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Turkish PM won't back Iran sanctions

April 13th, 2010
03:12 PM ET

By Tom Evans; Sr. Writer, AMANPOUR.

Washington (CNN) - Turkey's prime minister declined to support President Barack Obama's push for tough new sanctions against Iran but said his country was willing to act as a mediator in the diplomatic standoff over Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey has had a strategic alliance with Iran since the 17th century and wants a diplomatic solution to end the deadlock. Erdogan spoke to CNN's Christiane Amanpour while in Washington to attend the Obama administration's summit on nuclear security, saying, "I believe that we can find a way out."

"I am here for a diplomatic solution," he said. Countries that are members of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) "must all work together on this, and as (for) Turkey, we could act as a very important intermediary."

Turkey is a rotating member of the United Nations Security Council, which has demanded that Iran halt its nuclear fuel program. Iran has refused the demand and continued to produce enriched uranium, which in high concentrations can be used to produce a nuclear bomb.

Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the United States has accused it of trying to develop a nuclear bomb.

The IAEA - the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency - reported in February that Iran has begun enriching uranium to higher levels without necessary safeguards, and the agency has said it has been unable to rule out the existence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program without further cooperation from Tehran.

While declining to endorse the idea of new sanctions against Tehran, Erdogan also said Ankara does not want to see any nuclear weapons in the Middle East. He noted that Israel, which does not recognize the NPT and is believed to have nuclear weapons, remains a member of the IAEA.

"Why do we not say the same thing to the country that does not recognize the NPT? That is also a cause for concern for me," Erdogan said. "It is important that we try to take steps to overcome those difficulties, so that we can strengthen peace in the Middle East."

Erdogan said he wants Israel to make a contribution to peace. But he said that was proving difficult because when Israel's coalition government speaks, "it's not a symphony, it's a cacophony."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week suddenly called off plans to attend the summit, apparently in an attempt to avoid any scrutiny of his country's nuclear policy. Though independent analysts estimate Israel has a stockpile of up to 200 nuclear warheads, Israel has never confirmed or denied whether it has the bomb.

For his part, Erdogan is trying to avoid the scrutiny of U.S. lawmakers who recently supported a resolution in the House of Representatives that branded the World War I-era killings of Armenians by Turkey as genocide. After the resolution was passed, Turkey temporarily withdrew its ambassador from Washington.

Armenians say up to 1.5 million people were killed in organized killings and deportations under the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1917. Erdogan said Turkey cannot accept that the killings were genocide, and he was confident Obama will not use the term either.

"That would be my expectation, because to this day, no American leader has uttered that word, and I believe that President Obama will not," he said.

Erdogan said the time when the killings took place was a period of war and revolts, and pointed out that the Turkish people also suffered terrible losses during the 1914-18 conflict.

"No nation, no people has the right to impose the way it remembers history to another nation or people - and Turkey does not try to do that," he added.

Erdogan was due to meet Obama on the sidelines of the nuclear summit on Tuesday.


Filed under:  Turkey
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Aratta Armen

    When erdogan claims "no nation, no people has the right to impose the way it remembers history to another nation or people-and turkey does not try to do that', he must remember that Genocide is a crime against humanity. The International Association of Genocide Scholars openly declard that what happened to the Armenians, was in fact a GENOCIDE. erdogan also lied when he said "no American leader has uttered that word (genocide)". Also, when he said "the time when the killings took place was a period of war and revolts, and pointed out that the Turkish people also suffered terrible losses during the 1914-18 conflict", he needs to be reminded that unarmed women and chaildren had no way of being part of a revolt. Turkey is a country where every generation sees some kind of a revolt.

    April 13, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  2. Daron Hovhnnesian

    The Armenian genocide is the first genocide of the 20th centruy in which every major country an government throughout the modern world has officially recognized the 1915-1918 killings of the armenian's as genocide. The Armenian genocide was a well orchrestrated planned an well organized massacres of the the christian minority Armenians who where living on their ancestrial lands under the Ottoman empire. The world is finally coming foward with thier guilt on this mass execution that took place 95 years ago. it is a real shame that the u.s won't use the world genocide when the u.s ambassador was an eye witness Henry Morganthaeu wrote in his own words what was happening to the christian armenians i wish christian Amanpour can do a cnn exclusive story on the armenian genocide but iam faithful that justice will be served on this issue the fight will never stop for recognition an the turkish government has no choice but to come to reality an stop the denial because the whole world knows what happend to the armenian's in 1915 its only a matter of time .

    April 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  3. Shahe

    Dear Mr. Evan,

    you should point out to Mr. Erdogan that his statement that "to this date no American leader has uttered that word (genocide)" is incorrect. President Reagan, in his April 22,1981 address, refered to the "Genocide of the Armenians".

    April 13, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  4. Paul

    Prime Minister Erdogan has his facts very wrong.
    President Reagan officially recognized the Armenian genocide in 1981.

    The dollowing article talks about that and more (reporters and commentators should especially read this):

    http://countercurrents.org/boyajian100410.htm

    An authoritative website on the Armenian genocide is: http://www.Armenian-genocide.org

    April 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  5. Free American

    It is obvious that the Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey is not a puppet of any Foreign Country.
    The US is a puppet of the Foreign Country Israel (NOT the other way around) due to the fact that there are many American Zionists (God's Chosen people- and their puppets the Christian Zionists) who are in full control of both Congress and the Senate which explain the full and blind support of Israel in spite of the fact that Israel is NOT a member of the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty ).
    The best source for terrorists to acquire nuclear WMD is from Israel and they have Tens of Thousands of palestinians graduating from Israeli jails who are the easiest to recruit and brainwash to commit nuclear attacks (Manchurian Candidates).
    Iran was invaded by the Russians, the British and most recently by Iraq's Saddam when the latter was a US Puppet. Iran has the right to defend itself against invaders. Iran never invaded any country!
    On the other hand; Israel (with its European/Russian/American Zionist Jews who are NOT Middle-Eastern) has been an invader and occupier of Arab countries and Israel has 200 Nuclear WMD. It is the duty of Peace-loving countries to disarm Israel of its nuclear arsenal. Therefore; all the "talks" about sanctions should be diverted to the real current threat (Israel) and NOT the imaginary future threat (Iran).
    Once Israel is exposed and disarmed of its nuclear WMD; there will be no need for any Middle-Eastern country to pursue their right of Self-Defense via nuclear WMD.

    April 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  6. RayT

    I find it ironic that Armenian Diaspora living in the US want Turkey to accept their version of history when in fact the US has not even faced their own. What about Native Americans?

    What about the Slave Trade?
    Spanish Inquisition?
    Atomic Bombs and Hiroshima & Nagasaki and the plans to if necessary blanket bomb all of Japan with Atomic bombs if they did not surrender?

    I think Turkey is right to say 'we are innocent until proven guilty'. That proof must be shown in the archives of nations before they will accept that such a heinous crime was committed by their ancestors against the Armenian people.

    It is folly to think that history should be determined by politicians whose motivations are dictated by lobbyists.

    April 13, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  7. Mes

    How can the world impose sanctions on Iran when there is no solid evidence , only on the assumption. Did Iraq had weapons of mass destructions, or ties to al Qaeda ? Now we know that NO!! But US said so. And devastated a country and nation. Iran is nit just a country on the map , or belongs to ahmedinejad. 90 million people/lives will suffer from those sanctions. World must be fair, responsible and serious. Applause toTurkey!!!

    April 13, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  8. Leonardo

    DO NOT FORGET THE KURDS!

    THEY WERE THE SUBHUMANS THAT CARRIED OUT MUCH OF THE GENOCIDE ON THE ARMINIANS.

    THEY GET "GOOD" PRESS TODAY BECAUSE THEIR FORMER MASTER TURKEY HAS TURNED AGAINST THEM.

    THE TURKS & THE KURDS ACTED LIKE DEMONS FROM HELL AGAINST THE CHRISTIAN ARMINIANS. AND HELL IS WHERE THEY WILL RETURN TO.

    April 13, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Reply
  9. Jack

    Since there was NO Armenian genocide, why should Turkey accept it? It is therefore uneducated propaganda to say that Turks are genocide deniers. You can't deny something that didn't happen. Such words as "genocide denier" are also scaring historians of doing any real work against the genocide claim: If they have any findings against the so called Armenian genocide, either they are called genocide deniers, or Armenian terrorists attack their house and attempt to murder them (and yes, this is true, there are many examples of this: Check Bernard Lewis, for example, who keeps getting threatened by Armenian terrorists every day; they even tried to kill him several times. And btw, the phrase "Armenian terrorist" is not an exaggeration; it is a fact not covered so often in the Western media: Armenian terrorists killed hundreds of Turkish diplomats until as recently as 90s. Also, the whole genocide claim is nothing more than Armenians revolting against the Ottoman Empire and failing! It was Armenians who massacred a whole Turkish city ("Van" in Eastern Turkey). The first Armenian president in fact admitted that Armenians tried to commit genocide against Turks, but failed. Why are his words censured by today's Armenia?

    April 14, 2010 at 12:13 am | Reply
  10. Saro Nakashian, Jerusalem

    Ms. Amanpour
    In you exclusive about Genocide a few months back you did not even mention the Genocide committed against the Armenians which was very surprising and lacked journalistic integrity, a word that should not be used to label a world class journalist like you. Yesterday you proved that by directly confronting the Turkish Prime Minister I think that speaks for itself.

    April 14, 2010 at 9:56 am | Reply
  11. paddy

    Really remembering 1914 is just too much ! We need to focus a lot mnore on currebt issues.Everyone has something or the other that is unpleasant about the past

    Racking up these issues solves no problems and compensates noone,just puts Turkey on the defensive and makes them unccoperative in other matters

    April 14, 2010 at 10:01 am | Reply
  12. Maz

    When Amanpour asked about the possibility of an invasion of Iran similar to the invasion of Iraq she said that the Iraqis did not satisfy the inspectors. THIS IS A LIE! Bush was not satisfied with the inspector and told them to get out so he could invade. I taught very highly of Amanpour until I saw this perpetuation of a Bush administration talking point. SHAME!

    April 14, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  13. Azmi Guran

    The reason why the genocide comes to terms is the aim of Germany to bring their Holocaust behind the curtain, to shift it into the rear place, to legalize it and to rehabilitate the Fuhrer. By achieving their goal, I don't doubt , if accidentaly Germany will have their next "Erloser" (or next Fuhrer) in future, the way to the next Holocaust is legitimately open. The victims are well known. That is why only the German government, in whole Europe, do not permit the Turks, already becoming German citizen, to have double citizenship.

    April 14, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  14. Azmi Guran

    Paul April 13th, 2010 5:14 pm ET

    Prime Minister Erdogan has his facts very wrong.
    President Reagan officially recognized the Armenian genocide in 1981.

    THAT IS NOT TRUE MR. PAUL. OTHERWISE WHY THE DISCREPENCY BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES'

    RayT April 13th, 2010 6:00 pm ET
    I think Turkey is right to say 'we are innocent until proven guilty'.

    EVERYONE IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. WE ARE NOT LIVING IN THE MIDDLE AGE.

    April 14, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  15. Constantinos Costopoulos

    Interesting!

    A good neighbour, a champion of peace in the area who explains history his own way.
    That explains why his Government occupies 40% of the land of a sovereing Country totally illegally.
    Respecting his views, we (the international community, the U.N and everybody) should apologize for condemning his Country for the 1994 Cyprus invasion.
    And by the way I suppose that Cyprus is not mentioned because a) we should not bother the good gentleman with silly questions (against U.S. vested interests) and b) we have created enough discomfort with the Armenian Genocide thing.

    Mrs Amanbour should know better, if not can ask her father or uncle.

    April 14, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  16. Azmi Guran

    Aratta Armen April 13th, 2010 3:36 pm ET

    MRS. ARATTA ARMEN, THE TURKS WERE FIGHTING ON ALL FOUR FRONTS AND DEFENDING THEIR HOME COUNTRY. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE DEFENSE OF THE MOTHERLAND IS, MRS. ARETTA ARMEN? DO YOU? I'VE BEEN IN VIETNAM IN 1969, I KNOW VERY WELL.
    THE ENGLISH AND FRENCH GOVERNMENT USED THE ARMENIANS IN THEIR OWN ARMY AS CANNON FODDER AGAINST THE TURKS. BUT AT THE LAUSANNE CONFERENCE ON JULY 24, 1923, BY RECOGNIZING THE NEWLY ESTABLISHED TURKEY THEY DID NOT UTTER THE WORD "ARMENIA" FROM THEIR LIPS.
    I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR YOUR COMMENT MRS. ARATTA ARMEN IN THIS RESPECT.

    April 14, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  17. 'The Civilized Western World'

    It is amazing to see how much resentment is floating around in the mass media against all countries with a Muslim population, despite the fact that the worst atrocities in the human history have been committed under the banner of Christianity. Starting from the wiping out of the indigenous population in North, Central and South America by the Spaniards and Anglo-Saxons, the slavery which was introduced again by the Anglo-Saxons and Spaniards which helped the US become a super power, millions of black African’s raped, murdered and exploited like animals, the genocide on the African continent during the times of colonialism, the genocide in Vietnam, Cambodia, the double Genocide in Iraq during the two gulf wars, the ongoing genocides in Afghanistan and Palestine, etc. etc. etc.

    And here we go, this article is about Turkey's attempt to avoid a major war in the Middle-East the so called ‘civilized western world’ is orchestrating under the leadership of the very same country which has been in charge of probably a dozen of genocides world, but as usual the ‘highly educated’ readers don’t know anything better than spilling out their hatred towards Turkey and Iran and a probably sorry not to have found the right agenda to express their hatred against all Muslims...whom they probably would like to see wiped out like indigenous people in America

    With so much uncritical thinking you will continue being contributors to much more oncoming genocide…congratulations to all of you!

    April 14, 2010 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  18. Yakubu MAGAJI , From Bauchi State- NIGERIA.

    Amanpour, do you know what baffles me most in your interview with the Turkish Prime minister ?. when he said, "JERUSALEM has been an important place for the MUSLIMS throughout history".
    What came directly into my mind is your interview also with Tariq Ramadan. Becuase he kept repeating to you the issues of the muslim Palestenians suffering in their own long historic land .That ,that has been his objectives to try and educate the western world of the muslims long historical suffering in Jerusalem and Israel.
    While he forgot that he is coming from African origin,and that if his thoughts were of peace and not for evil as he wanted us to believe, he would have been fighting for the freedom of the Sudanese African people in the hands of these criminal Sudanese president and his administration. But have you ever heard one Arab man or woman or muslims in the world talking of Dafur massacres ?.No not even one,all they talk of the muslim people are suffering in the hands of the Israelis, Iran is entitled to have atomic bomb,Iraq has suffered,Afghasnistan,Palestenians,Hezbolla and that the muslims should unite against the west ,that is the kind of strengthening peace in the middle east that, the Turkish Prime minister was trying to get across to you .
    So when the Turkish Prime minister said that,"Turkey has had a strategic alliance with Iran since the 17th century,and therefore can't support Obama's tough sanctions against Iran, and that Israel is the biggest threat to the world peace,and when you asked him the second time ,he modified it to be that,he want Israel to make contribution to the world peace. That no president in America has ever used the word GENOCIDE, so Obama will never use the word to the killings of millions Armenians as Genocide. Does that came to you as a surprise Amanpour ?.
    I am not taking my time to inform you of all these things for nothing. one day you will remember that there was a man from Bauchi state-Nigeria ,has once said somthing like this.We are not ignorant of the history of the crusades that took place from 1096 till the early 13th century to regain Jerusalem from Muslims and the Turks. These wars were generally regarded as wars between christians and the muslims.But that was not true,the fact that they were wars between Europe and the Islamic and Turkish rulers,does not make them religious.The crusades in history were rather political wars engineered by the Roman emperors and the apostate papacy, who wanted to annex Jerusalem as part of their land,but felt the Turks had been a little bit faster. That was why Erdogan said,"Jerusalem has been an important place for the muslims throughout history" The Turkish also have tried to take Jerusalem out of the hands of the Israelis,but was not possible,so they must support Iran and or the Palestenians,if we can't get it, we must fight it out for others name sake.
    So what am I saying ?.When you asked the Turkish prime minister as to whether their relationship with Israel can be amended ?He said Turkey is not an enemy to any country in the world I just laughed.
    Our priestess can't be fooled,he must only succeed in deceiving himself and the world,but not the God of Israel.Thank God for the Jews and Israel we know the true God.

    Yakubu MAGAJI
    Bauchi state-Nigeria.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  19. troy

    What a suprise all the commentators are armenians. This is clearly tells all of us reality is not what they are trying to show the people. Bring the proof then talk. THIS IS NOT CONGRES OR SENATORS JOB TO SAY.. LET THE HISTORIANS FINDOUT WHAT REALLY HAPPEND. OPEN THE ARCHIVES.HOW ABOUT THE TURKS WHOM DIED IN THAT WAR.

    April 14, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  20. Ari

    Erdogan is wrong once again! When he says that nobody should impose the history on Turkey the way that other countries remember... HELLO! This is not just Turkish History! ITS ARMENIAN HISTORY!!

    Armenia has every right to tell the world of what had happened in 1915, as genocide! One cant impose history on another.. history is history.. and what history is is what really happened and the truth.

    If Erdogan does not accept what happened was genocide, then thats his problem, because that is what happened, like it or not. ACCEPT IT!

    April 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  21. Levin

    Why don't Armenians accept Erdogan's proposal to form an independent commission of historians to look at the issue? Why are they trying to get their cause accepted by the US senate when the only thing that really matters is Turkey's acceptance? If Armenian claims are true, there should not be any reason for not accepting Erdogan's proposal and win the battle once and for all.

    April 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  22. Samvel Farmanyan

    Erdogan is not honest-as all the other leaders of turkey before and perhaps three or for leaders to come. Every nation and ever smaller groups have their own memory, sometimes manipulated by the leading elites. Because manipulation of the memory of the nation sometimes is the seemingly shortest way to avoid state tragedy. That is the case of turkey. everyone knows, including erdogan, that his ancestors committed the unprecedented act of the crime against humanity, they committed genocide. And he knows it very well that his generations to come will face and have the courage to recognize the truth about what their ancestors had comitted. there is no doubt in that. He thinks that it is not the right time to tell the truth to his nation as it will mean loss of power. What erdogan can do now is to demonstrate a bold political vision and courage to go on with the ar
    enia-turkey process and deblockade Armenia allowing the two neighbors talk to each other. In that case it will be easier for his sucessors to come to tell the truth to the Turkish nation about the Armenian genocide. I belive it will happen in the coming 10-20 years ahead!

    April 14, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  23. Avi

    I wonder, how many Turks have heard of their strategic alliance with Iran since the 17th century. Could it all be a figment of Erdogan's imagination? Most definitely yes. Turks for centuries despised and were untrusting of Iran. The feeling was a mutual on both sides.
    That may have been the alliance Erdogan speaks of. The alliance of mutual hatred.
    Erdogan is an ignorant person, who truly believes he can fool his counterparts in Turkey and abroad. when in deed he is the bigger fool for thinking that.

    April 15, 2010 at 12:06 am | Reply
  24. Turk

    It is funny to see that almost all of the commentators are Armenians.

    If Armenia is so sure of it's self, why is it not willing to create a research committee, just like the Turks want.

    April 15, 2010 at 2:37 am | Reply
  25. Mephistopheles

    Erdogan does what any Turkish diplomat has to do, reject...however it is a challenge to question the intelligence of nations such as France...

    Genocide is a crime against humanity and not a history until it's evaluated properly and objectively ...

    Turkey is what it has to defend...

    April 15, 2010 at 3:32 am | Reply
  26. Mephistopheles

    Dear Turk, all documents and facts are available to public, and if Turkey or anyone needs to do research they are more t6han welcome to do it ... there is no need for research committee... history is not negotiable and is not subject to compromise

    April 15, 2010 at 3:39 am | Reply
  27. David

    The death toll of Armenians have risen from "500,000" to "1,500,000", even though only 1,200,000 Armenians lived in Ottoman Empire, according to Western/Ottoman Census. It's sad that Americans let Armenians run their country by spending $$$ with their lobbyists and propaganda. If you want to know the truth, look at history. Look at how Turks/Armenians lived peacefully together for hundreds of years. Look at WHY Turks relocated some Armenians, who were traitors to homeland, aiding the enemy, and killing innocent Turks while the Turkish men were fighting a losing war at all fronts to Westerns. Learn history and break free from ignorance stemming from Armenian propaganda.

    April 16, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  28. Levin

    Dear Mephistopheles,
    History can well be negotiable depending on who wrote or "documented" it. It is not an absolute science. It can be manipulated for political purposes. Please do not be so naive and do not tell me that it is not happening even today. The only difference is, 100 years ago it was academics with interests and now it is the media that is run by the few that have interests.

    April 18, 2010 at 11:51 am | Reply
  29. BYRON PETROU

    I have always admired Ms. Amanpour. She is , in my opinion, the best correspondent ever. However, I have been rather disappointed in today's interview with the Turkish Prime Minister. The Armenian Genocide and the Israeli relations were discussed, but WHY NOT CYPRUS? Is the illegal occupation of the north of the this island by Turkey not important enough to have been included in this interview? Why nobody talks about this horrendous crime anymore?

    April 18, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  30. Colin V. Gallagher

    It is the height of hypocrisy for the U.S. Congress, which has funded Israeli war crimes against the civilian populations of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip to accuse Turkey's government of ignoring or whitewashing a claimed 95 year-old genocide. The bombing of innocent women and children in Gaza with phosphorus bombs had just as sadistic and brutal as anything that the Ottoman Empire had allegedly done to its Armenian citizens. Raising the issue of the alleged Armenian genocide at this time is only intended as punishment of Prime Minister Erdogan for mentioning uncomfortable truths such as sanctions will only hurt the Iranian people, that Iran's nuclear program is not a threat to the region and that Israel's policy of seizing lebensraum at the expense of the Palestinians is a threat to the region. Elected officials who support the genocide resolution are simply taking their marching orders from the Israel lobby to attack a moderate Muslim ally of the U.S.

    April 18, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  31. ayse koymen

    Turkey and Armenia signed an agreement to have a panel of expert historians to examine the archives of both countries and others' to come to a decision if what happened was indeed a genocide. The Armenian diaspora went ballistic upon learning of this decision. They are afraid that their lies are going to be proven wrong. If they are so sure of their claim, why are they so afraid of such a panel of historians looking into what really happened.

    April 18, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  32. rafael saraga

    I am convinced that the turquish prime minister, is taking his country backwards by getting close to the Iranian president who declares pubilicly his intention to wipe out Israel from the earth and is doing everything he can to develop a nuglear atomic warheads.
    62 years ago Hitler declared also his intention to wipe out the jews from this world, the big diff. is that Israel today can defense herself.
    I hope turquey will remain close to the west and not to the evil.

    April 18, 2010 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  33. Charlie P

    PM Erdogan has shown an appropriate approach to international diplomacy in offering his good offices as a very credible intermediary on NPT as well as a variety of other issues, not just East/West oriented ones. This significant bridge, a long term, loyal NATO ally should be a primary consideration for meeting challenges in the region. There is nothing secondary about this man or his intentions to facilitate a plausible working group that could yield some results..

    April 18, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  34. Harry M

    I strongly take exception to the comments made by Ray T, wherein he finds it ironic that the American Armenian Diaspora should want Turkey to accept their genocide when the US will not face their own. Tell me, if the US will not face it's transgressions, does that absolve Turkey of their transgressions? What kind of argument is that? I found your historical juxtipositions interesting. You lumped the Spanish Inquisition in with America's slave trade and its treatment of the Indians. I think you have the wrong country and century Ray; the Spanish Inquisition started before the US was even thought of, and it happened in ... Spain. You said that history should not be determined by politicians. I agree; what do you think theTurkish politicians are presently doing? You are also right that historians should determine what happenned in 1915. I suggest you do some reading of third party research on the subject and you will realize that historians have already made their determination; it is the politicians in Trukey that have not accepted it yet. Mark my words, it is just a matter of time.
    '

    April 18, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  35. Cyrus

    Christian,

    As an Iranian-American, I was both embarrassed and upset by your interview. Are you trying to establish your anti-Iran credentials with the pro-Israel/Zionist critics of yours? It took somebody as courageous as Erdogan to publicly remind you of your unhealthy obsession with Iran. That you, and your colleagues in the Western press, should not remove Israel from the nuclear map of the Middle-East, because Israel has been made to be a scared cow.

    Do you think you could muster the courage to ask BiBi about Israel's nuclear arsenal, genocidal treatment of the Palestinians, and the attempt to level the neighboring countries every other year in the name of security if he showed up for the meeting? Why is it often the case that your guests, rather than you, have to introduce an element of balance into discussion when it comes to nuclear issues and peace in the M.E.? It is a shame that your fear of the Lobby has turned you to just another reporter who follows the company line and parrots the usual questions.

    April 18, 2010 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  36. mike sey

    Seems absurd to allow a squabble over what to call a century old tragedy/attrocity to sour relations with Turkey today.

    Turkey is a democracy that is reigning in its Generals and trying to become a member of Europe. Sounds pretty good, yet it doesn't seem to satisfy America.

    Why -? because Erdogan has relaxed prohibitions on religious freedoms and children can wear head scarves in the classroom or he can recite Islamic poetry in public? Because Turkey has a 400 year old treaty with its neighbour Iran and isn't about to throw it over on awhim ?

    April 18, 2010 at 10:27 pm | Reply
  37. Karen

    I very much enjoyed watching the interview with the Turkish Prime Minister. And I would like to say he seemed to be one of the most reasonable voices of anyone in 'power' I have heard in a very long time, other than that of our own President Obama. However, I had to laugh when you asked him about Iran, AGAIN saying '.. It seems to be one the agenda, which is why everyone is talking'!! Just how stupid are the powers in control here? If that is the "reason" why everyone is at the summit, then why not act like adults and invite Iran. Did they just assume they would decline? Or are they not ready to talk directly with them? What a wonderful opportunity that could have been, but instead we don't even invite them? Was that supposed to hurt their feelings? Draw them closer? Or give them more to complain about? Obama "said" HE would sit down with our enemies, and I believe he has the strenth, but too much time passed and our paranoid old members of congress got to him. Then when Iran doesn't respond quickly enough we, PREDICTABLY start with the threats. We have a lot to learn about cultures other than our own self-righteous one.

    One other thing about the interview with the Turkish Prime Minister; you are posing questions to Iran through this seemingly logical man who desires having peace among his neighbors. I'm sure he knows this, but it is pure IDIOCY to grill him about Iran when no one talks about sanctions or invasions in relation to ISRAEL. Emotions aside, bow ridiculous is that? The fact that Israel didn't attend this event should be major news, the fact that they truly ARE the biggest threat in the Middle East since they have nuclear weapons and do NOT belong to the IAEA, and that our own government doesn't even have access to information on how much of a threat they may be is ASTONISHING to me! The fact that it is ISRAEL, not Turkey, who seems to be thumbing their noses directly at the U.S.is much more frightening than Turkey making friends with it's neighbors! Someone needs to open their eyes! As for what congress did about the geneside? Yes, it was one, but I ask you who are WE to start talking about mass killings, period, let alone genocide Once again, congress couldn't see the benefit of the big picture. So slap one of our few friends in that area in the face! Good job!

    *If I've used any facts incorrectly, forgive me. I got most of this from cable news. Thank you for the opportunity to rant/blog Christiane. I love your show. Can't check spelling! Bar won't scroll! Sorry for mistakes too

    April 18, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  38. sasun tehlerian

    Anybody who can read knows what happened to armenians and who did it. it's a great tool to test any politician or academic. All interested can spend twenty minutes "on line" and get the facts straight. Horrifying is the fact that denial campaign of such an inhuman act can be successful for so many years and ignored by so many "democracies", including usa and israel.
    We all need to learn, discuss and stop all genocides. As far as armenian genocide, it's floating in it's final stage. Stage of denial. Not for long, I hope.
    The only good thing that comes out of recent discussions of armenian genocide is that it uncovered the real face of turkish politics and politicians.
    Never Again!

    April 18, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  39. peacelily

    President Erdogan is right to refuse to single out Iran for sanctions. And he said it in a professional manner. There is no proof of any nuclear weapons and even if they had them, Iranians are not stupid. They have no intention of attacking Israel. But Israel has 200 or more such weapons and refuses inspections or to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty! So who needs sanctions against them? Iran? No, Israel. The effort to clear the M.E. of nuclear weapons should begin there. The results of genocide, by the way, still linger in Gaza – no clean water, hospitals, clinics destroyed, homes and schools destroyed, children burned to death with white phosphorous dropped by Israelis who lust for all the land that does not belong to them. Many children were horribly burned by those WMD from Israel. That happened in our lifetime and that should be the focus because it is still going on. Americans are tired of being dragged into Israel's wars and are tired of all the billions of dollars of their taxes going there when it should be used at home. Israel is a rich, nuclear armed country certainly not needing "aid" from Americans.

    April 19, 2010 at 12:17 am | Reply
  40. Carlos

    Erdogan is the only world leader telling Israel the truth. Holding Israel to the same requirments of behavior as a civilized nation. God bless Erdogan and may other leaders start to listen to thier conscience. Israel is the most destabilizing force in the middle east. It has committed war crimes and crimes against humanity and should be at least confronted. Gaza seige must stop. Long Live Erdogan. If I could vote for him I would.

    April 19, 2010 at 11:28 am | Reply
  41. Samuel Fine

    The term "genocide" was coined by Raphael Lemkin (1900–1959), a Polish-Jewish legal scholar, in 1944, firstly from the Latin "gens, gentis," meaning "birth, race, stock, kind" or the Greek root génos (γένος) (same meaning); secondly from Latin -cidium (cutting, killing) via French -cide. In 1933, Lemkin prepared an essay entitled the Crime of Barbarity in which genocide was portrayed as a crime against international law. The concept of the crime, which later evolved into the idea of genocide, originated with the experience of the Assyrians massacred in Iraq on 11 August 1933. To Lemkin, the event in Iraq evoked "memories of the slaughter of Armenians" during World War I. He presented his first proposal to outlaw such "acts of barbarism" to the Legal Council of the League of Nations in Madrid the same year. The proposal failed, and his work incurred the disapproval of the Polish government, which was at the time pursuing a policy of conciliation with Nazi Germany.

    April 19, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  42. ng

    Israel is a source of all instability in the Middle East,
    and Zionist desire to create Great Israel even if it
    can plunge world in the Nuclear War

    April 19, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  43. Fred Brun

    The most relevant points about this subject were made by Cyrus on these blogs. As long as the double standard by CNN and its reporter’s vis-à-vis Israel is concerned, the attempt at relevant/unbiased reporting by Amanpour will fail! Since Christiane has joined CNN as a regular her reporting objectivity has changed dramatically. I used to like her interviews. Too bad.

    April 20, 2010 at 6:10 am | Reply
  44. Kent Erman

    It is amazing that no one talks about How the Russians backed the Armenians in World War 1 against the Turks...no one mentions the 5 million plus Turks/Muslims killed in this area.....The Soviet Union and the new Russia today asked the Armenians to open up their archives.....if they did you would see how the Armenian people celebrated the destruction of whole Turkish villages, by burning innocent people,old men ,women and children in their homes.Whole villages bombed by Armenians... Note as well that there were no foreign news reporters at this time in the area.....there was a WAR and the Turks had to defend their homeland from the Russians and the Armenians. Look the USSR even gave the Armenians their own country and yet more Armenians live in the U.S. then Armenia.
    Prior to WW1 the Armenians were under Turkish rule for for over 300 years.....and had the freedom to practice their religion more so then they would have under a Catholic or Protestant Europe at the time

    My American ancestors have no right to talk either, for look at what we did to the American Indians.....1.3 million Iraqi citizens,men women and children,all innocent were killed ....4 million had to leave Iraq to live in Syria.
    Finally why has not anyone found out why the Jewish Holocaust Museum in New York did not except the Armenian argument to have the Armenians represented there.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  45. Kent Erman

    To Constantinos the Turks under the treaty of Guarantee signed by England, Turkey and Greece gave each country the right to intervene in Cyprus if its population was under duress... I would call ETHNIC CLEANSING OF THE TURKISH POPULATION BY THE GREEK a good reason....Turkey did ask England to go in as well but the Britts said no
    In 2004 The vote was put to the entire Cyprus population to re-unite the Island.. THE TURKS VOTED YES!!!!! BUT THE GREEKS said NO!!!!! so by what right do you have to complain.
    Are you going to bring back my 2 cousins who were found tied and shot in the head, in a mass grave in southern Cyprus.Read the U.N. reports and not the Greek Propaganda Machine. I was in Northern Cyprus in 1975.

    April 20, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  46. peacelily

    Turkish President Erdogan is a principled man. While ignoring Israel's real crimes and an illegal and brutal occupation, Amanpour seemed to try to goad him into alienating Iran, a country that has not illegally occupied another. She ignores that Israel childishly ignores talking about its vast nuclear arsenal that threatens all its neighbors, or to have inspections or to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. While hypocritically threatening Iran who has signed the treaty and has no nuclear weapons. Due to the corruption of US politicians who accept bribes from some 200 lobbies to buy their votes and opinions, Israel continues the dishonesty. And the politicians continue to say Israel is their only ally in the M.E. The late Bishop Shaheen is quoted to have said: "When I hear people say Israel is our only ally in the Middle East, I can't help but recall that before Israel we had no enemies in the Middle East." Iran has been in existence for centuries. Israel is new, made up mostly of Eastern Europeans with no ties to the M.E., most of them today, converts and more of them live in the US than in Israel. Many Jewish writers have written about that history. Books like "The Thirteenth Tribe." And right, look what happened to the ancient Iraq – the Cradle of Civilization. Millions dead or injured, many of them children, wars that have cost over 3 trillion dollars. For what? People are tired of wars by the armchair warriors and want peace.

    April 20, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Reply
  47. Sergio Keliano

    Levin, April 14th, 2010 6:18 pm ET

    "Why don't Armenians accept Erdogan's proposal to form an independent commission of historians"

    Dear Levin,

    Armenians and genocide scholars all around the world have studied the Armenian Genocide for over 30 years now. 99.99% of all internationally recognized Genocide scholars and organizations have come to a mutual conclusion that this is in fact the first genocide of the 20th century.

    What do you think? Will Jews ever agree to form a commission of historians to debate if in fact genocide was committed to the European Jews by the German Nazis?

    Sometimes the truth hurts but ignoring it will not make it go away.

    Regards,

    April 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  48. Kent Erman

    The number one thing that must be realized ,Turkey and Iran share a border. Isreal and Iran do not. The first President of Turkey Kemal Attaturk promoted the following "Peace at Home ,peace abroad" policy.... this is still Turkey's position till this day.

    April 21, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  49. Kent Erman

    The number one thing that must be realized ,Turkey and Iran share a border. Israel and Iran do not. The first President of Turkey Kemal Attaturk promoted the following "Peace at Home ,peace abroad" policy.... this is still Turkey's position till this day.

    April 21, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Reply
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    April 23, 2010 at 6:04 am | Reply
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