Ankara slams US President Trump for remarks on deaths of Armenians during 1915, says Trump's statement ignores mentioning more than 500,000 Muslims killed at the time by Armenians.

Trump's
Trump's "claims" catered to domestic political motives, Turkish Foreign Ministry says. (AP)

Turkey reacted angrily on Friday after US President Donald Trump's commented about the events of 1915 in which he used the Armenian term "Meds Yeghern," meaning the Great Crime.

In a statement, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said Trump's remarks were based on the "subjective" narrative of Armenians trying to turn the issue into a "dogma."

The ministry said it rejected Trump's "claims," which it said catered to domestic political motives.

It also accused Trump's statement of ignoring the "suffering" of more than 500,000 Muslims killed at the time by Armenians, calling for this understanding to be "changed."

Joint historical commission

The ministry further noted that Turkey's proposal to establish a joint historical commission to examine the 1915 events was still on the table.

Arguing that "radical Armenians" sought to eliminate this proposal in a bid to have their own responsibility in the events forgotten, the ministry called on the US to see this reality and act accordingly.

The statement concluded in remembrance of all Muslims, Christians and Jews who lost their lives in the period of collapse in the Ottoman Empire.

Turkish stance on 1915 events

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" to describe the tragedy, a practice repeated by Trump.

Source: AA