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17 April 2014, Thursday
 
 
Today's Zaman
 
 
 
 

Obama avoids g-word in April 24 statement

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BARACK OBAMA (PHOTO: AP)
24 April 2012, Tuesday /TODAYSZAMAN.COM
US President Barack Obama avoided using the word “genocide” in an annual statement commemorating Armenians who perished during World War I in Anatolia, referring to the killings as “Meds Yeghern” -- meaning Great Tragedy in Armenian -- instead.

"Today, we commemorate the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.  In doing so, we honor the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who were brutally massacred or marched to their deaths in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire," Obama said in his statement.

Obama was widely expected to avoid the word genocide in his annual message, the fourth since he came to the office in 2009. Turkey, a key US ally, has repeatedly warned in the past that referring to the World War I events during the Ottoman Empire as the “Armenian genocide” would cause irreparable damage to ties.

Turkey denies Armenian claims of genocide, saying there were deaths on both sides as Armenians revolted against the Ottoman Empire in collaboration with the Russian army, which was then invading eastern Anatolia, to establish an independent Armenian state.

Obama had promised Armenian voters to recognize the World War I events as genocide during his election campaign, but later backtracked, saying efforts aimed at Turkish-Armenian reconciliation should not be undermined.

In his message on Tuesday, Obama said: "I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915. My view of that history has not changed." He also called for “a full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts” about the history, saying that “moving forward with the future cannot be done without reckoning with the facts of the past.”

“Some individuals have already taken this courageous step forward. We applaud those Armenians and Turks who have taken this path, and we hope that many more will choose it, with the support of their governments, as well as mine," said Obama.

In Ankara, the Turkish Foreign Ministry rejected Obama's remarks, which it said “distorted historical realities,” and said it was saddened by his statement marking the anniversary of the 1915 killings. The statement also added that Obama exhibited a baseless approach that reflects only Armenian arguments in marking the 1915 tragedy, saying Turkey considers every aspect of Obama's statement “problematic,” which it said “distorts historical realities.”

The statement said remarks like this -- made based on domestic political considerations and with “selective justice” in mind -- are both mismatched and complicate the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation process. Ankara urged Washington to avoid making similar remarks that damage Turkish-American relations and instead asked the US to encourage the Armenian side, which it accused of avoiding an investigation of shared historical facts, to be realistic and reconciliatory.

 
 
COMMENTS
to George Hakobyan, yes please send info re:NATO archives to [email protected]
joe
In NATO archives are millions of evidence about the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. Are you interested? Send me an email!
George Hakobyan
Let's wait and see how many foreign leaders Turkey can gag! Is it all you care, Turkey? One day, eventually you will also become a 'used by date' by Americans as you have been by Germans!
Hairenakitz
1,500,000 Armenians were killed in 1915. We must recognize this as genocide!!!
Vatandas
I just wonder when would the Armenians realize that people that they have to work with and explain their story are the turks otherwise It doesn’t matter much whether Mr.Obama say genocide or not Frankly I don’t think, Its gonna change anything or Its gonna have any effect, already more then 20 count...
wildTurkey
Romney just won my vote. And I thought that AIPAC was sufficiently pissed at Turkey to tell Obama it's okay to honor his promise now.... go figure? Ultimately, it will take the Ressurection to achieve justice on this. Wow to the murderers on that day for they will be raised and judged as well.
General Koofta
When will nations accept the Iraqi and Afghani genocide bills? When will the West pay for their crimes against humanity???
Özcan
The Armenians expect and are waiting Turkey to pronounce finally the word Genocide. That the entire world does it and Turkey denys it will not help the victims to rest in peace. I sincerely hope the turks will discover those black pages and recognize that crime against their own brothers the armenia...
Ararat Araratian
Armenian Genocide. Never Forget!
Citizen
Actually, the word 'Genocide' falls short of discribing the crime committed by the Young Turks'Ittihad ve Terakki gang, drunk on visions of a Pan-Turkic empire spread from the Balkans to the gates of China. Genocide involves the mass murder of people belonging to a particular ethnicity or religion, ...
Tatul Sonentz-Papazian
He should also have said something about the 518.105 muslims massacred by armenian gangs between 1914-1921. The armenian diaspora cannot open even their archives, cannot stand any academic discussion on the matter, threaten academicians in the US who dare discuss, cannot go to courts to prove their ...
C. Emre Gülsever
I want to be a an American president who lies too.
Orhan Cucukoglu
Poor American Citizens, 300 million Americans are convinced that America is a country of principles with Noble values.
Raffi
Obama has done the right and proper thing by refusing to participate in political propaganda. I am so glad he did not betray history by becoming "revisionist" to gain a few votes from the "squeaky wheel" Armenians. It's time for the Armenia Diaspora to spend their time, energy and money helping thei...
Cherokee
Obama is in his last year as US President. Offending key constituencies-including the Armenian American community-has sealed his fate.
Christoph
"one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. In doing so, we honor the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who were brutally massacred or marched to their deaths in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire". Yet, Turks are happy that Obama did not use the word "Genocide". This Turkish behaviour ...
J2
“I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915. My view of that history has not changed”. His view for years has been that it is Genocide and he cannot officially, as president say it now because of the political threats from Turkey (blackmail) at a time when the US needs Turkish ...
Uncle Billy
Turkey prosecutes the ones with controversial banners during the Hocali demonstration in Istanbul, while the Armenians today burned the Turkish flags during their ceremonies in Yerevan. Stop prosecuting them, they burn our flag and we call them P.. ,as easy as that.
Can
One can run from the truth, but canot hide from it. Truth will always prevail. Remember Dersim?
Dina
I appreciate the President's words, and I hope that they are heeded by Turkey. This issue will keep coming back every year until the government of Turkey begins telling its people the truth; that collective sigh of relief at the foreign ministry simply means one more year of this.
Jack Kalpakian
I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915. My view of that history has not changed.Obama
VTiger
G word is fabricated by defeated armenians. Obama is not that much stupid to believe in lies..
necati
Lieberman will give today a statement to Armenians from Baku. From Baku with Love
zynell
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