to the genocide?
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN: Let me first of all say that you say of
genocide, speak of genocide. I would be sorry to hear you say that. I can
say very clearly that we do not accept genocide. This is completely a lie.
I invite people to prove it. I wrote a letter in 2005, and I said
that this is not up to politicians. It is up to historians to look into
this. We have opened our archives. We have all the documents there. And
in our archives more than one million documents were already looked at.
Today it’s even more than that. And we have opened the archives of the
And I asked the Armenian side to open their archives and let third
countries have documents. We made a call for that too so that people could
look into all of these documents and we could all decide and see what’s
But it’s — this is not about lobbying and going to politicians and
asking them to take certain decisions. This is not really the way to go.
Something like this is really not possible, and there is no truth to it.
CHARLIE ROSE: Did President Obama bring it up with you? Has he
discussed it with you?
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN: I have spoken with him, yes. Of course, this
most recent normalization process between Turkey and Armenia was important.
This was the context in which we discussed these issues.
And let me say to the normalization process. It was Turkey that
initiated the normalization process. It was Turkey that took upon itself
We believe in ourselves. What we would like to see is for this
normalization process to go forward. And in that it’s important that we go
into that and the Karavak issue between Azerbaijan and Armenia be resolved.
There is an occupation. We have to solve that problem.
There are three countries involved — United States, the Russian
Federation, and France. The Minsk (ph) group, why hasn’t it solved the
problem in the last 20 years? The problem has to be solved.
And once that problem is solved then that region will be a region of
peace. Why? Because once the problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia is
solved, that hatred is going to dissipate. There is the decision of the
United Nations Security Council which will be implemented. And the
problems between Turkey and Armenia will definitely be resolved. I believe
But at the moment, you have the U.S. Congress here, and the U.S.
Congress doesn’t have direct relations with our region. We are there in
that region. We have direct relations. We have direct issues. And it’s
the Turkish parliament who has to make a decision on this agreement between
Turkey and Armenia. They have to approve it.
And of course, the Turkish parliament too is very sensitive about this
issue. And if the positive developments that we would like to see do not
come about, then I do not believe that our parliament will have a positive
result as a result of its deliberations. We will have a secret ballot, but
I don’t believe that without any other positive developments there will be
a positive outcome…
Watch the full interview on charlierose.com (search Erdogan).