In a statement released on Wednesday, Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the monument glorifies figures responsible for the murders of Ottoman political and military figures, Azerbaijani officials and even some Ottoman Armenians.
“The unveiling of this disgraceful monument glorifies a bloody operation that paved the way for the horrendous terrorist attacks that killed 31 Turkish diplomats and their families,” it said.
“Such provocative steps are incompatible with the spirit of the process of normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia and will in no way contribute to efforts to establish peace and stability in the region. On the contrary, they will have a negative impact on the normalization process,” the Turkish ministry added.
Earlier, the installation of the monument dedicated to Operation Nemesis in Yerevan was also condemned by Azerbaijan.
Officials in Armenia have not yet responded to statements from Turkey and Azerbaijan regarding the monument to whom are known among Armenians as avengers.
The monument was ceremonially inaugurated in Yerevan’s Ring Park on April 25, one day after Armenians in Armenia and around the world marked the 108th anniversary of the Ottoman-era Genocide vehemently denied by Turkey.
Yerevan’s Deputy Mayor Tigran Avinian attended the unveiling ceremony and made remarks at the event.
According to the authors of this initiative, the monument perpetuates the memory of the Armenians who took revenge on the Young Turk leaders who carried out the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and the organizers of the massacres of Armenians in Baku in 1918.
Between 1920 and 1922, a clandestine cell of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) carried out seven killings, the best-known of them being the assassination of former Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire Talaat Pasha, the main orchestrator of the Armenian genocide, by Armenian Soghomon Tehlirian in March 1921 in Berlin.
Tehlirian was arrested and tried by a jury in a German court and acquitted of deliberately killing Talaat Pasha who had two years before been convicted by the Ottoman Special Military Tribunal and sentenced to death in absentia for the “massacre and annihilation of the Armenian population of the Empire.”
In early 2022, Armenia and Turkey embarked on their second attempt in the past decade or so to normalize their historically strained relations. The governments of the two countries appointed special envoys who held several rounds of negotiations aimed at paving the way for establishing diplomatic relations and opening the currently closed border.
Since then Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan exchanged messages and had a phone call to discuss prospects of settling relations.
Also, Armenia sent rescuers and humanitarian aid to Turkey when a devastating earthquake struck the country in February, with Ankara temporarily reopening a crossing point at the border with Armenia for the humanitarian supply. Armenia said then it expected Turkey to reopen the border permanently at least for third countries’ citizens and diplomats in the near future.