President Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey will disregard the European Parliament's vote on the 1915 mass killing of Armenians, which the Pope this week described as genocide. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said the outcome of a vote by the European Parliament on Wednesday (April 15) on the mass killing of Armenians in 1915 would "go in one ear and out the other." The European Parliament is due to debate a resolution to mark the 100th anniversary of the killing of as many as 1.5 million Armenians under Turkish Ottoman rule which this week the pope said was "widely considered the first genocide of the 20th Century." "I don't know what decision the European Parliament will take today. Whatever decision the European Parliament takes on Armenian genocide claims, it would go in one ear and out the other. Because Turkey will never accept such a crime, such a sin," said Erdogan at a news conference in Ankara airport before departing on an official visit to Kazakhstan. "It is out of the question for there to be a stain, a shadow called 'genocide' on Turkey," he added. Pope Francis became the first head of the Roman Catholic church to publicly call the killing of Armenians "genocide" on Sunday (April 12), prompting Erdogan to publicly condemn the comments and warn him not to make such a statement again. Armenia, some Western historians and foreign parliaments refer to the mass killings as genocide. Muslim Turkey agrees Christian Armenians were killed in clashes with Ottoman soldiers that began on April 15, 1915, when Armenians lived in the empire ruled by Istanbul, but denies that this amounted to genocide. Around 100,000 Armenians still reside in Turkey including those who are Turkish citizens and those who are not and they are never mistreated, Erdogan said.