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Beyond the moral and psychological implications, both for the States and for the descendants of the populations involved, the official recognition of a genocide in 1915-1916 implies important financial and territorial stakes for Turkey. Recognizing the Armenian genocide would open the way to claims for damages to which Turkey does not want to give in. Turkey could be forced to pay compensation for human, moral and material damage (as Germany had to do after the Shoah), or even to return territory to Armenia (the Treaty of Sevres, undermined by the genocide and then by the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, gave Armenia territories located in present-day Turkey, but also in Azerbaijan and Georgia).
Also, te perpetrators of the genocide were among the founders of the Republic of Turkey, which was born seven years later, and therefore the Turkish government cannot accept that among the great heroes who saved the homeland, some were murderers. To recognize the Armenian genocide would be to question the foundations of Turkish national identity, because it would be to admit that the Turkish republic was created on the basis of the systematic elimination of Armenians and the plundering of their property.
But, I think we have to understand that Erdogan is either schizophrenic or a populist.
On the one hand, on April 23, 2014, Prime Minister, at the time, Erdogan addresses in a statement Ankara's condolences to the "grandsons of the Armenians killed in 1915." At the time, this was seen as a historic first step towards Turkey's recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Erdogan said that "It is a human duty to understand and share the desire of Armenians to commemorate their suffering during this period" and that "We [Turkey] wish that the Armenians who lost their lives in the circumstances of the early 20th century rest in peace and we express our condolences to their grandchildren.
And on the other hand, 4 years later, president at that time, on April 24, 2019, he said that the decision to deport the Armenian population was "reasonable" for the time.
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