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    Armenian expert: US will refrain naming 1915 incidents as "genocide"

    Hurriyet Daily News Online
    22.02.2009 - 14:44 | Son Güncelleme:

    U.S. President Baracak Obama will refrain from naming the 1915 incident as "genocide" since his country will need Turkey's support for Afghanistan policy, the latest key factor in U.S. foreign policy, an Armenian expert claimed on Saturday.

    "The U.S. key dimension is Afghanistan, which sidelined Iran and Iraq," PanArmenia.net website quoted professor Ruben Safrastyan, director of the Institute of Oriental Studies at the RA National Academy of Sciences, as saying.


    Washington would need Ankara's support for this purpose, Safrastyan said, adding that "proceeding from national interests, Obama will not use the term ‘genocide’ in his annual April 24 statement."


    The Armenian lobby organizations put their efforts to have recognized their claims regarding the 1915 incidents to U.S. Congress. During the election campaign, Obama had pledged to recognize the Armenian claims. 


    Turkey says it would be unfair to accept a one-sided characterization of the incidents by ignoring independent and impartial assessments by historian and scholars, reminding casualties suffered by Ottoman Muslims during World War One.


    "Keep in mind that CIS chief (Leon Panetta) arrived in Turkey immediately after Obama’s phone talks with President (Abdullah) Gul and Prime Minister (Tayyip) Erdogan," he was also quoted as saying adding that Panetta was reported to discuss a possibility of deploying of a U.S. base in Turkey.


    The issue of 1915 incidents is highly sensitive for Turkey as well as Armenia. Around 300,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks, died in civil strife that emerged when Armenians took up arms, backed by Russia, for independence in eastern Anatolia.


    However Armenia, with the backing of the diaspora, claims up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings in 1915. The issue remains unsolved as Armenia drags its feet in accepting Turkey's proposal of forming a commission to investigate the claims.

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