Obama defines 1915 incidents as 'Great Tragedy', Turkey reacts

US president used the expression "Meds Yeghern-Great Tragedy" regarding 1915 incidents, Turkish Foreign Ministry said it deeply regretted over the statements

Obama defines 1915 incidents as 'Great Tragedy', Turkey reacts

World Bulletin/News Desk

Turkey regretted over US President Barack Obama's April 24 statement regarding 1915 incidents.      

Turkish Foreign Ministry stated that it regarded the statement, which distorted the historical facts, as problematic in every aspect and deeply regretted it.      

The Ministry on Wednesday said that unfortunately US President Obama was demonstrated this year once again a one-sided approach which reflected the Armenian views regarding the dispute between Turks and Armenians on the painful part of their common history.      

 It was added, "We regard this statement, which distorts the historical facts, as problematic in every aspect and deeply regret it. Issued under the influence of domestic political considerations and interpreting controversial historical events on the basis of one-sided information and with a selective sense of justice, such statements damage both Turkish-American relations, and also render it more difficult for Turks and Armenians to reach a just memory."      

"Our expectation from an important ally of Turkey such as the US is not to further deepen the problem, but to provide constructive contributions for its resolution, and to encourage the Armenian side, which avoids objective and scientific research of the issue, to be more realistic and conciliatory," said the statement.      

The statement underlined that the pain experienced during the World War I was a shared one and the memory of that period was as sensitive for the Turkish people as it was for the Armenians.      

"Despite the prejudiced attempts to hinder a correct understanding of history, Turkey approaches the issue with self-confidence and an open-mind, and wants the truth to be investigated in all its aspects," noted the statement.      

"Great Tragedy"

US President Barack Obama used the expression of "Meds Yeghern" denoting "Great Tragedy" in Armenian language to mark the incidents of 1915 in his statement released on April 24.      

Armenians consider April 24 as the anniversary of 1915 incidents.     

Obama stated, "Today we commemorate the Meds Yeghern and honor those who perished in one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century."      

Obama underscored, "98 years ago, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred or marched to their deaths in the final days of the Ottoman Empire."      

US President Obama highlighted that he has consistently stated his own view of what occurred in 1915, and he said, "My view has not changed. A full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts is in all of our interests."      

"Nations grow stronger by acknowledging and reckoning with painful elements of the past, thereby building a foundation for a more just and tolerant future. We appreciate this lesson in the US, as we strive to reconcile some of the darkest moments in our own history. We recognize those courageous Armenians and Turks who have already taken this path, and encourage more to do so, with the backing of their governments, and mine," highlighted Obama.      

Barack Obama added, "The history and legacy of the Armenian people is marked by an indomitable spirit, and a great resiliency in the face of tremendous adversity and suffering. The US is stronger for the contributions Armenian-Americans have made to our society, our culture, and our communities. In small measure we return that contribution by supporting the Armenian people as they work toward building a nation that would make their ancestors proud: one that cherishes democracy and respect for human liberty and dignity."      

Lastly, he said, "Today we stand with Armenians everywhere in recalling the horror of the Meds Yeghern, honoring the memory of those lost, and affirming our enduring commitment to the people of Armenia."  

"Common interests"

Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis also touched on the US President Barack Obama's April 24 statement regarding 1915 incidents and said, "We have to look beyond words. We have to focus on common interests."       "Unfortunately, today, the Armenian diaspora extorts the actual national interests of Armenia," added Bagis, who is currently in Washington.      

Bagis stated Turkish Americans and Armenian Americans tried their best in order to form a lobby at the White House and at the US Department of State for which words Obama would use in the official statement about 1915 incidents.      

"I think we have to look beyond just the words and statement in this topic. We have to focus onto common interests. Unfortunately, today, the Armenian diaspora extorts the actual national interests of Armenia," underscored Turkish minister.      

Bagis noted that an open and wide understanding was a must to have, and if it was not there, it would have wrong outcomes.      

"We all have to focus on the future with a long-term vision; we have to come over some problems", stated Bagis.       Furthermore, within the scope of his US visit, Bagis came together with the EU Ambassador to the United States Joao Vale de Almeida and ambassadors of EU states to the United States.      

Later on, Bagis will receive the Deputy US Trade Representative and Ambassador Miriam Sapiro and representatives from the Jewish community and attend dinner to beb hosted by Turkey's Ambassador in Washington Namik Tan in his honor.  

Last Mod: 25 Nisan 2013, 10:15
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