Armenian genocide anniversary puts Turkish-US relations under tension
Turkish President denounces US President's use of the term genocide, calling unjust and unfair and calling for a reversal
Erdogan invited US officials to inspect evidence about the massacre in Turkey’s archives in a detailed televised speech after a cabinet meeting on Monday.
The Turkish president even referred to US massacres, such as the mass killing and expulsion of Native Americans, the bombing of Japan during WWII, and the Vietnam War, to urge the US to focus on its own past.
Joe Biden made history on Saturday by being the first US president to use the word ‘genocide’ since Ronald Reagan did so in passing in 1981.
“On this day each year, we honour the lives of all those who perished in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to never allowing such an atrocity to happen again,” Biden said in a statement commemorating Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day on Saturday.
Between 1915 and 1923, an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were killed in Ottoman-controlled territories, the majority before 1919, as a result of widespread deportations, starvation, and killings.
The term “genocide” is a touchy subject for Turkish officials since the government recognizes that massacres were committed against Armenians during the war, but maintains that the killings were not part of a concerted effort and do not constitute genocide.
Erdogan did not announce any retaliatory steps against Washington, as the world leaders are expected to meet on the sidelines of a Nato summit in June.
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