The Foreign Ministry criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's statement on 1915 events for being based on a 'subjective' narrative of Armenians.
In a statement, the ministry rejected the claims by the U.S. president, saying that it completely disregards over 500,000 Muslims who were brutally slaughtered by Armenian rebels in the same period.
“Our suggestion to establish a Joint Historical Commission is still valid,” the Foreign Ministry said, adding that the commission would help shed light on the truth regarding the 1915 events.
Trump issued an annual commemoration of the 1915 events Friday, again using the Armenian term "Meds Yeghern" to describe the tragedy.
"On this day, we bear witness to the strength and resiliency of the Armenian people in the face of tragedy," he said in a statement. "We are fortunate that so many Armenians have brought their rich culture to our shores and contributed so much to our country, including decorated soldiers, celebrated entertainers, renowned architects, and successful business people."
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.
Successive U.S. presidents have refrained from calling the deaths of Armenians "genocide," but former President Barack Obama adopted the Armenian phrase "Meds Yeghern," or "Great Crime," to describe the tragedy, a practice repeated by Trump.
"We welcome efforts by the Armenians and Turks to acknowledge and reckon with their painful history," Trump said. "On this day of remembrance, we pay respect to those who suffered and lost their lives, while also renewing our commitment to fostering a more humane and peaceful world," he added.
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