American President Biden called the mass murder of the Armenians in the first half of the 20th century genocide.
“ Every year on this day, we commemorate those who died in the Ottoman period during the Armenian genocide and we are committed to preventing the repetition of such an atrocity,” he writes in a statement.
Most of Biden‘s predecessors have always avoided this term for the murder and deportation of hundreds of thousands of Armenians. They feared that such recognition would harm the relationship with NATO partner Turkey. Only Ronald Reagan spoke the word genocide in this respect (in 1981). He referred to the Armenian genocide in a statement on the Holocaust.
The position of Biden does not come unexpectedly. At a commemoration last year during his election campaign, he already said that he tried the Ottomans from 1915 to eradicate the Armenians.
Today the memorial took place in Yerevan:
Turkey has already responded immediately. Ankara completely rejects the recognition. “Words cannot change or rewrite history,” says Foreign Minister Cavusoglu. “We don’t have to learn anything from anyone about our own past.”
According to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there is no legal basis for recognition. The American decision ‘opens a deep wound that undermines trust and friendship between our countries’.
Biden spoke yesterday by telephone about his intention with President Erdogan. Officially, it was about the intention of both countries to improve the relationship between them, but according to sources that know the content of the conversation, Biden has said that today he would call the murder of the Armenians a genocide.
A spokesman for Minister Blok says that the Dutch cabinet has taken note of the American position on the Armenian genocide. The Cabinet takes a “proper decision” on this.
The House of Representatives acknowledged the Armenian genocide three years ago. In February, the Chamber called on the cabinet to join it. A motion on this was adopted by an overwhelming majority against the wishes of the Cabinet.
The Cabinet has so far been keeping to the wording ‘the question of the Armenian genocide’. In February, before the vote on the motion, Blok said that the Cabinet wants to classify genocide only if there is ‘anchoring in a UN resolution or in a judgment of an international court based on thorough investigation’.
According to Blok, there is no doubt that in 1915 terrible killings were carried out on the Armenian population. But he feels that the criteria set by the Cabinet are not met. He also said that “the vast majority of the international legal community and other governments also think so”.