WASHINGTON (RFE/RL) — The resolution passed by the United States House of Representatives to recognize World War I-era killings of Armenians as genocide was a shameful step, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said while visiting Washington on November 13.
The Turkish leader, who met with US President Donald Trump, also expressed hope that the US Senate “will not repeat that mistake.”
The resolution overwhelmingly adopted by the US House of Representatives on October 29 calls on the US government to “commemorate the Armenian Genocide through official recognition and remembrance” and to “reject” Turkish efforts to deny it. It says the government should also “encourage education and public understanding of the facts of the Armenian Genocide” and their “relevance to modern-day crimes against humanity.”
Armenia hailed the House’s decision to characterize the slaughter of some 1.5 million Armenians in Ottoman Turkey as genocide. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called it a “bold step towards serving truth and historical justice.”
Erdogan, who had strongly condemned the resolution, said during a White House briefing that Ankara “will not get involved in a game whose authors want to undermine US-Turkish ties.” The Turkish leader claimed that “some historical events and allegations are being used to break down Turkish-American relations.”
“The documents adopted at the House of Representatives have served this very purpose and have deeply offended the Turkish people. It is not politicians but historians who are to decide what happened a hundred years ago… I hope the Senate will get America off this wrong path,” Erdogan declared.