Turkey’s President Riles at American Acknowledgment of Armenian Genocide
A U.S. Congressional resolution that acknowledges the Armenian Genocide committed by the Ottoman Turks during World War I has, as expected, enraged Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan. Whether to formally adopt recognition of the mass killings as a genocide has been a point of contention in relations with Turkey and in American foreign policy for decades. Many believe the overwhelming 405 to 11 vote coming at this time was intended to be a rebuke for Erdogan’s assault on the Kurds and the U.S. administration’s abandonment of its Kurdish allies several weeks ago. American forces were abruptly withdrawn allowing the Turkish army to enter the region in northeast Syria and decimate the fighters that had proven to be the United States’ most reliable ally as it fought ISIS in the region. Despite the message the non-binding resolution send to Erdogan, it has no effect on official foreign policy of the U.S. until it is also passed by the Senate, which has not scheduled a vote. Some 1.5 million Armenians died when the Ottoman Turks deported them to the Syrian desert between 1915 and 1917 – many killed and others dying of starvation.