An Armenian-American group that backed Barack Obama in the election is now urging its members to call the White House to protest the president’s failure to recognize the “Armenian genocide.”
As many as 1.5 million Armenians living within the Ottoman Empire perished beginning in 1915 as the Turks fought World War 1. Armenians and most historians regard the deaths as state-sponsored mass killings, or genocide, while Turkey insists the death were the result of a civil war coupled with disease and famine.
During his presidential campaign, Obama pledged to recognize the deaths as genocide. He spoke in a January 2008 statement of his “firmly held conviction that the Armenian genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence.”
The Washington, D.C.-based Armenian National Committee of America endorsed Obama, delivering large blocs of votes in swing states and tens of thousands of dollars in campaign donations, according to Politico.com.
But at a Monday press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and in a later address to the Turkish Parliament, Obama declined to recognize the Armenian deaths as genocide….