Turkey's ruling party on Tuesday decried US President Joe Biden's “irresponsible” statement on the events of 1915.
“We never accept the use of the word genocide for our nation, our state, our history. We strongly condemn those who use it,” Omer Celik, spokesman for the Justice and Development (AK) Party, told reporters after a meeting of the party's Central Executive Board in the capital Ankara.
Last Saturday, Biden called the events of 1915 a "genocide," breaking American presidents’ long-held tradition of refraining from using the term.
“It is an irresponsible approach that has no legal and historical basis,” Celik said, adding that the president or parliament of any state does not have the authority or capacity to judge the history of a nation.
Turkish stance on 1915 events
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 as international experts to tackle the issue.
In 2014, Recep Tayyip Erdogan – Turkey's then-prime minister and now president – expressed his condolences to the descendants of Armenians who lost their lives in the events of 1915.