Shortly after President Biden called the events of 1915 “genocide”, a poll suggested that a vast majority of Turkish people no longer consider the US an ally.
A significant majority of Turks have stopped seeing America as their country’s ally, according to a recent survey that took place between April 29 and 30.
Many experts believe the growing anti-American sentiment in Turkey is borne of President Biden’s branding the events of 1915 as “genocide”.
The outcome of the survey was striking. More than 94 percent of the people who spoke to the Areda Survey, said they no longer believe that the US is a friend to Turkey.
The new American president last week described the deaths of Ottoman Armenians during World War I, a “genocide”. Amid his remarks, he said, “We remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring.”
“And we remember so that we remain ever-vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms,” he added.
“We do this not to cast blame but to ensure that what happened is never repeated,” Biden said.
The survey, called “The so-called Armenian Genocide”, was conducted with 1,895 people. Almost 91 percent of participants argued that the president's remarks were wrong, while others thought they were just uttered in order to make life difficult for Turkey.
In terms of strategic partnership in the region, as well as globally, 93.3 percent of survey participants said they no longer consider Washington a strategic partner either.
Moreover, the same percentage of people also said that President Biden used the word “genocide” to simply apply political pressure on Turkey.
The survey also revealed that Turkish people want the closure of US military bases in Turkey.
Around 60 percent of the participants urged their country to provide a necessary response to Washington, with 35 percent thinking a diplomatic reaction was necessary.
On his official Twitter account, in reaction to Biden’s remarks, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said; “We have nothing to learn from anybody in our own past. Political opportunism is the greatest betrayal to peace and justice. We entirely reject this statement based solely on populism”.
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.
Successive US presidents have refrained from calling the deaths of Armenians “genocide,” but former President Barack Obama adopted the Armenian phrase “Meds Yeghern” or “Great Crime” to describe the tragedy, a practice repeated by Trump.