Armenian Genocide 107th anniversary: Limited coverage, US president recognises ‘genocide’
For the second year in a row, US president Joe Biden formally recognised the Armenian Genocide as a genocide. It spurred several headlines and caused a reaction from Turkey’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan who said the US president needed to “learn history” and that his statement was “based on lies and false information.”
In the UK, there was limited press coverage. The Times is the most prominent paper to cover the anniversary said it was time for Britain to acknowledge the genocide as such. Whilst the Daily Mail’s coverage is of Kim Kardashian (whose family history is Armenian) who posted on Instagram to mark the 107th anniversary.
The Armanian Weekly wrote that “Turkey disgraces itself by denying the Genocide after Biden’s acknowledgement.” Whilst Al-Monitor describes the Armenian as pushing for “reconciliation” which is being met with Turkey playing “hard to get.”
The Public Radio of Armenia says the Australian PM recognises the massacres of the Armenians as ‘one of the greatest crimes of modern history’ and notes the Australian PM stops short of calling it a Genocide.
France24 reports its the second year Joe Biden has called it a Genocide, “repeating his controversial description from a year ago when he ended decades of American equivocation.”
For the Jerusalem Post, they say when it comes to recognising the Armenian genocide “it’s not only about taking a moral position, but also about knowing one’s own history.”
An article from America’s Washington Post suggests as Turkey “doubles down on denial” the US and Europe may have to “break another diplomatic taboo” and begin to discuss the necessity for Turkish reparations to Armenia.
What was the Armenian genocide?
The Armenian genocide was the systematic killing and deportation of Armenians by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire. In 1915, during World War I, leaders of the Turkish government set in motion a plan to expel and massacre Armenians.
By the early 1920s, when the massacres and deportations finally ended, between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians were dead, with many more forcibly removed from the country. Today, most historians call this event a genocide: a premeditated and systematic campaign to exterminate an entire people. On April 24, 2021, U.S. President Joe Biden issued a declaration that the Ottoman Empire’s slaughter of Armenian civilians was genocide. However, the Turkish government still does not acknowledge the scope of these events.