The U.S. Embassy in Ankara on its official Twitter account on Monday used the Turkish word for genocide while sharing the Turkish version of U.S. President Barack Obama's statement regarding the 1915 events.Contrary to the U.S. position on this contentious issue and Obama never having used term genocide to describe the events is his nearly eight years in office, the U.S. Embassy broke with policy by using the word in Turkish, which garnered a considerable reaction in social media. The Embassy deleted the tweet shortly after it was shared on its account.
Speaking to Daily Sabah, a U.S. Turkish Embassy official said that it was a mistake in terms of translation and the embassy offered apologies for the mistake on the sensitive issue.
As its support for the Syrian PKK affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) has fueled a negative perception of the country in Turkish society, this new slip could tarnish Washington's image in the eyes of Turkish people.
As he has for the past seven years, in his statement on Friday, Obama did not refer to the 1915 events "genocide," instead opting for the Armenian term "Medz Yeghern" (Great Catastrophe).
This year's statement came two days earlier than the April 24 Armenian Remembrance Day, which commemorates the date when deportations of Armenians from Istanbul began in 1915. In the statement, which was longer than previous ones, Obama called the 1915 events the first mass atrocity of the 20th century.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on April 24, 2015 became the first Turkish leader in history to release a message commemorating the lives of Armenians lost in 1915 and offered his condolences to the relatives of those died during the bitter period of history. He issued a similar message this year and paid tribute to all Ottoman Armenians in a message released in both Armenian and Turkish languages.
Erdoğan's message in Turkish as well as Armenian has been welcomed warmly by the Armenian diaspora.