Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has taken a harsh position against undocumented Armenian workers in Turkey, threatening to expel thousands amid tensions over allegations that Armenians were victims of “genocide” during the last days of the Ottoman Empire.
Resolutions passed recently in the United States and Sweden to brand the World War I killings as “genocide” undermine peace efforts with Armenia, Erdoğan said during his visit to London, according to excerpts from an interview with the BBC Turkish service published on the BBC Web site late Tuesday.
Referring to about 100,000 undocumented Armenians working in Turkey that Ankara has so far tolerated, Erdoğan said: “So what will I do tomorrow? If necessary, I will tell them ‘come on, back to your country’… I’m not obliged to keep them in my country. Those actions [on genocide resolutions] unfortunately have a negative impact on our sincere attitudes,” Agence France-Presse quoted him as saying.
The context, as noted, is the recent resolutions recognizing the Armenian genocide as a genocide. You can read my latest commentary on the matter here.