"Turkey rejects and strongly condemns US President Joe Biden’s definition of the 1915 events as genocide. We consider the statement, which is devoid of all legal and scholarly legitimacy, as null and void," said Fahrettin Altun in a statement.
Stating that the remarks lend support to the Armenian diaspora’s baseless slanders and are rooted in US domestic political calculations, Altun said they not only fail to help Armenians get out of their difficult situation but also ill-serve US interests.
"The Biden administration’s decision to mis-portray history out with an eye on domestic political calculations is a true misfortune for Turkey-US relations. It is wrong and damaging to label the 1915 events as anything but a tragedy," he underlined.
Mentioning how Turkey’s history is founded in cultures coexisting in tolerance and peace, he stressed that what happened during World War I must be evaluated within the context of "European imperialism and the disintegration of an empire."
"By taking this latest step, the current US administration not only fails to appreciate the richness of the history which we share with our brothers and sisters in these lands, but also attempts to exploit the struggle of our entire nation for its own narrow political calculations," he added.
Citing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's efforts to recognize historical tragedies and the pain of the common past, Altun added however that Erdogan had opposed, consistently and decisively, any attempt to “weaponize” history against countries or nations.
"Our President has repeatedly called on historians, intellectuals and other thinkers to come together and present a scholarly approach to the 1915 events. He stressed that we were neither afraid nor ashamed of the realities of our history," he added.
"The mischaracterization of our history in a politicized and deliberate manner will not stop us from welcoming and protecting our brothers and sisters, with whom we share a common destiny," Altun noted.