President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday penned a letter to Aram Atesyan, acting patriarch of the Armenian Patriarchate, on the 104th anniversary of the "tragic events of 1915, commemorating the Armenians killed in World War I."
Starting his letter with condolences to the Armenian community over the death of late Armenian Patriarch Mesrob Mutafyan on March 8, Erdogan also offered his sincere condolences to the "grandchildren of Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives in the harsh conditions of World War I, and commemorated with respect all the victims."
"As it was in the process of disintegration of other empires, the Ottoman Empire, too, witnessed many humanitarian crises inside its borders as well in neighboring geographies during its final stages," Erdogan said.
"I also wish God's mercy upon other Ottoman citizens who lost their lives due to epidemic diseases, mass migration and defeatist acts carried out by gangs and armed groups increased due to weakening of state authority," Erdogan wrote.
Acknowledging the Armenian community's great contributions to the Ottoman Empire and the Turkish Republic, Erdogan reiterated that Armenians in Turkey still played important roles in every aspect of social, political and commercial life as equal and free citizens, as they did so in the past.