WASHINGTON (AA): U.S. President Donald Trump issued an annual commemoration of the 1915 events Wednesday, again using the Armenian term “Meds Yeghern” to describe the tragedy.
“On this day of remembrance, we again join the Armenian community in America and around the world in mourning the many lives lost,” he said in a statement. “As we honor the memory of those who suffered, we also draw inspiration from the courage and resiliency of the Armenian people who, in the face of tremendous adversity, built vibrant communities around the world, including in the United States.”
Turkey’s position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties. Turkey objects to the presentation of these incidents as “genocide,” describing them as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.
Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia as well aw international experts to tackle the issue.
Successive U.S. presidents have refrained from calling the deaths of Armenians “genocide,” but former President Barack Obama adopted the Armenian phrase “Meds Yeghern”, or “Great Crime”, to describe the tragedy, a practice repeated by Trump. “We welcome the efforts of Armenians and Turks to acknowledge and reckon with their painful history,” Trump said. “And we stand with the Armenian people in recalling the lives lost during the Meds Yeghern and reaffirm our commitment to a more peaceful world.”