Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has slammed comments made by US President Donald Trump on the 102. anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, saying it contained “misinformation and false definitions”.
Speaking at a commemoration event on Monday, Donald Trump, using the Armenian term – Meds Yeghern – for the genocide said it was “one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century.”
“We must remember atrocities to prevent them from occurring again. We welcome the efforts of Turks and Armenians to acknowledge and reckon with painful history, which is a critical step toward building a foundation for a more just and tolerant future,” he added.
In a statement on Monday, Ankara said Trump’s comments were “derived from the information pollution created over the years by some Armenian circles in the US by means of propaganda methods.”
“We expect from the new U.S. Administration to not accredit this one-sided historical narrative of these circles which are known for their tendency to violence and hate speech, and to adopt an approach which will take into consideration the sufferings of all sides,” the statement added.
A message by Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was read during a religious ceremony at the Armenian Patriarchate in Istanbul.
“This year, I once again pay our respects to the Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives under the harsh conditions of the First World War and convey my condolences to their descendants,” the Turkish president said.
Between 800,000 and 1.5 million Armenians are thought to have been killed systematically by the Turkish nationalist Committee for Union and Progress (CUP) during the final years of the Ottoman Empire.
Turkey denies the killings occurred systematically and attributes them to conditions during the First World War and some Armenians siding with Russian forces.