Biden recognized the events of 1915 as ‘genocide’!
US President Joseph Biden recognized the 1915 events as “genocide”!
US President Joe Biden described the events that took place during the First World War in 1914-1918 as “Genocide” in a statement yesterday (April 24, 2021).
US President Biden used the words “genocide” and “Meds Yeghern” / ‘great catastrophe’ in Armenian for the 1915 events.
According to the press release reported by the White House, Biden said:
“Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring. Beginning on April 24, 1915, with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople by Ottoman authorities, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in a campaign of extermination. We honor the victims of the Meds Yeghern so that the horrors of what happened are never lost to history. And we remember so that we remain ever-vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms.
Of those who survived, most were forced to find new homes and new lives around the world, including in the United States. With strength and resilience, the Armenian people survived and rebuilt their community. Over the decades Armenian immigrants have enriched the United States in countless ways, but they have never forgotten the tragic history that brought so many of their ancestors to our shores. We honor their story. We see that pain. We affirm the history. We do this not to cast blame but to ensure that what happened is never repeated.
Today, as we mourn what was lost, let us also turn our eyes to the future—toward the world that we wish to build for our children. A world unstained by the daily evils of bigotry and intolerance, where human rights are respected, and where all people are able to pursue their lives in dignity and security. Let us renew our shared resolve to prevent future atrocities from occurring anywhere in the world. And let us pursue healing and reconciliation for all the people of the world.
The American people honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago today.”
Reactions from Turkey
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that they rejected Biden’s statement.
In a statement made by Çavuşoğlu on his Twitter account, “Words cannot change or rewrite history. We cannot learn from anyone about our history. Political opportunism is the greatest betrayal of peace and justice. We totally reject this statement, whose sole basis is populism”.
Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın announced that they would not recognize Biden’s decision.
“We strongly condemn and reject the statement of the US President, who repeats the slanders of circles whose only agenda is hostility to our country. “We recommend the US President to look at his own history and present,” he said.
The Armenian government announced that they welcomed Biden’s statement.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia showed his satisfaction in a statement:
“Recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide is a common humanitarian problem, it is a matter of unconditional commitment to the protection of human rights and humanitarian principles.”
The reaction of the principal opposition Party
On the other hand, the CHP also reacted to US President Biden regarding the issue. In the statement made by Party Spokesperson Faik Öztrak, the following statements were made:
“US President Joseph Biden’s description of the painful events of 1915 as ‘genocide’ has gone down in history as a great mistake. This statement not only will have a negative impact on the relationship of Turkey and the US, it is also will give a negative impact irreparable wounds to a reconciliation to be achieved between Armenia and Turkey Peoples.
The events of 1915 left their mark as a tragedy, a disaster that caused great trauma in the memory of Turks and Armenians. It is not possible to eliminate this trauma with such explanations. In particular, it was up to the state officials of other countries to try to heal the wounds of the common pain, not to cause a new tension over the tragedy of the past. With this statement, this opportunity has also been missed. … We regret the statements that implicate our country.”
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry in the detailed description is given in the following views:
“We reject and denounce in the strongest terms the statement of the President of the US regarding the events of 1915 made under the pressure of radical Armenian circles and anti-Turkey groups on 24 April.
It is clear that the said statement does not have a scholarly and legal basis, nor is it supported by any evidence. With regards to the events of 1915, none of the conditions required for the use of the term “genocide” that is strictly defined in international law are met.
The nature of the events of 1915 does not change according to the current political motives of the politicians or domestic political considerations. Such an attitude serves only a vulgar distortion of history.
The European Court of Human Rights has clearly confirmed the controversial nature of the events of 1915. Moreover, in 2005 Turkey proposed to Armenian side to establish a Joint History Commission in order to reach a just memory in the light of historical facts of that period. Although Armenia has never responded to this proposal, it is still on the table. In this respect, the statement made by the President of the US, who is neither legally nor morally authorized to judge historical matters, has no value.
As a country located at the center of a region that is called as the cradle of civilizations and who has adopted the attitude of exercising effort for the peace and serenity for humanity despite all her sufferings, Turkey has never avoided facing her history and would not take lessons from any country, including the US, in this regard.
On this occasion, we once again commemorate the cherished memories of the individuals from all the Muslim, Christian and Jewish communities of the Ottoman Empire, who lost their lives under the extraordinary conditions of the period before and during the First World War. The message conveyed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 24 April, for the Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives at the First World War which was read during the liturgy at the Armenian Patriarchate in İstanbul, this year as well, reflects the approach of Turkey on this topic.
After more than a hundred years of this past suffering, instead of exerting sincere efforts to completely heal the wounds of the past and build the future together in our region, the US President’s statement will not yield any results other than polarizing the nations and hindering peace and stability in our region.
This statement of the US, which distorts the historical facts, will never be accepted in the conscience of the Turkish people, and will open a deep wound that undermines our mutual trust and friendship.
We call on the US President to correct this grave mistake, which serves no purpose other than to satisfy certain political circles and to support the efforts aiming to establish a practice of peaceful coexistence in the region, especially among the Turkish and Armenian nations, instead of serving the agenda of those circles that try to foment enmity from history.”
World media gave Biden’s press release from the headline. The Turks and Armenians, met in front of Turkey’s Embassy in Washington as it does every year.
While it was observed that the members of the Turkish community were crowded and the US President’s statement was heavily protested, it drew attention that the members of the Armenian community were few.
The articles on the same subject:
Bizim Anadolu / April 25th, 2021
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