ANKARA, Turkey -- Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday threatened that some 100,000 illegal immigrants from Armenia might be extradited from his country. "There are around 170,000 Armenians living in our country. Of them, 70,000 are Turkish citizens and the rest are illegal immigrants who have been on Turkish territory for over 10 years. If the situation continues to develop like this, we will have to review our attitude towards them," Erdogan said in an interview with the Turkish service of BBC. The statement came after a US committee and Sweden recently approved resolutions to brand the 1915 killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide.
On Tuesday, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt issued a statement expressing his regret over the parliament's decision to approve the document. "I informed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday that I regret the decision of the Riksdag [parliament], as it paves the way for a politicisation of historical events. I also expressed my concern that this could be used by forces in Turkey that are trying to put a stop to the process of reconciliation with Armenia and the process of reform in Turkey," Reinfeldt said. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has also criticised the parliament's move. (Vatan, Hurriyet, Milliyet, Sabah, ITAR-TASS - 17/03/10; AFP - 16/03/10)