Turkish president slams US’ Biden over remarks on events of 1915

By Anadolu Agency

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday criticized US President Joe Biden’s recent statements on the events of 1915, calling them ahistorical and based on misinformation.

“The US president should learn and know history very well,” Erdogan told reporters in the capital Ankara after a Cabinet meeting. “We cannot forgive this attempt aiming to challenge Turkiye in the absence of such (historical) knowledge.”

Biden’s remarks on the subject, issued on Sunday, are not worth dwelling on as they are based on “false information,” he added.

Such statements on the events of 1915, which are supposedly recognized by various countries’ governments and parliaments, have no effect on Turkiye, Erdogan said.

Referring to the events of 1915, he said: “During World War I, Armenians in Anatolia started a revolt through provocation and equipment of foreign states and attacked the Muslim population. Memories of the massacres and cruelties committed by Armenian gangs all over our country are still alive.”

He added: “Although the Armenian propaganda expresses absurd numbers, it is a fact that many more Muslims than Armenians who lost their lives in Anatolia were brutally martyred by these gangs. Of course, the killing of a single innocent life, even a single civilian person, regardless of their faith and origin, is a tragedy.”

Also, with this understanding, Turkiye considers it “a humanitarian duty to express condolences to the Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives in the harsh conditions of World War I,” Erdogan noted.

He also said he will have a phone talk on Tuesday with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Turkish stance on events of 1915

Turkiye’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.

Turkiye 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 Turkiye 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.