‘Hindering peace & stability’: Ankara summons US envoy as it fumes over Biden recognizing Armenian Genocide
Turkey has summoned the US ambassador to the country, blasting US President Joe Biden’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide as a threat to shaky regional peace, while denying him the moral right to “judge historical matters.”
Ankara took aim at Biden’s decision to recognize the Armenian Genocide on Saturday. The Turkish Foreign Ministry argued that the move would only inflame the simmering tensions in the region.
“After more than 100 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,” the ministry said.Also on rt.com Joe Biden formally recognizes Armenian Genocide, getting praise from Yerevan & angering NATO ally Turkey
It went on to argue that the US leader should have no say in regional matters, citing Ankara’s own proposal for Armenia to set up a joint history commission to investigate the century-old events.
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
Accusing Biden of “distorting historical facts” in his statement, Turkey said that it will open “a deep wound that undermines our trust and friendship” with the US.
The ministry alleged that the US president acted “under pressure from radical Armenian circles and anti-Turkey groups.”
On Twitter, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu decried the move as “political opportunism” and “the greatest betrayal to peace and justice.”
“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
Marking Armenian Remembrance Day on Saturday, Biden became the first US leader to refer to the massacre of ethnic Armenians in the final years of the Ottoman Empire as “genocide.”
Starting from 1915, an estimated 1.5 million people were killed or deported by the Young Turks movement as it was reshaping the crumbling empire. Turkey has fought for more than a century against the use of the world “genocide” to describe those events, insisting that the Armenians weren’t cleansed on ethnic grounds, but only resettled.
Relations between Ankara and Washington have already been strained in recent years over a long list of issues, including US pressure on Turkey to give up Russian-made S-400 missile systems, US support for Kurdish militias in Syria, which are deemed terrorists by Turkey, and US reluctance to hand over exiled cleric, Fethullah Gulen, accused of masterminding a failed military coup in Turkey in 2016.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn’t specifically address Biden’s recognition of the genocide on Saturday. However, in his letter to the Armenian patriarch in Istanbul, he pointed out that "nobody benefits” when the events of 1915 are “being politicized by third parties and becoming an instrument of interference in our country.”
“I commemorate with respect the Ottoman Armenians, who have lost their lives in the difficult conditions of World War I, and I extend my condolences to their grandchildren,” Erdogan wrote.
The Turkish leader said that after the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, Ankara was ready to develop relationships with Armenia.
Turkey supported its ally, Azerbaijan, in the conflict with Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region last autumn. More than a month of heavy fighting ended with the Russian-brokered truce, according to which large areas were handed over to Azeri control.Also on rt.com Forgotten Genocides: RT America looks at crimes politics has swept under the rug
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev echoed Turkey’s rhetoric, calling Biden’s move “a historic mistake.”
This “unacceptable” decision will hamper and complicate cooperation tendencies in the region, Aliyev told Erdogan on the phone, according to his press service.
The reaction from Yerevan was the complete opposite, with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan praising Biden for making a “powerful step on the way to acknowledging the truth, historical justice.”
The “principle position” of the US leader has provided an “invaluable support” for the descendants of the victims of the 1915 events, he added.
“The process of recognition of the Armenian genocide in the US has reached its goal,” Pashinyan pointed out, noting that the US House and Senate already passed resolutions acknowledging it in 2019.
“The recognition of the Armenian genocide by the US is a much-needed message to the international community, which comes to reaffirm the primacy of human rights and values in international relations,” the PM wrote.
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