The Basics On Saturday April 24th, Joe Biden became the first US president to describe the Armenian massacre marking the 106th anniversary of the tragedy as “genocide”. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted immediately and pointed to the “politicization of a purely historical debate by third parties”.
Joe Biden recognized the Armenian Genocide on Saturday April 24th and became the first President of the United States to qualify the deaths of one and a half million Armenians massacred by the Ottoman Empire in 1915 on Remembrance Day, Dec. April mentioned the word “genocide” for the first time. “Americans honor all Armenians who were killed in the genocide that began 106 years ago today,” wrote Joe Biden. “We reaffirm history. We don’t do this to overwhelm anyone, we do this to make sure what happened is never repeated,” he added.
Immediately after the White House press release was published, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned “the politicization of the debate at this time in history by third parties”. “Nobody takes advantage of the fact that the debates that should be led by historians are politicized by third parties and become an instrument of interference in our country,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a message to the Armenian Patriarch in Istanbul.
Also read: Armenians commemorate the 106th anniversary of the genocide
“Promoting respect for human rights”
The Armenian genocide is recognized by more than twenty countries and many historians, but is heavily denied by Turkey. Joe Biden, who had promised to take the initiative on the issue during his election campaign, informed his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan of his decision on Friday during a telephone conversation. The two heads of state and government agreed to meet in June on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Brussels.
It’s about “honoring the victims, not overpowering anyone,” said an American official on condition of anonymity. “We continue to view Turkey as a key ally within NATO,” she added. “There are many common interests, but at the same time it is no secret that there are also differences between our countries,” she said. According to her, “the president really wants to promote respect for human rights around the world and ensure that such atrocities are not repeated.” “A critical part of this process is taking note of historical facts,” she pleaded. In his press release, Joe Biden emphasizes the need to look to the future, “the world we want to build for our children”. “Reaffirm our shared commitment to prevent future atrocities around the world,” he added.