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AMERICAS > Obama avoids using ‘genocide’ in remarks on Ottoman-era Armenian deaths

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US President Barack Obama speaks during the White House science fair. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN

US President Barack Obama speaks during the White House science fair. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN

U.S. President Barack Obama avoided using the term “genocide” today in his annual message marking the events of 1915, dubbing the mass killings a “great disaster” (Meds Yeghern).

“Today we commemorate the Meds Yeghern and honor those who perished in one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. Ninety-eight years ago, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred or marched to their deaths in the final days of the Ottoman Empire,” Obama said.

“I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view has not changed. A full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts is in all of our interests,” he continued.

Armenians mark April 24 annually as the beginning of the mass killings of their kin during the Ottoman Empire.

Obama shows 'one-sided approach': Turkish Foreign Ministry

Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry criticized Obama's message in a statement issued April 24, saying the U.S. president's approach only reflected Armenian views.

"Issued under the influence of domestic political considerations and interpreting controversial historical events on the basis of one-sided information and with a selective sense of justice, such statements damage both Turkish-American relations, and also render it more difficult for Turks and Armenians to reach a just memory," the statement read.

"Our expectation from an important ally of Turkey such as the U.S. is ... to encourage the Armenian side, which avoids objective and scientific research of the issue, to be more realistic and conciliatory," the statement added, noting the readiness of Turkey for the investigation of history.


April/24/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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turkic voice

4/27/2013 7:58:24 AM

Armenians chose to side with the invading sides thus they were traitors to their home land, we all know this. You cannot live in my home and spit in my face and expect not to be thrown out. Sadly many of today’s nations chose this same path and separated from the Ottoman Empire. Maybe Armenia’s needs to look at the reasons behind why there so called allies left them stranded and left them unassisted after false promises?

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

4/26/2013 5:56:25 PM

I would not be surprised if Turkey negotiates with Armenians, as they did with the Kurds. Of course, the timing of it highly depends on the developments in the Karabag problem. No doubt there are similarities between the Jewish "Holocaust" and Armenian "Genocide", but I consider Armenian Genocide as a consequence of a religious war since the other non-Muslims, including the Greeks, Jews and Syriac Christians were also cleansed. Kurds are not cleansed, they help to cleansing of non-Muslims.

Hans-Joachim "Terrorist" Zierke

4/25/2013 7:28:38 PM

Raymond Zak, it happened in their motherland. Germans were identified as "jews" by genealogical research, including discrimination of "half-jews" or "quarter-jews", many of them won't have been aware of their jewish grandma without help by the Nazis. Many of the Germans killed as "jew" had only a loose connection to the jewish faith, if at all. They had lived in Europe for … x centuries.

mara mcglothin

4/25/2013 4:16:33 PM

DUTCHTURK The majority of Americans could care less about this issue, and many like myself think that we have much more pressing issues these days than to argue the past. I was simply pointing out that we should add this to the "list" of promises that Obama made that he has NOT kept since being in office.

Charlotte Sander

4/25/2013 8:50:36 AM

If we talk about "the worst attrocities of the 20th century", we must talk about Balkan Wars where 1 million Turkish people were truly massacred by their own NEIGHBOURS! So, don't tell us about massacre because you know nothing! Accept or not, It was Turkish people who were massacred, not Armenians in the 20th century! Armenians were only exiled and there is a huge difference between exile and massacre! They were exiled because they killed their Turkish NEIGHBOURS during WORLD WAR I. Real shame!

Ali Karp

4/25/2013 8:06:37 AM

When will Obama observe 1879, when my daughter's great grandparents along with hundreds of thousands ethnically cleansed from the Caucasus? When will Obama observe 1911, when my daughter's other great grandparents escaped from death while their relatives were slaughtered in Macedonia?

Raymond Zak

4/25/2013 5:05:53 AM

Hans Joachim Zierke : The fundamental difference between Jewish Holocaust and the Genocide is ,that, the Armenian Genocide happened on Armenians' motherland, Jewish Holocaust happened in Europe .

Raymond Zak

4/25/2013 4:40:25 AM

Hello Turkey....What Obama is describing is GENOCIDE ....oops I should of not say that....sorry the G word. From now on we are playing with words. lol

Kerem Kemal

4/25/2013 1:13:20 AM

has someone pressed the "REPLAY" button on Obama's back? The song is boring...

Suzanne Nine

4/25/2013 12:25:26 AM

Turkish people have to take this bitter truth, apologize and return all their debts to the families of killed Armenians. then they will be cleared before the world!!
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