Turkey's national defense minister on Monday criticized US President Joe Biden’s naming of the 1915 incidents as "genocide."
In a statement, Hulusi Akar said that Biden’s remarks are nothing but rejection and distortion of historical facts.
“Extracting animosities from history and creating new hostilities are unacceptable and futile,” he said.
He added that the politicization of history could have significant negative effects on bilateral relations and regional security.
Reinstating that Turkey has always advocated for addressing the 1915 incidents by historians, not politicians, Akar noted that the US administration did not consult historical documents and archives on the matter under the pressure of certain political powerhouses and Armenian diaspora.
Turkey’s position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.
Turkey objects to the presentation of these 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 Turkey and Armenia as well as international experts to tackle the issue.
In 2014, then-Prime Minister Erdogan expressed condolences to the descendants of Armenians who lost their lives in the events of 1915.
* Writing by Ahmet Gencturk
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