World

Turkish PM says country ready to 'confront' killings of Armenians

  • April 29, 2014: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey.

    April 29, 2014: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey.  ( AP)

  • Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Erdogan said Turkey will ask the United States to extradite Turkish Islamic spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen. Erdogan has accused Gulen of orchestrating an alleged plot aimed to undermine and bring down his government. (AP Photo)

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Erdogan said Turkey will ask the United States to extradite Turkish Islamic spiritual leader Fethullah Gulen. Erdogan has accused Gulen of orchestrating an alleged plot aimed to undermine and bring down his government. (AP Photo)  (The Associated Press)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his nation is ready to "confront" the nation's history of killing ethnic Armenians nearly a century ago, but has stopped short of admitting it was genocide.

Erdogan on Tuesday also reiterated a call for Armenia and Armenians living abroad to participate in research with Turkey to document precisely what happened.

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event widely viewed by scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey denies that the deaths constituted genocide.

Erdogan's announcement came a week after he issued condolences to descendants of Armenians killed. A prominent American-Armenian group rejected Erdogan's message, demanding that Turkey admit that genocide happened.