Turkey says it should reply in time to “outrageous” U.S. genocide assertion By Reuters

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© Reuters. Members of the Armenian diaspora rally in entrance of the Turkish Embassy in Washington

By Dominic Evans and Orhan Coskun

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s declaration that the massacres of Armenians within the Ottoman Empire constituted genocide is “merely outrageous” and Turkey will reply in numerous methods over the approaching months, Turkey’s presidential spokesman stated on Sunday.

Biden broke on Saturday with a long time of rigorously calibrated White Home feedback over the killings in 1915, delighting Armenia and its diaspora in the USA however additional straining ties between Washington and Ankara, two NATO allies.

“There will probably be a response of various varieties and sorts and levels in coming days and months,” Ibrahim Kalin, President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman and adviser, advised Reuters in an interview.

Kalin didn’t specify whether or not Ankara would limit U.S. entry to the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, which has been used to help the worldwide coalition combating Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, or different measures it could take.

Turkish officers swiftly condemned Biden’s assertion on Saturday, and Kalin stated Erdogan would handle the problem after a cupboard assembly on Monday. “At a time and place that we take into account to be acceptable, we are going to proceed to reply to this very unlucky unfair assertion,” he stated.

Turkey accepts that many Armenians residing within the Ottoman Empire had been killed in clashes with Ottoman forces in World Conflict One, however denies the killings had been systematically orchestrated and represent a genocide.

TROUBLED RELATIONS

For many years, measures recognising the Armenian genocide stalled within the U.S. Congress and most U.S. presidents have shunned calling it that, stymied by considerations about relations with Turkey and intense lobbying by Ankara.

However these relations are already troubled. Washington has put sanctions on Turkey over its buy of Russian air defences, whereas Ankara has been angered that the USA has armed Kurdish YPG fighters in Syria and never extradited a U.S.-based cleric Turkey accuses of orchestrating a 2016 coup try.

Navigating these disputes will now be even more durable, Kalin stated. “Every little thing that we conduct with the USA will probably be beneath the spell of this very unlucky assertion,” he stated.

Kalin stated U.S. officers had advised Turkey that the declaration wouldn’t present any authorized foundation for potential claims of reparations over the killings.

Nonetheless, Erdogan advised the U.S. president after they spoke by telephone on Friday, their first dialog since Biden took workplace three months in the past, that it could be a “colossal mistake” to go forward along with his assertion.

“To cut back all that to at least one phrase and attempt to implicate that Turks had been concerned, our Ottoman ancestors had been concerned in genocidal acts is just outrageous,” Kalin stated. “It is not supported by historic reality”.

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