The foreign ministry criticized the U.S. President’s written statements regarding the 1915 events, saying that Turkey considers them “null and void.”
In a statement released Wednesday, the foreign ministry noted that Donald Trump’s remarks regarding the 1915 events released on April 24, 2018 are inaccurate and contain subjective interpretation of historical events.
U.S. President Donald Trump, in a traditional presidential statement issued every April 24, used the term “Meds Yeghern,” an Armenian term meaning “great calamity,” and once again avoided labeling the events as “genocide,” just like his predecessor Barack Obama.
“We expect the U.S. administration to evaluate the period, when all peoples of the Ottoman Empire suffered tremendous pain, in a fair manner,” the foreign ministry said, adding that they remind the U.S. president that there were over 500,000 Muslim people slaughtered by Armenian insurgents in the same period.
Referring to Turkey’s willingness to shed light on the period through the establishment of a “Joint Historical Commission,” the statement said that Turkey has opened its archives for researchers to reach accurate information.
The statement also noted that Armenians in Turkey commemorate the lives lost in the 1915 events at a ceremony held in the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul in a way that befits the 800-year-old Turkish-Armenian friendship.
The deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 occurred after some Armenian nationalists sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.
Turkey describes the events of 1915 as a tragedy for both sides. Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia, along with international experts, to tackle the issue.
Meanwhile, Armenia, joined by its powerful diaspora institutions around the world, describe the killings as “genocide” with a highly inflated estimate of up to 1.5 million deaths.
Trump used the same estimation in his statement and said that the deaths resulted from deportation, massacres and death marches.