Turkish parliament head rejects Biden's remarks on 1915

US President Joe Biden's remarks on 1915 events can damage relations between two countries, Mustafa Sentop says.

Turkish parliament head rejects Biden's remarks on 1915

Turkish Parliament Speaker Mustafa Sentop on Monday rejected US President Joe Biden's recent remarks, naming the 1915 incidents as "genocide."

"As the speaker of the Turkish parliament, I reject this great slander [of Biden] against our state, nation and history. I want to remind the officials of the countries, especially those with a criminal record of crimes against humanity, racism and genocide in their history, to be very careful when talking about Turkey," Sentop told in an event in the capital Ankara.

On the 1915 events, there is no new scientific and historic finding or new evaluation, Sentop noted.

"The only thing that changes in the political decision [of the US on the 1915 events]," he said.

"The US president's so-called 'genocide' statement is a statement that disregards the judicial, political and historical backgrounds. As it revealed the US contradictions of science and international law, the statement can also damage the relations between Turkey and the US based on human rights, the superiority of law and mutual friendship," he added.

On Saturday, Biden called the events of 1915 a "genocide," breaking with American presidents' long-held tradition of refraining from using the term.

Turkish stance on 1915 events

Turkey'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.

Turkey 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 Turkey and Armenia as well as international experts to tackle the issue.

In 2014, Recep Tayyip Erdogan – Turkey's then-prime minister and now president – expressed his condolences to the descendants of Armenians who lost their lives in the events of 1915.