Recognizing Armenian Genocide, US Overlooks its Relations with Turkey

Armenian Genocide

Slavery is one of the unethical practices that have prevailed in almost every country throughout the world. One of the Asian countries Armenia has a long history of slave trading, sexual abuse, murders, which have together contributed to 20th century’s Armenian genocide.  

Since Armenia gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the US is committed to helping the country, strengthening its democratic institutions and fostering its sustainable economic growth. It has played an important role in strengthening Armenia’s ties with Western institutions, diversifying trade, and building resilience against external pressures.

Considering the brutal history of the Turks with Armenia, which has largely been hostile as both the countries have failed to establish diplomatic relations, the US has taken a big step in recognizing the Armenian genocide, which occurred on a wide scale in the Asian country from 1914 to 1923.

The Armenian genocide throws light onto the truth that the Armenians suffered badly during nine years, as the then ruling Ottoman government ordered for mass systematic extermination and expulsion of 1.5 million ethnic Armenians, within the Empire.  

The Turkish government has long denied the fact that the Ottoman period constituted Armenian genocide, which inflamed Armenian resentment in the country and around the world, making the 1915 Armenian Genocide a heated topic of debate amongst many Turkish scholars.

A data shows that the Turkish authorities have prosecuted nearly 80 authors for bringing in Armenian Genocide, which the former refers to as an act of “insulting Turkishness”.

How the Turks sided with Azerbaijan and closed its borders with Armenia during Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 1993, is a fact that cannot be neglected. The US even restricted its assistance to Azerbaijan due to the country’s brutal military campaign against the ethnic Armenians during that time.

Despite knowing the Turks unfairness towards the Armenians, none of the previous administrations dared to bring forward the cause, fearing that it might damage the US-Turkey relations. However, the current move of Armenian genocide recognition was warmly welcomed by many in the country.

The measure came amid Turkey’s offensive in northeastern Syria and was passed by 405-11 in the House of Representatives, with 3 members voting present. Another bipartisan bill that imposed sanctions on Turkish officials, preventing the arms sale to Turkey for use in Syria was passed by 403-16 in the House on Tuesday.

It appears that by voting on Armenian genocide, the US aims to push back at Turkey, following its Syrian offensive, while spreading the message that it has and would always stand for the cause of delivering justice to the Armenians, including protection from the Turks or Azerbaijanis.

Meanwhile, the Democratic representative Ilhan Omar, who has long been in controversy for comments about American support for Israel, refused to support the Armenian genocide resolution bill. She added that it was important first to condemn the preceding “mass slaughter” of “hundreds of millions of indigenous people,” as well as the “transatlantic slave trade”.

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