In the midst of the global crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Turkish government has asked China for an explanation over a message written on the humanitarian aid boxes sent to Armenia on April 8.
The reason why Ankara has asked Beijing for a clarification about the message was to ascertain why Mount Ağrı (Ararat) in eastern Turkey that borders Armenia, was mentioned on the aid boxes sent to Turkey’s long time foe – Armenia.
The message on the aid packages reads: “May our friendship (be) higher than Mountain Ararat and longer than the Yangtze River.”
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Mount Ararat, which is located in the current Turkish province of Ağrı, is a historical Armenian symbol that is engraved on its shield along with Noah’s Ark and belongs to the region known as “Western Armenia”.
“China’s Ambassador to Ankara Deng Li clarified that the humanitarian aid dispatched to Armenia was prepared by the local authority and was sent to Yerevan,” said Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy.
“Initially the officials only wrote in Chinese and there was no reference to Mount Ağrı. The references, which were written in English, were added later.”
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Deng Li is reportedly investigating the matter, and Turkey will be informed about the results. “With this incident, (Deng) said he has full respect for Turkey’s sovereignty and unity of land,” Hami Aksoy added.
Turkey and Armenia historically share tense relations. Yerevan accuse the Turks of the Armenian Genocide — a systematic mass murder and expulsion of 1.5 million ethnic Armenians carried out in Turkey and adjoining regions between 1914 and 1923.
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As experts put it — on the eve of World War I, there were two million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire and by 1922, there were less than 400,000. All others were slaughtered calling it the biggest genocide of the modern era.
But to the Turks, what happened in 1915 was just another war that doomed the one mighty Ottoman Empire. They reject the findings of historians and the term genocide, saying there was no pre-planned attempt to annihilate the Armenian people.