Obama commemorates ‘Meds Yeghern,’ Armenian killings of 1915
AP photoU.S. President Barack Obama avoided using the word “genocide” in his remarks to commemorate the killings of Armenians in 1915, describing it as “Meds Yeghern,” an Armenian term meaning “great calamity.”
Obama has chosen to opt for this wording in all his commemorative statements on April 24 since he came into office.
“Today we solemnly reflect on the first mass atrocity of the 20th century - the Armenian Meds Yeghern - when one and a half million Armenian people were deported, massacred, and marched to their deaths in the final days of the Ottoman Empire,” read the statement released earlier than expected from the White House on April 22, during Obama’s visit to Britain.
“We stand with the Armenian people throughout the world in recalling the horror of the Meds Yeghern and reaffirm our ongoing commitment to a democratic, peaceful and prosperous Armenia,” added the statement.
Turkey rejects that the events of 1915 amounted to “genocide,” saying the killings should be understood in the context of World War I.