Foreign Policy
April 24 2015

By J. Dana Stuster

Armenians are commemorating the 100th anniversary of the genocide that
killed 1.5 million Armenians during civil conflict within the Ottoman
Empire during World War I. Ankara's sensitivity to the use of the word
"genocide" has prompted diplomatic tensions over the past week in the
lead-up to today's events: The Turkish government recently recalled
ambassadors to Vatican City and Austria for their use of the word,
and sent diplomats to Washington to lobby against including the word
in President Obama's remarks. President Obama said in his comments
that the deaths in 1915 were "terrible carnage," but avoided the
controversial term. More than 20 nations have used the term, most
recently Germany. German President Joachim Gauck said yesterday
in Berlin that Germany shares responsibility for the deaths as the
Ottoman Empire's ally in World War I.

At a memorial in Yerevan, Armenia, today, foreign leaders called on
Ankara to acknowledge the genocide. "Important words have already been
said in Turkey, but others are still expected, so that shared grief
can become shared destiny," French President Francois Hollande said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also spoke today in Yerevan, saying
"There is no and cannot be justification for mass murder of people."

Ankara's aversion about acknowledging the events of 1915 may stem
from not only nationalism, but concerns about reparations, writes
the New York Times.


From: Baghdasarian