President Joe Biden on Saturday fully recognized the Armenian massacre of 1915 as genocide.
“Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House.
Between the years 1915 and 1925 an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were brutally slaughtered with another 2 million deported by the Ottoman Empire, Fox News reported. Armenians have dubbed the term “Meds Yeghern,” which is synonymous with the “Genocide of Armenians” similar to how the Jews refer to the Holocaust as “Shoah.”
“Beginning on April 24, 1915, with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople by Ottoman authorities, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in a campaign of extermination …We honor their story. We see that pain. We affirm the history,” Biden stated. (RELATED: Joe Biden Vows To Recognize Armenian Genocide If Elected President After Obama Administration Broke Promise To Do So)
The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a response rejecting Biden’s statement.
“We reject and denounce in the strongest terms the statement of the President of the US regarding the events of 1915 made under the pressure of radical Armenian circles and anti-Turkey groups on 24 April,” the response said.
“Words cannot change or rewrite history.”
We have nothing to learn from anybody on our own past. Political opportunism is the greatest betrayal to peace and justice.
We entirely reject this statement based solely on populism.#1915Events
— Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (@MevlutCavusoglu) April 24, 2021
The statement makes Biden the first U.S. president to fully recognize the massacre as genocide. Previous White House administrations have avoided addressing the topic due to the fear of damaging the relationship of a prominent NATO ally.
Jack Torosian, an Armenian American entrepreneur who migrated to California at a young age and often speaks out about the Armenian community, told The Daily Caller that Biden’s statement is “a great step.”
“It’s a great step to recognize the Genocide from 106 years ago, but there are the same issues and conflicts in the same area for the last year, 1000s of our young boys have died and we have lost more land in the last year based on the circumstances that were created 100 years ago… and everyone including the U.S. has turned a blind eye towards it. we have 100s of [POWS] that are still missing and no one is doing anything about it right now,” he said. “This is just a distraction away from the current crisis that’s been going on for a year now.”
American actor Joe Manganiello, who is of Armenian descendants, said on Twitter this morning saying the acknowledgement meant his ancestors’ “lives were not lost in vain.”
Today I honor my ancestors who were killed & the spirit of my great-grandmother who escaped & survived unspeakable horrors so that my family could exist.
This acknowledgment means that their lives were not lost in vain.#ArmenianGenocide https://t.co/z7hUmxTydC
— JOE MANGANIELLO (@JoeManganiello) April 24, 2021