US President Joe Biden acknowledged the killings of Armenians in 1915, by the Ottoman forces as a genocide, which is one of the greatest moment for millions of migrants who died as he resisted decades of pressure being imposed by the Turkish government.
He became the first US President for using the word “genocide” in his statement, especially after informing Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish leader in an attempt to limit the furore created by the NATO ally.
Biden further said, “We should always remember those people who have died in the Ottoman-Armenian genocide and should ensure ourselves from preventing such an attack in the future.”
This statement is being considered a huge relief for the people of Armenia and its diaspora. Uruguay was the first nation to acknowledge this as a genocide in 1965 and was joined by other countries such as France, Germany, Canada and Russia. But a statement from the US has been considered as the main goal which has been proven otherwise under earlier presidents.
Erdogan reacted to the whole situation by issuing a statement to the people of Armenia in Istanbul and said, “All these debates should be conducted by historians and should not be politicized by the third world parties.”
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had tweeted after the US President had issued a statement. He tweeted that, “Words can’t change or rewrite the history. Won’t take any lessons from anyone about our own history.”
“Words cannot change or rewrite history.”
We have nothing to learn from anybody on our own past. Political opportunism is the greatest betrayal to peace and justice.
We entirely reject this statement based solely on populism.#1915Events
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) April 24, 2021
The US ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield had expressed his disappointment as he was summoned by the Turkish Foreign Ministry and admitted that Biden’s decision has created a hole in the relations between the two countries that is difficult to cope with.
Explaining Biden’s decision, an official from his administration pointed towards the fact that it was the President’s promise to prioritize human rights and his attempts to rule out systematic racism in the United States. The official further said, “People have started to realize and acknowledge the painful historical facts about their own countries. It’s the same thing that we are doing in the United States.”
A total of 1.5 million Armenians have been killed from 1915 to 1917 during the days of the Ottoman regime, who also got suspicious of the Christian minority for conspiring the Russian adversary in the first world war. The accounts of the foreign diplomats during the time of the regime revealed that the Armenian people were being deported in the desert of Syria and some were even shot and poisoned. After the Ottoman Empire was reduced to ashes, the Republic of Turkey emerged and it recognized the fact that around 300,000 Armenians might have died but refuses to address it as a genocide and believed that many Turks died due to Famine.
For Armenians and American-Armenians, recognition has become the most important goal by urging the government for the need of compensation and the restoration of property by calling it as Meds Yeghern, which is also known as “The Great Crime” and has also asked for more support from their neighbour, Azerbaijan.
The Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan issued a statement and said that the statement by the US President is not correct as it lacked historical facts about the killings of 1915. They also requested that Turkey’s killings should be studied and analyzed by historians and not by politicians.
Armenia lost the war with Azerbaijan last year over the controversial Nogorno-Karabakh region, where Armenia was left traumatized as Ankara backed its ally Baku and not them.