Armenians march in Los Angeles on Remembrance Day in 2008.
Today is Armenian Remembrance Day, celebrating the lives of the 1.5 million Armenians killed in 1915. Yet, nearly a century later, the issue is still highly charged, with President Obama taking note of the “horrific events” but refraining from using the word genocide.—JCL
Turkey, a key Islamic ally of the U.S. that angrily denies accusations of genocide, attacked Obama’s statement as “one-sided.”
“The statement distorts the historical facts.” said the Turkish foreign ministry. “Therefore, we find it very problematic and deeply regret it ... One-sided statements that interpret controversial historical events by a selective sense of justice prevent understanding of the truth.”
In his statement—issued late Saturday—Obama said: “I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed. A full, frank, and just acknowledgment of the facts is in all our interests.”
In the meantime, the chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America, Ken Hachikian, criticized Obama for a “disgraceful capitulation to Turkey’s threats” and failing to acknowledge what many historians describe as genocide.