For three months now, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been waiting for a phone call from the new president of the United States.
When Biden finally called, it was not a matter of reaching a NATO ally. Hit with the word F. Ankara responds angrily.
But why do Turkey’s leaders look red when other countries use the word genocide for the massacres of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1916?
The majority of Turks deny that genocide occurred: Yes, there was war, chaos and several massacres.
The Turks killed the Armenians, but the Armenians also killed the Turks. Both Christians and Muslims were killed when the Turkish Empire collapsed. But Turkey maintains that there was no strategic plan to exterminate the Armenian Christians.
For nearly 600 years, the Turkish Ottoman Empire ruled large parts of the Middle East and the Balkans.
But with the nationalist winds in Europe at the end of the nineteenth century, the ethnic and religious minorities of the Ottoman Empire also dreamed of ruling themselves.
Turkish nationalism was also on the rise. It made life more difficult for Christians in the multi-ethnic empire. The first massacres of Armenians took place as early as 1895.
Armenians are tired of Turkish harassment. Armenian Pakrat Istokyan told NRK earlier that they do not want to be second-class citizens. He lost many of his family members in 1915.
Thus, many Armenians joined the Russian army, hoping to gain autonomy. They allied with Russia, with which the Turks were at war.
The Young Turks who ruled the Ottoman Empire saw the Arameans as traitors and a national security problem that had to be solved.
Hundreds of thousands gathered and were forced out on death marches to Syria, which was part of the Ottoman Empire at the time.
On May 26, 1915, the Ottoman government adoptedDeportasgonslofen».
The Armenians were to be forcibly transferred from the Russian front line and Anatolia to Mesopotamia. More journalists, diplomats and spies Witness The mass killing, starvation and massacres that occurred.
Before 1915, two million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire. Turkey estimates the death toll at 300,000. The International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) believes it was “More than a million”Meanwhile, Armenian organizations say that at least 1.5 million men, women and children were massacred.
What does Turkey say?
But Turkey’s leaders do not use the word “genocide.” “Event” Or massacres.
From an official point of view, it looks like this: World War I was brutal and chaotic, and many are dying in the war. Yes, massacres occurred. The Turks and the Kurds killed the Armenians, but the Armenians also killed the Muslims.
All ethnic groups suffered when the Turkish Empire collapsed. But there was nothing Strategic plan To exterminate the Armenian Christians, Turkey claims. The Turks will not be put in the same fund as the Nazis, who prepared a plan of industrial extermination of the Jews.
Turks ask: Should the Turkish Republic, which was established in 1923, be held accountable for the events of the Ottoman Empire that ceased to exist in 1922?
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşolu asked the United States not to teach Turkey the history:
President Erdogan The United States is asked to stop using history as a political tool.
Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin is more blunt on Twitter:
“We strongly condemn and reject the statement of the US president. Here, slanders are repeated from circles that have nothing but hostile action towards our country. We urge the president of the United States to look into his history and present.” Writes under the hashtag # 1915 Events.
Biden’s critics remember the US’s treatment of its indigenous peoples, African slaves and descendants of the Black Lives Matter movement, and that the US dropped two atomic bombs on Japan and claimed thousands of lives in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past 20 years. .
He criticized Biden for “coming under pressure from Armenian lobbyists.”
More acidic between America and Turkey?
During the election campaign, Joe Biden promised to recognize the massacres in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. Biden also said that he would support the opposition in Turkey against Recep Tayyip Erdogan to overthrow the Turkish president in the upcoming elections.
The first talks between Biden and Erdogan also did not help improve relations between the two NATO allies.
The United States is angry that Turkey has purchased the Russian S-400 missile system. The United States responded by removing Turkey from the F-35 fighter program. Turkey is upset that the United States has not extradited Fethullah Gulen, the preacher Erdogan believes was behind the 2016 coup attempt.
Turkey is also angry that the United States has allied with the Syrian Kurds on its terrorist list.
The good news is that Biden and Erdogan have agreed to meet face-to-face at a NATO summit in Brussels in June to speak out.
– Only the Turkish Parliament can heal this wound, Armenian Jarrow Baylan says. He is elected by the pro-Kurdish HDP in Parliament.
It is wonderful that the United States and a number of countries recognize the genocide, but the solution lies in Ankara, the parliamentarian believes.
Paylan has it Make proposals That the Turkish Parliament must recognize the massacres as genocide. Bilan’s grandmother lost her parents 106 years ago. As the third generation of Armenians in Turkey, he wants justice. But opposing forces are strong.
At a time when many countries settle on their dark histories, Turkey should do the same, according to Armenian journalist Bakrat Istokyan.
But if the government takes responsibility for the genocide now, it also admits that it lied about the case for years. Estokyan believes that withdrawal is not an easy thing.