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Turkiye rejects US' commemoration of 107th anniversary of 'Armenian genocide'

People carrying a USA and Armenia flag protest outside of the Turkish Consulate on the anniversary of the Armenian genocide in a demonstration organized by the Armenian Youth Federation of the Western United States on 24 April 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. [RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images]
People carrying a USA and Armenia flag protest outside of the Turkish Consulate on the anniversary of the Armenian genocide in a demonstration organized by the Armenian Youth Federation of the Western United States on 24 April 2022 in Beverly Hills, California. [RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images]

The Turkish Foreign Ministry yesterday rejected US President Joe Biden's commemoration of the 107th anniversary of the Armenian genocide when 1.5 million Armenians were killed in World War I during the era of the Ottoman Empire.

"We reject such statements and decisions to distort historical facts for political motives, and we condemn those who insist on this mistake," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that Biden has repeated the same mistake he made last year.

Yesterday Biden commemorated the 107th anniversary of the start of the Armenian genocide, issuing a statement in memory of the 1.5 million Armenians "who were deported, massacred or marched to their deaths in a campaign of extermination".

Last year, Biden recognised the massacres committed against the Armenians as a "genocide", angering Turkiye.

At the time, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said: "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."

Historians believe about 1.5 million Armenians were victims of systematic killing during the era of the Ottoman Empire.

Turkiye, the legal successor to the Ottoman Empire, has recognised the killing of between 300,000 and 500,000 people, but refuses to describe it as "genocide".

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