The Armenian Genocide: President Biden formally declared the atrocities against Armenians as genocide. Here’s what both sides are saying. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.
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A trio of journalists, writing in AP, report: “The systematic killing and deportation of more than a million Armenians by Ottoman Empire forces in the early 20th century was ‘genocide,’ the United States formally declared on Saturday, as President Joe Biden used that precise word after the White House had avoided it for decades for fear of alienating ally Turkey.
Turkey reacted with furor, with the foreign minister saying his country ‘will not be given lessons on our history from anyone.’ A grateful Armenia said it appreciated Biden’s ‘principled position’ as a step toward ‘the restoration of truth and historical justice.’
Here’s what both sides are saying about Biden’s declaration:
On The Right
Conservatives are happy to witness belated recognition of a known historical event.
Jackson Richman calls the action “long-overdue” in The Washington Examiner. He writes, “Recognizing history isn’t an act of aggression, it’s a witnessing of facts” reflecting that “America’s commitment to justice is uncoupled from the short-term interest in keeping difficult partners happy.” Under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Richman continues, “Turkey is an authoritarian state that persecutes Kurds in Turkey and Syria, in addition to committing other human rights violations.” Keep reading: Yes, recognize the Armenian Genocide.
On The Left
The left also agrees with the move, seeing it as a sign that strategic defense interests no longer rely on alignment with Turkey.
Soner Cagaptay, a Turkish-American political scientist, writes in NBC News, “For the first time in many years, Erdogan needs the US more than Washington needs him.” Biden, he says, is “using this window as a lever, hoping to correct some of Erdogan’s behavior, including his anti-democratic actions and close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.” In previous administrations, Cagaptay relays how the “Department of Defense considered Turkey a precious ally” and frequently resisted US government attempts to recognize the genocide. However, he states that is no longer the case as “Many inside and outside the administration see Erdogan as an autocrat who poses a threat to US interests regionally.” Keep reading: Biden recognizing the Armenian genocide shows how far Turkey and Erdogan have fallen
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Kim Kardashian and Cher, both of Armenian descent, expressed their gratitude for the recognition of Armenian Genocide. Kardashian’s social media accounts state: “After more than a century of fighting for truth and acknowledgment, today the Armenian people received the recognition we have all been hoping and praying for. This has been a long journey for the Armenia community, and every year I felt we were getting closer and closer to recognizing the genocide as what it was.”