Obama Issues Statement on Armenian Remembrance Day

Below is President Barack Obama’s eighth and final  ‘Armenian Remembrance Day’ statement. Obama continues to avoid referring to the destruction of the Armenians in Ottoman Turkey in 1915 as ‘genocide,; employing the Armenian term ‘Meds Yeghern’ (Great Crime) instead.

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Today we solemnly reflect on the first mass atrocity of the 20th century—the Armenian Meds Yeghern—when one and a half million Armenian people were deported, massacred, and marched to their deaths in the final days of the Ottoman empire.

As we honor the memory of those who suffered during the dark days beginning in 1915—and commit to learn from this tragedy so it may never be repeated—we also pay tribute to those who sought to come to their aid.  One such individual was U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Sr., who voiced alarm both within the U.S. government and with Ottoman leaders in an attempt to halt the violence.  Voices like Morgenthau’s continue to be essential to the mission of atrocity prevention, and his legacy shaped the later work of human rights champions such as Raphael Lemkin, who helped bring about the first United Nations human rights treaty.

This is also a moment to acknowledge the remarkable resiliency of the Armenian people and their tremendous contributions both to the international community as well as to American society. We recall the thousands of Armenian refugees who decades ago began new lives in the United States, forming a community that has enormously advanced the vitality of this nation and risen to prominence and distinction across a wide range of endeavors.   At a moment of regional turmoil to Armenia’s south, we also thank the people of Armenia for opening their arms to Syrian refugees, welcoming nearly 17,000 into their country.

As we look from the past to the future, we continue to underscore the importance of historical remembrance as a tool of prevention, as we call for a full, frank, and just acknowledgment of the facts, which would serve the interests of all concerned.  I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view has not changed. I have also seen that peoples and nations grow stronger, and build a foundation for a more just and tolerant future, by acknowledging and reckoning with painful elements of the past.  We continue to welcome the expression of views by those who have sought to shed new light into the darkness of the past, from Turkish and Armenian historians to Pope Francis.‎

Today we stand with the Armenian people throughout the world in recalling the horror of the Meds Yeghern and reaffirm our ongoing commitment to a democratic, peaceful, and prosperous Armenia.

 

32 Comments

  1. Open letter to Aram Hamparian:
    For eight years, in the same shameful and gutless manner Obama hides behind “Medz Yeghern”.
    I strongly believe his statement should be ignored. His statement should not be dignified with any response.
    Vart Adjemian

  2. “Meds Yeghern” translates to Genocide. Using words no one understands does not change the depravity of what happened – lets just call it what it was – GENOCIDE. And we thank the many that helped – including Mr. Morganthau

  3. President Obama has again failed to call the Armenian Genocide what it was, GENOCIDE.
    He is a big disappointment to all Armenians and those in the international community who seek the truth and who want that truth to be called the TRUTH!!

    He calls out two individuals who called the first mass atrocity of the 20th century what it was truthfully.

    Raphael Lemkin:
    I became interested in genocide, because it happened so many times. It happened to the Armenians and after the Armenians, Hitler took action.
    Read more at: http://www.azquotes.com/author/47038-Raphael_Lemkin

    Henry Morgenthau:
    The real purpose of the deportation was robbery and destruction; it really represented a new method of massacre. When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact.
    —Henry Morgenthau, Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story pg. 309

  4. More Gibberish from a back-stabber who will never acknowledge the hatred of Islamic Fundamentalism. Just like his two feckless Secy. Of States Hilary and Kerry. Never offend a Muslim, like deaths to a Christian is not offensive. Obama also fails to elaborate that the reason Armenia has taken Syrian Christians is because the U.S. Will only allow Muslim refugees. This man cannot leave office fast enough.

  5. I was hoping that since he was leaving office, he would “utter’ the word GENOCIDE but… he didn’t. I think that there is FORE SURE SOMETHING IN THE BACKGROUND.
    I Noticed also that even after his usual wordings and of the lately added “MEDZ YEGHERN” (in the last few years) he did mention The Turkish Historians (…and of course the Armenians, (people and Historians) but most of all he mention the name of POPE FRANCIS who DID DECLARE, GENOCIDE. I really think he is “BOUND”. who know he may say it after he leaves office.

    …but again why are we so adament that we want him to say the word, it really makes no difference, except for upcoming “financial” reasons that would be good for Armenia the Armenian people worldwide. Other American Presidents said it. Many big and small countries officially recognized it. In my view the first country who should recognize The Armenian Genocide officially, should be the State of Israel, even though a small country, but for a big MORAL reason . THis should be our task. Yes we know, some Jewish historians,people and even some Israeli politicians are in favor of it, but it’s the Government’s “Obligation” to do so, otherwise it means nothing. Armenia did (Soviet Armenia long time ago)and so do the Armenian people in general. It should not be a one sided “good gesture” (…just “take” not to “give”???. These are my personal views you may or may not share it… so we can say that we agree to “disagree”.Thanks, Nubar

  6. Let,s let the world know that the Word Meds Yegern used by president obama translates to Armenian Genocide whic he played a political game

  7. Obviously, the president has finally made a fair statement.
    It is a de facto recognition of the genocide. The mere mentioning of the Ottoman leaders implies that they were the ones who were
    massacring the Armenians.

  8. Obama is already history. Future will decide about him ! Maybe he tried a lot, but whenever did he succeed ? In case of the Armenian Genocide he totally failed. I am sure that Clinton will exactly act like him. They both are sure that one Million Turkish soldiers one day could be necessary to fight Russia.That´s the real reason to NOT frustrate the Turks. WHICH FUTURE US-PRESIDENT WILL FINALLY ACT HONESTLY ?

  9. Well said ! Never mind that he can’t label it as Genocide and risk loss of use of Incirlik air base in Turkey and other US bases in Turkey. When dealing with an unpredictable dictator we really can’t
    Insist on a term that will seriously
    Block our military/strategic objectives in
    Iraq and Syria.

    • What a horrific, twisted sense of reality. What is exactly “our military/strategic objectives” in Iraq and Syria? Is that where “we” cause the destruction of some of the oldest Christian communities, destroy the lives of countless innocent children and wreak havoc on the daily lives of all the people that live there, all the while secretly funding, aiding and abetting the same terrorists which supposedly gave us 9/11? Or perhaps “our” objectives are to give the rest of the Armenian Holocaust survivors there the final blow?

      And what is it you actually mean by “we”? Have you been at the forefront of Armenian-American issues all these years, and garnered yourself a reputation, where now you are in a position to proclaim what we can say and that you have any right to make decisions for the Armenian-American community?

      You are actually INSULTING America, namely that Americans need to cower in fear against some tin pot dictator who is 100% dependent on American support to exist in the first place.

      Seriously, are you even for real?

  10. Already in 1914 Germany made the same mistake ! Also Germany thought it would help them to win WWI, if the Turks could be involved in this war. Did it help the Germans ? The US Strategy is repeating this fault !

  11. Today, President Obama stood next to Prime Minister Cameron in London, stating that sooner or later Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad regime will have to go because it will not be politically sustainable, and because, “They have murdered people…”.

    Isn’t it ironic Mr. Obama, that other regimes just located next door to Syria such as Turkey,
    – glorify in their history books the masterminds of those who murdered 1.5 million Armenian in their country,
    – just recently rejected the resolution of the European Parliament to recognize the Armenian Genocide,
    – openly congratulate, help militarily, and encourage Azeris who murdered civilian Armenians in Artsakh to murder even more innocent Armenians,
    – imprison and assassinate journalists in their country,

    All of a sudden, never mind the mindset and the deeds, according to Mr. Obama these murderous regimes are nevertheless called “allies” of the west and form part of a big united family called NATO.

    What deplorable logic and unfortunate choice of words by Mr. Obama!

  12. Better than nothing.
    By saying “when one and a half million Armenian people were deported, massacred, and marched to their deaths in the final days of the Ottoman empire”,
    It means it was intentionally organized, if one and a half million any race or nationality “deported, massacred, and marched to their deaths….”
    Indirectly he is admitting that is WAS a Genocide!!!!!
    The dictionary says “Genocide is the deliberate killing of people who belong to a particular racial, political, or cultural group.”
    And/or “The systematic and widespread extermination or attempted extermination of a national, racial, religious, or ethnic group”.

  13. Shame on President Obama for not bringing out & not using the word Genocide of our Armenian People whom lost up to 2 million lives by the Moslem Turks and another one million whom were Moslemized and another one million whom fled to other lands. My mother whom lost her whole family & children from the Village of Goteh in the Provence of Erzerum was the only survivor from her village. She was fortunate to survive when passing a Missionaire Home & was taken in & saved. My father whom came from the Village of Sis in the Provence of Shabin Karahissar whom was inducted into the Turkish Military during the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 to fight Greeks & Balkans fled to the Greek side, since he did not want to kill Christian Greeks & Bulgarians. He ended up in the USA in 1913 & after the 1st WW he learned that they killed his wife & 3 children, father & mother & many others including his brother Levon whom was also inducted into the Turkish Military. Obama is a true Moslem & supports the Turks. He will not change. Thank God he will not run for a 3rd Presidential term.

  14. President Obama has vertually told the truth in his own way, using words carefully chosen to convey the true meaning yet leaving out direct condemnation of Turkey. Yet,I am sure, he knows prevention of atrocities is not achieved just by voicing the truth like Morgenthau but by taking it to the next logical and legal stage of bringing the criminals to justice, to actively discourage future criminals with the fear of retribution.

  15. This a heartfelt message that dignifies the solemnity of APRIL 24, Armenian Genocide remembrance
    day. Though it fails to mention the word Genocide, it is supportive of the Armenian cause and honors the memory of our ancestors. I am proud of my president!

  16. Obama has praise for the Armenian community and also mentions the 1.5million Armenians killed, mentions the pope and Lemkin which I suppose can be regarded as champions of peace. I think we are too hard on him. Genocide has become a fashionable word which is very loosely used such as democracy and I feel he should not be condemned for not using it.

  17. Well. He is saying isn’t he? Turks know how to read Armenian and they know what Mr Obama is saying. The POPE said it in Italian and everyone understood it. The whole world understood what the Pope has said. Come on. Lets be realistic. We don’t expect him to do more then this. Clintons and Bushes didn’t even do what Mr Obama has done and said. We have other things to do. Lets strengthen our country Armenia and Arstakh.

  18. President Obama might not use the word “Genocide” but he is calling for a “full, frank,and just acknowledgment of the facts” .
    If congress is not taking a step towards the acknowledgment, we should be blaming them and not the president!

  19. I was the keynote speaker at Kean University in Union, NJ on April 23, 2015 during the Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Centennial. I boldly told the attendees that BHO reneged on his promise during 2008 election to have promised that he would recognize The Armenian Genocide acted upon them by the Ottoman Turkish Empire. He won the election and got the Armenian votes, and did not keep his promise. That certainly tells of his character; that is the lack of it.

  20. It’s a good thing it’s your last year at the Oval Office, Mr. President, because you are running out of words to describe the “Armenian GENOCIDE.”

  21. leave him alone. It is not worth asking him about the genocide. What is the use of chasing this chap. We all know what he is upto and why he does not use the word. Just let him be, it’s pointless – he is not worth it – period.

  22. I think the word genocide should be used.It will upset the Turks,no doubt, but how long can they stay upset for? Let them have a huge argument about it,and in the course of this argument a lot of facts can get aired out,and in the end isnt every person and every culture better off when they can admit times when they have made mistakes and gone off course? Look at the Germans, they face the past and are stronger for it.

  23. MR President,
    It is not a secret that the US government as well the European powers are the admirers of Turkish “democracy” for long years. That’s the interest of the US and some Europian governments. Who cares about the Armenin GENOCIDE ? Who are the Armenians for the powerful countries?
    My mother is 90 years old, she voted two times for you and insisted 8 of her family members to do the same saying “this man is a honest man with a big heart, he will recognize the GENOCIDE”.
    That’s OK Mr. Obama, we waited 101 years hoping for the justice, we can wait more. Many Armenian genocide survivors passed away during the 101 years, but they have the massage left for the living . My 90 year old mother stoped believe in you.

  24. I like to take this time to appreciate Mr. Obama remembering” Armenian remembrance Day”and his statement of claiming to be a Christian, however I have a hard time understanding, what kind of a Christian person can stand side-by-side the Turks and Azeris (both Islamic States) and support them by sending” Islamic State Terrorists”to the front line fighting against Christian Armenians today…. ?

    Cutting the throat of fighting soldiers after they are dead is a typical signature of Turks and Azeri barbarians. Please don’t turn blind eye with today’s atrocities committed by these people and never mind their GENOCIDE committed 101 years ago.

    I want one simple answer . Are you Christian ? Yes or No…. If it is yes then you wouldn’t be afraid of using the word genocide. Incidentally, just in case you didn’t know, Armenians are the first nationalities who recognized Christianity centuries ago !!

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