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Erdogan says Biden’s genocide recognition ‘damaging’



President of Turkey and chief of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Growth (AK) Occasion Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (Adem Altan, AFP)

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday denounced US President Joe Biden’s recognition of the Armenian genocide as “groundless” and dangerous to bilateral ties.

Erdogan had issued a carefully-worded assertion moments earlier than Biden made his landmark announcement on Saturday at a ceremony commemorating the tragic 1915-17 occasions.

However the Turkish president didn’t maintain again his anger in a televised handle that he additionally used to level out the US historical past of slavery and persecution of Native People.

“The US president has made feedback which might be groundless and unfair,” Erdogan mentioned.

“We imagine that these feedback have been included within the declaration following strain from radical Armenian teams and anti-Turkish circles. However this case doesn’t scale back the damaging impression of those feedback.”

The Armenians – supported by historians and students – say 1.5 million of their folks died in a genocide dedicated underneath the Ottoman Empire throughout World Warfare I.

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Ankara accepts that each Armenians and Turks died in big numbers as Ottoman forces fought tsarist Russia.

However Turkey vehemently denies a deliberate coverage of genocide and notes that the time period had not been legally outlined on the time.

Biden tried to mood the inevitable Turkish anger by calling Erdogan for the primary time since taking workplace in January.

The 2 leaders agreed in Friday’s cellphone name to fulfill on the sidelines of a NATO summit in June.

However Erdogan mentioned on Monday that Biden wanted “to look within the mirror” when calling the century-old occasions a genocide.

“We will additionally discuss what occurred to Native People, Blacks and in Vietnam,” Erdogan mentioned.

‘Relations have regressed’

Turkey on Saturday summoned the US ambassador to complain that Biden’s determination had opened “a wound in relations that’s tough to restore”.

Washington had been bracing for a livid Turkish response.

The US closed its Ankara embassy and the consulate in Istanbul and two different cities for citizen and visa companies as a precaution for Monday and Tuesday.

The embassy additionally issued an advisory to US residents in Turkey “to keep away from the areas round US authorities buildings, and train heightened warning in places the place People or foreigners might collect”.

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Dozens of offended Turks shouted slogans and held up banners at a rally on Monday exterior the US consulate in Istanbul.

“Turkish folks, get up in opposition to American lies,” mentioned one banner. One other known as on Turkey to close down an air base US forces have been utilizing for the reason that Chilly Warfare.

Erdogan loved a private friendship with former US president Donald Trump that helped protect Turkey from varied sanctions.

Biden’s administration has made human rights and different prickly points a outstanding characteristic of Turkish-US relations.

“The extent of Turkish-US relations has regressed,” Erdogan mentioned.

However he added on a extra optimistic be aware that he was “satisfied {that a} new door could be opened once we meet in June” on the NATO assembly in Brussels.



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