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'Yet another attempt to distort history': Turkiye slams US remarks on 1915 events

April 24, 2023 at 1:33 pm

A man holds a sign reading ‘Yozgat 1915’ during a protest outside of the Turkish Consulate on the anniversary of the Armenian genocide on April 24, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California [RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images]

Turkiye on Monday lashed out at US President Joe Biden’s remarks on the 1915 events between Turkiye and Armenia.

“Yet another attempt by political charlatans to distort history! Politically driven statements cannot change the facts.

“Those intentionally insisting on their mistakes are destined to be remembered as hypocrites. No one shall dare to lecture us on our history,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter.

Separately, the Turkish Foreign Ministry rejected the statements made by the government officials of some countries, saying that Ankara considers them “null and void,” and condemned in the strongest terms those “who persist in this mistake.”

“The unfortunate statements that are incompatible with historical facts and international law regarding the events of 1915 are futile efforts aimed at rewriting history for political motives,” the ministry said in a statement, adding Turkiye does not need to be lectured about its own history by anyone.

It added that “1915 events cannot be defined according to politicians’ personal agendas and their domestic political considerations.”

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The statement further read: “Such an approach can only lead to distortion of history. Those who insist on this biased approach will go down in history as worthless opportunist politicians.”

Ankara also urged those who seek to derive animosity from history for shallow political considerations to support the joint history commission proposal and the regional peace and cooperation efforts led by Turkiye instead of repeating such “grave” mistakes.

Turkiye’s position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with the invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Turkiye objects to the presentation of the incidents as “genocide,” describing them as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkiye and Armenia as well as international experts to tackle the issue.