Obama avoided to use the term genocide
By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
The message of condolence the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed for the first time on the occasion of the day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide, was met with mixed reactions, with Armenia reacting strongly.
“In Erdogan’s statement there are the well known positions of the Turkish propaganda. We actually expect something different from Turkey”, emphasizes the statement of Yerevan and does not accept the condolence message.
However, the deputy of the patriarchal seat of the Armenians in Istanbul, Monsignor Aram Atesyan, said “it is a moving historical statement, which eased our pain”.
The U.S. State Department welcomed the statement by Erdogan, calling it a “historic and positive step”.
The European Commissioner for EU Enlargement, Stefan Fule, stressed that “this is a positive message”.
Erdogan in the statement, among other things, he had characteristically stated “may the Armenians, who lost their lives in the conditions that prevailed in the early 20th century, rest in peace. Our condolences to their descendants”.
Barack Obama’s message on the occasion of the 24th of April, which is the day of the remembrance of the Armenian Genocide, refrained from using the term genocide and spoke of a “big disaster”.
“Today we honor the memory of the “Great Disaster”; we honor the memory of one of the greatest disasters of the 20th century. Ninety nine years ago, in the last days of the Ottoman Empire, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred or driven into death marches. My views on the events that occurred in 1915 have not changed. The truths must be accepted by everyone and this is in everyone’s interest”, was the statement of the U.S. President.
Obama, before being elected president, had characterised the events of 1915 as “genocide”.