Donald Trump has been criticised by Turkey for issuing a statement on the 24th of April, commemorating the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, history’s first modern genocide during which Ottoman Turkey killed over 1.5 million innocent Armenian Christians.
Trump’s statement, like Barack Obama before him, failed to mention the words ‘genocide’ or ‘holocaust’ for fear of offending modern Turkey which refuses to acknowledge the crimes of the Turkish state in 1915.
Donald Trump said of the Genocide,
“Beginning in 1915, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire.
I join the Armenian community in America and around the world in mourning the loss of innocent lives and the suffering endured by so many”.
However, this statement still managed to anger Turkey, whose Foreign Ministry released the following statement on behalf of President Erdogan:
“We consider that the misinformation and false definitions contained in U.S. President Trump’s written statement of April 24, 2017, regarding the 1915 events are derived from the information pollution created over the years by some Armenian circles in the U.S. by means of propaganda methods.
We expect from the new U.S. Administration not to accredit the one-sided historical narrative of these circles which are known for their tendency to violence and hate speech and to adopt an approach which will take into consideration the sufferings of all sides.
We would like to remind the U.S. Administration that the Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives during the First World War, were commemorated again this year on April 24 at a ceremony held by the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul, with the respect they deserve.
The statement conveyed to this ceremony by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reflects the approach of Turkey on this issue”.
Just what is misinformed about Trump’s statement isn’t clear. The Turkish government has yet again shown its total duplicity in the denial of a catastrophic event for which their predecessors bear responsibility.
It beggars belief that a state like Turkey still uses the events of 1915 as a game of political football and even more despicable that many western leaders play into Turkey’s hands.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.