Azerbaijan's Ambassador to Turkey Rashad Mammadov on Thursday once again drew attention to the significance of the Khojaly massacre in which hundreds of Azerbaijanis were killed by Armenian troops 30 years ago.
In an opening speech at a workshop in Ankara on the legal aspects of the alleged war committed by Armenian forces in Azerbaijan's Karabakh region, Mammadov said Armenia was guilty of committing war crimes in the town of Khojaly on Feb. 26, 1992.
"Today's ceremony is not a memorial service. It is a meeting where academics, teachers, experts, and politicians gather and evaluate the war crimes that have been committed by Armenia against Azerbaijani people in Khojaly," added Mammadov.
Describing the events in Khojaly as a "massacre," he stressed that the entire world remained silent on the issue despite all the facts that have since come to light.
"Armenia and its politicians occupied Azerbaijani lands for 30 years, caused 1 million people to live away from their homeland for 30 years, and carried out the Khojaly massacre with a fascist ideology," said Mammadov.
Underlining that Turkey had always "stood by Azerbaijan, giving its full support and sharing our grief," the ambassador said Yerevan today was "slandering our beloved Turkey and making the events of 1915 a priority of the domestic and foreign politics of their own state, claiming that it is a 'genocide.'"
Turkey's position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces.
The subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.
Turkey objects to the presentation of these incidents as "genocide," describing them as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.
"Every year, before the anniversary of the so-called 'genocide,' this issue is raised on all social media channels, world media, world parliaments and is used as a means of pressuring both Turkey and Azerbaijan," Mammadov asserted.
Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission made up of historians from Turkey and Armenia as well as international experts to tackle the issue.
While serving as prime minister, in 2014 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed his condolences to the descendants of Armenians who lost their lives in the events of 1915.
Mammadov also underlined the need to show the world the "undeniable and solid proof" of the Khojaly massacre.
"We have to tell it to the politicians, young population, and all other countries that this murder was a genocide."
Despite the time that has passed since the Khojaly massacre, it has yet to be "legally evaluated worldwide," said Aygun Attar, chairperson of the Turkish-Azerbaijani Friendship Cooperation and Solidarity Foundation (TADIV).
In her opening speech at the workshop, which TADIV and the Azerbaijani Embassy in Ankara helped organize, Attar emphasized that an evaluation needs to be conducted and urged people to raise awareness about the mass killing.
"I express my gratitude to everyone who has accepted and shared our pain as their own," she said.
Also, in a letter sent Thursday to the United Nations, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Republic of Azerbaijan Sabina Aliyeva said: "Unfortunately, although 30 years have passed since the commission of the act of genocide in Khojaly, applying double standards, the international community has not yet established due political and legal assessment of this brutal act and its perpetrators have not yet been brought to justice."