US President Joe Biden recognises Armenian genocide
On its 106th anniversary, US President Joe Biden has
recognised the Armenian genocide, a historic declaration
that has infuriated Turkey and further strained frayed
ties between the NATO allies.
Beginning from April 24, 1915, swathes of Armenians
living in the former Ottoman Empire were forcibly
removed from their homes as part of mass deportations in
eastern Anatolia, which is now modern Turkey.
Thousands were marched south through deserts towards
Syria and Mesopotamia, with many killed by starvation,
disease, or dehydration. Others were brutally massacred
en route by Ottoman forces.
The total death toll from the genocide remains disputed.
The International Association of Genocide Scholars puts
the toll at more than a million, while Armenians put the
number at 1.5 million.
”The American people honour all those Armenians who
perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago
today,” Mr Biden said in a statement.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey “entirely
rejects” the US decision which he said was based “solely
Turkey’s foreign ministry said it summoned the US
Ambassador to Ankara over Mr Biden’s announcement.
In a statement, the ministry said Mr Biden’s
announcement had no legal basis and that Ankara
“rejected it, found it unacceptable and condemned in the
It said the statement had caused a “wound in ties that
will be hard to repair”.
Throughout its modern history Turkey has always denied
there was a systematic Ottoman campaign to annihilate
Armenians, though it does accept that many Christian
Armenians living in the empire were killed in clashes
with local forces.
Armenia’s Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan welcomed the
US’s recognition in a letter to Mr Biden, published on
his website on Saturday.
With the US’s inclusion, a total of 30 countries now
recognise the Armenian genocide.
Australia is not one of them.
However, the parliaments of New South Wales and South
Australia, and two local councils in Sydney, have passed
motions recognising the genocide.