US President Barack Obama. AFP photo
The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) joined the Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday in criticizing U.S. President Barack Obama’s annual April 24 statement marking the events of 1915.
CHP has voiced disapproval of Obama’s statement, arguing that it was neither helpful for Armenians nor for Turks in reaching an eventual reconciliation in the interpretation of historical facts.
“This statement, aiming to pet the feelings of one side, will not be helping to create a common understanding and memory through dialogue and to settle peaceful relations in the future, by confronting the disputed common past between Turks and Armenians,” CHP’s deputy leader Faruk Loğoğlu said in a written statement released yesterday.
Commemorating the 98th anniversary of mass killings of the Anatolian Armenians during World War I, Obama deemed them “Meds Yeghern” (great calamity), as he avoided the term “genocide” at the cost of disappointing Armenians, particularly the U.S.-based Armenian diaspora.
Loğoğlu said that Obama had once again supported the Armenian accusations launched against the Turks over history and his words were far from reflecting the reality. The relationship between Turkey and Armenia must be handled by remedying the bilateral and regional problems, and third parties should only be involved in encouraging such endeavors, he added.
Becoming first to criticize Obama’s statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said 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.