US President Joe Biden recognizes Armenian genocide
DW, 25 Apr 2021
US President Joe Biden has joined around thirty other nations in formally recognizing the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Armenians over a century ago as a genocide. In a statement, Biden said he sees Armenians' pain - and affirms their history. Many historians regard the mass killings - which began in 1915 - as the first genocide of the 20th century. But Turkey rejects the term.
Armenian officials led the nation in commemorating the horrors of the past. The procession at a hilltop memorial in the capital Yerevan included Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Members of the public too streamed in, to honor the dead.
In 1915, a million Armenians were brutally murdered by Ottoman Turks. Many more were deported and sent on death marches into the Syrian desert. Armenians have long campaigned for the crimes against their people to be recognized internationally as genocide.
Turkey argues that there was no systematic attempt to wipe out Armenians, and no such order from the Ottoman authorities. But nearly thirty countries have recognized the atrocities as genocide.
Germany's parliament voted to adopt the term in 2016. That resolution sparked angry an reaction in Turkey. President Erdogan saying Germany should be the last nation on earth to accuse others of genocide.
Many Armenians would consider the diplomatic spats over terminology a distraction from the memory of atrocities of more than a century ago that haunt their nation to this day.
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