The High Advisory Board of the Turkish Presidency gathered Tuesday to discuss how to respond to "groundless and anti-Turkey allegations" regarding the events of 1915.
Following the five-hour meeting behind closed doors, Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said in a statement that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated that Turkey would not allow the "hostility seeds" that sought to be sown through "distorted historical events."
The statement accused what it referred to as the "Armenian lobby" of exploiting the "challenging and painful era endured by all Ottoman citizens for the sake of political calculations through lies and slanders that were invented by various power groups."
Altun said that during the meeting, "comprehensive steps" were discussed to prevent the Armenian lobby from using 1915 events to "defame Turkey and our nation and also the propaganda made by countries through unrealistic allegations that manipulate the issue with political calculations."
It also deliberated on projects and activities set to "shed light" on the issues with historical and legal aspects, along with "facts for the national and international public," he added.
Turkey's position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with the invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. The subsequent relocation of the Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.
Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but describes the 1915 events 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 examine the issue.
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution on Dec. 12, 2019, recognizing the so-called Armenian genocide. The resolution had been blocked several times in the Senate, but the Democratic-led House of Representatives passed the resolution by an overwhelming 405-11 in late October. The resolution asserts that it is U.S. policy to commemorate the 1915 events as "genocide."
Recognizing the 1915 events as "genocide" had stalled in Congress for decades, stymied by concerns over U.S.-Turkey relations.
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