ANKARA – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on President Joe Biden to immediately reverse his claim that the massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 amounted to genocide, a move he said upset and reduced relations bilateral.
Biden’s landmark statement on Saturday infuriated his NATO ally Turkey, which said the announcement opened a “deep wound” in already strained relations over a host of issues.
In his first comments since Biden’s statement, Erdogan said “the wrong step” would hamper relations and advised the United States to “look at itself in the mirror”, adding that Turkey is still seeking to establish ties of ” good neighborliness “with Armenia.
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“The US president has made baseless, unfair and false remarks about the sad events that took place in our geography over a century ago,” Erdogan said after a cabinet meeting, and reiterated a call for Turkish and Armenian historians to form a joint commission to investigate the events.
“I hope the US president will come back from this bad stage as soon as possible.”
He also criticized the United States for failing to find a solution to the decades-old conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh – where the United States, Russia and France were. mediators – and said Washington remained loyal to how the massacres unfolded.
“If you say genocide, then you have to look at yourself in the mirror and do an assessment. Native Americans, I don’t even need to mention them, what happened is clear,” he said, in reference to the treatment of Native Americans by European settlers. “As long as all of these truths exist, you cannot lay the charge of genocide on the Turkish people.”
Turkey supported Baku in last year’s conflict, in which Azeri forces seized swathes of land in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
Biden’s statement came at a time when Ankara and Washington struggled to mend ties, strained when Turkey bought Russian defense systems, which resulted in US sanctions; differences in politics in Syria; and legal issues.
Erdogan said he expected to “open the door to a new period” in relations and to discuss any differences with Biden at a NATO summit in June, but warned that relations would end. would deteriorate further unless the allies could compartmentalize the problems.
“We must now put aside our disagreements and consider what steps we can take from here on out, otherwise we will have no choice but to do what is required by the level to which our ties fell on April 24. “, did he declare.