Erdogan reportedly said this to the Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II, after the patriarch asked Erdogan to remove certain parts from school books in Turkey that would offend Armenians.
"Removing such expressions should be mutual," said Erdogan, according to a report in the daily Milliyet. Lawyer Cetin emphasized that Mesrob II is a Turkish citizen. "Legally, a prime minister cannot ask for "mutual" action from its own citizens," said Cetin.
"If Prime Minister Erdogan indeed said something like that, such an approach is totally out of line with the government's efforts to join the European Union (EU)," said Cetin. Erdogan has to make a statement about this issue, according to Cetin.
"The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-UNESCO and the United Nations (UN) are carrying out a joint effort to "clear history of hostilities," said Cetin.
"If Turkey is sincere about joining the EU, it should take part in these efforts and object to using history for bad intentions."
"Mutuality, legally, involves citizens of different countries. It is unacceptable for Turkey to punish its own citizen, and see him/her as hostage, for something another country has done," she concludes.
According to the report in Milliyet, which carried the title, "There are expressions in books that offend Turks," Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II asked Erdogan, in a visit, to remove certain expressions from Turkish history books that offend Armenians.
Erdogan replied to Mesrob II saying, "certain expressions in French and Armenian history books offend Turks." "Removing such expressions should be mutual," Erdogan said, according to Milliyet. (BB/EA/NM)