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06/27/2020 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Turkey’s state-run media has announced the outcome of a five-hour Presidential High Advisory Board meeting held on June 16th which addressed the Armenian genocide. Following this meeting, President Erdogan decided to develop a so-called “new autonomous and civilian structure” which would focus on the genocide.

The Armenian genocide murdered, deported, or forcibly converted over 1.5 million Christians living in Turkey’s predecessor, the Ottoman Empire. Turkey has refused to acknowledge their country’s role in this, despite international recognition and scholarship saying otherwise. The authorities also continue policies which helped facilitate the genocide. Turkey is currently engaged in a military conflict that has raised their sensitivity to Armenian genocide recognition.

The new institution presented by President Erdogan would conduct research and develop strategies to refute the Armenian genocide. This proposal was supposed to have been discussed three months earlier, when Armenians opened lawsuits in the US courts related to the genocide, but was delayed because of COVID-19. Since most institutions in Turkey are state-run, there is no expectation that this expectation that this institution will be autonomous from government interference.

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