President Joe Biden made history on Saturday as he recognised the Armenian genocide.
Recognizing the historical massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during World War One as genocide, Biden went further than any previous occupant of the White House and departed from decades of carefully calibrated language on the subject.
Biden’s statement was greeted with praise in the Armenian capital, Yerevan — and among the country’s diaspora, whose activists have long campaigned for such recognition — but met with anger in Ankara, where Turkey has denied that the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians between 1915-17 should be considered a genocide.
“The American people honor all those Armenians who perished in the genocide that began 106 years ago today,” Biden said in a statement on Saturday, marking the annual Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
“Words do not change and do not rewrite history” was the first reaction of the Turkish side.