Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to recognize the United States’ actions against Native Americans as a genocide in response to the United States’ recognition of Turkey’s 1915-1916 genocide against Armenians.
“If you say genocide, then you need to look at yourselves in the mirror and make an evaluation. The Native Americans, I don’t even need to mention them, what happened is clear,” Erdogan said after a Monday cabinet meeting. He also suggested that the international community should “also talk about what happened to… blacks and in Vietnam.”
LIVE — Erdoğan: US President Biden’s biased statement on 1915 events is destructive for Turkish-American bilateral relations. We believe that Mr. Biden’s statement was due to pressure from radical Armenian figures pic.twitter.com/JPyG0ZhtAy
— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) April 26, 2021
The United States recognized the Armenian Genocide on Saturday. The Trump administration rejected a bipartisan resolution in 2019 that called for the State Department to do so, after Erdogan threatened to “oppose [the US] by reciprocating such decisions in parliament.”
“Can we speak about America without mentioning [Native Americans]? It is a shameful moment in US history,” he said at the time. (RELATED: Chinese Official Says American Politicians Promoted Racism And Hatred That Led To Mass Shooting)
The Ottoman Empire carried out the Armenian Genocide between 1915 and 1916, during which between 600,000 and 1.2 million people died, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
The Turkish government claims that Armenians were relocated within the Ottoman Empire in response to internal unrest. “Armenian gangs, who were at least 150,000 to 300,000 people, carried out massacres in Turkish territory. Furthermore, they partnered with Russian forces to fight against us. Ottoman authorities took precautions,” Erdogan said.
“A week’s time was given to prepare and those with an excuse were exempted from the relocation,” he continued.
Erdogan also blamed “pressure from radical Armenian figures” for the United States’ government’s stance. Prominent Armenian-Americans, including Kim Kardashian and Cher, had advocated for the designation.