Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged his American colleague, Joe Biden, to withdraw the classification of the mass killing of Armenians as genocide more than 100 years ago. Erdogan said on Monday that this “slip” Biden sour relations. The United States should also “take a look in the mirror.” Erdogan added that he expects to be able to turn a new page with Biden at the NATO summit in June.
Erdogan criticized Biden for “painful events” during World War I more than a century ago. They had no legal and historical basis and would mourn the Turkish people.
Erdogan accused the United States of giving in to pressure from Armenian and anti-Turkish interest groups. But this does not change the “devastating” impact of the data on Turkish-American relations.
It was the first public reaction from the Turkish head of state since Biden’s statement on Saturday. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu declared that the US decision is based on populism.
Biden announced in a notice distributed by the White House on the day of commemoration of the massacres on Saturday, that “the American people honor all Armenians who perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago today.” With his testimony, the Democratic politician kept his campaign promise. However, try to limit the damage. Biden emphasized that the announcement was not about blaming, but rather about preventing the events of the time from happening again. High-level representatives of the US government also affirmed the extent of Washington’s interest in a good partnership with Ankara.
Turkey, which emerged from the Ottoman Empire, admits that many Armenians were killed during the First World War. However, she rejects the fact that this was a systematic genocide for which the Empire government was responsible. In April 2015, the Vienna National Assembly officially classified the killing of 1.5 million Armenians as genocide, which put pressure on bilateral relations with Ankara. A year later, the Bundestag followed suit with a similar declaration.
During World War I, the Ottoman Empire was an ally of Austria-Hungary and the German Empire, which looked the other way during the mass killing of Armenians. There were supporters of the genocide in the German army, because the Armenians were accused of being on the side of the common enemy of the war, Russia. This fought with Great Britain and France against the three “Central Powers”.