While we weren’t surprised that Obama was such a wuss about the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide that he couldn’t even call it a genocide in his statement, it’s even more surprising that Turkey was upset that he didn’t bow deeply enough to their denial of reality.
From Today’s Zaman:
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has expressed sadness over a statement by US President Barack Obama issued on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the 1915 killings of Armenians, saying the US president’s remarks are one-sided and fail to acknowledge sufferings of Turks.
In the statement, Obama pledged solidarity with Armenians but stopped short of calling what happened to them 100 years ago “genocide.”
“On this solemn centennial, we stand with the Armenian people in remembering that which was lost,” he said. “We pledge that those who suffered will not be forgotten.”
“We sadly noted that the statement by US President Barack Obama on April 24 is far from evaluating the painful section of the common history of Turks and Armenians based on fair recollections. The fact that the statement is far from the fact that what happened during World War I is sensitive for Turks as much as it is for Armenians and that it represents a one-sided approach is problematic,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.
Armenians refer to the killings as genocide, saying 1.5 million Armenians were systematically murdered by Ottoman forces in the early years of the 20th century while Turkey vehemently rejects the allegations, saying the death toll is inflated and that Muslim Turks were also killed during the civil strife that coincided with the final years of the deteriorating empire.
Turkey denies that the killings, at a time when Ottoman troops were fighting Russian forces, constituted genocide. It says there was no organized campaign to wipe out Armenians and no evidence of any such orders from the Ottoman authorities.