The controversy arose on Saturday the 23rd when the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlüt Çavusoglu, made the gesture of the “Grey Wolves” -an extreme right-wing terrorist paramilitary group banned in many countries-, as a message of “hatred towards the Armenian community who was demonstrating against his visit near the Turkish embassy in Uruguay.
This Monday, Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo met with the Turkish ambassador, Hüseyin Müftüoglu, to ask for explanations for the offensive gesture towards the Armenian community that Çavusoglu made on Saturday.
The meeting between Bustillo and Müftüoglu was held at the Foreign Ministry headquarters and lasted more than an hour.
The Turkish ambassador in Montevideo did not make a statement to the press and, according to reports, Bustillo expressed his deep discomfort at the event.
Rejection of the political system
The entire political system expressed rejection of the offensive gesture made by the Turkish Foreign Minister last Saturday.
President Luis Lacalle Pou described the gesture as unfortunate, and assured that it should be strongly criticized. “The Armenian community is hurt and rightly so. In addition, the offensive action took place the day before the 107th anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide.”
In statements to the press, made on Sunday, Bustillo said that the government repudiates “any behavior, invocation or offensive gesture that generates physical or moral violence.”
However, there has been no official statement in this regard so far.
From the Broad Front it was expressed that Uruguay, as a pioneer country in recognizing the Armenian genocide after 107 years, and more than ever, support and show solidarity with the Armenian community.
“Faced with the attempt to exterminate a people, violence, provocation and Turkish denialism: memory, truth, justice and never again,” said the leftist coalition.
The FA recalled that April 24 marked the 107th anniversary of the first genocide of the 20th century, that of the Armenian people carried out by the Turkish-Ottoman government between 1915 and 1923.
This act, which constitutes an “indefeasible crime against a defenseless people, was carried out within the framework of the First World War and lasted beyond its end, with the sole objective of proceeding with the ethnic annihilation of a nation by making it disappear from their ancestral lands.
The FA, as a political force that since its origins has spoken out against all forms of human rights violations, expresses its “solidarity with the Armenian people in general and with the large Armenian community that lives in our country in particular.”
“Its members participate in different spheres of national life, offering their contribution to the construction of our country,” the FA said in a statement.
For its part, the National Executive Committee of the Colorado Party expressed its repudiation of the racist gesture that the Turkish Foreign Minister had towards the Armenian people, on the occasion of his visit to Uruguay.
At the same time, he expressed, once again, his commitment to the cause of that community, which is part of the national identity.
“It should also be remembered that our country was the first South American country to condemn the Armenian genocide, through a legal pronouncement promoted at the time by members of our parliamentary caucus,” indicated the Colorado Party.