Statement of President Barack Obama on Armenian Remembrance Day

Ninety four years ago, one of the great atrocities of the 20th century began. Each year, we pause to remember the 1.5 million Armenians who were subsequently massacred or marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire. The Meds Yeghern must live on in our memories, just as it lives on in the hearts of the Armenian people.

Ninety four years ago, one of the great atrocities of the 20th century began. Each year, we pause to remember the 1.5 million Armenians who were subsequently massacred or marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire. The Meds Yeghern must live on in our memories, just as it lives on in the hearts of the Armenian people.

History, unresolved, can be a heavy weight. Just as the terrible events of 1915

remind us of the dark prospect of man’s inhumanity to man, reckoning with the past holds out the powerful promise of reconciliation. I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed. My interest remains the achievement of a full, frank and just acknowledgment of the facts.
The best way to advance that goal right now is for the Armenian and Turkish people to address the facts of the past as a part of their efforts to move forward. I strongly support efforts by the Turkish and Armenian people to work through this painful history in a way that is honest, open, and constructive. To that end, there has been courageous and important dialogue among Armenians and Turks, and within Turkey itself. I also strongly support the efforts by Turkey and Armenia to normalize their bilateral relations. Under Swiss auspices, the two governments have agreed on a framework and roadmap for normalization. I commend this progress, and urge them to fulfill its promise.
Together, Armenia and Turkey can forge a relationship that is peaceful, productive and prosperous. And together, the Armenian and Turkish people will be stronger as they acknowledge their common history and recognize their common humanity.

Nothing can bring back those who were lost in the Meds Yeghern. But the contributions that Armenians have made over the last ninety-four years stand as a testament to the talent, dynamism and resilience of the Armenian people, and as the ultimate rebuke to those who tried to destroy them. The United States of America is a far richer country because of the many Americans of Armenian descent who have contributed to our society, many of whom immigrated to this country in the aftermath of 1915. Today, I stand with them and with Armenians everywhere with a sense of friendship, solidarity, and deep respect.


  1. Is anybody Surprised?

    While Turkey was tirelessly lobbying, the Armenian Government was nowhere to be seen in Washington. As if this was a trifle matter and the authorities treated the Genocide as a bargaining chip, something that we used to accuse others with. This shame is all ours! Don’t blame Obama!

    1. nope

      Not only did the Sargsyan administration do a poor job in the negotiations with turkey (from what was made public), but they didn’t mount any serious PR campaign like the azeris or turks.  Also, does anyone expect obama to go against the establishment that put him in office, keeps him in office, and if he behaves himself will get reappointed in 2012?  As with any country the u.s. has more interest in turkey and what it can do for it than Armenia.  When a country is small, landlocked, lacks natural resources, especially fossil fuels, and has as much historical/political baggage as Armenia, it’s difficult if not impossible to overcome a regional power such as turkey.  Essentially u.s. policy remains the same in regards to Armenia and turkey, and the current Armenian-turkish negotiations are being pushed from outside, not ankara or Yerevan.

      With that said,


      God bless Armenia, Armenians and may we never forget the 1.5 million lost souls!

  2. I’m glad Obama said things

    I’m glad Obama said things clearly. His views aren’t changed, but he admits that the issue is a political one and therefore is to be decided upon by the Armenians and the Turks themelves. Dixit.

  3. Obama’s statement

    I am glad that after 94 years, we succeeded to teach two Armenian Words to an American President

    <<Medz Yeghern>>.

    I wonder who will have the courage to say it in English  it was GENOCIDE ??!!


  4. Hello, God bless the President


    God bless President Mr Obama and help him to  support and contribute a faire solution, to normalize the bilateral relaions between the two countries.

  5. I am the grandchild of survivors

    I am the grandchild of survivors of the Armenian Genocide. I am the great niece of victims who perished in the Holocaust. Yesterday, for Ha Shoah, Obama stated:

    "How do we honor and preserve it [the Holocaust]?  How do we ensure that "never again" isn’t an empty slogan, or merely an aspiration, but also a call to action? I believe we start by doing what we are doing today — by bearing witness, by fighting the silence that is evil’s greatest co-conspirator."

    Today, he is the "evil co-conspirator" he spoke about on Thursday. He has lied to us. Even more disappointing, he is a genocide denier. Armenian Americans have been used and abandoned again. He used our words as he sold us out–Meds Yeghern. May he never utter our language again until he has the conviction and conscience to treat us with respect.

    Will he act with more compassion than he has shown us, when he addresses those perishing in the Darfur Genocide? One can only hope.

    Sara Cohan


      Hello Sara,

      "He used our words as he sold us out–Meds Yeghern. May he never utter our language again until he has the conviction and conscience to treat us with respect."  I agree with you hundred per cent.  He should never utter our language, again, until he recognizes that 1915 – 1923 massacres were Armenian Genocide.  That’s the main reason why we have an Armenian Diaspora,  Our great poet Avedik Issahakian puts it this way " Ayskan tcharik te moranan mer vortik, arar ashkharh garta Hayoun nakhadink" meaning, "if our future generation forgets all the misery or the crime commited to us, let the world curse that Armenian generation".  

      Maro Badiguian 


      1. Thanks Maro

        I like your quote. As descents of genocide, we have to remember. I wish we could remember in peace and no longer have to struggle for recogniton. Maybe next year…

  6. The Armenian Genocide

    President Barack Obama did not have the guts to use the right term. Genocide, being afraid of losing Turkey’s partnership.  Having learned 2 Armenian words "Medz Yeghern" is not what he had to learn at this time of the year, but, he could have respected his campaign promise, as the President of the United States, recognizing  The Armenian Genocide, in the same time, using the two Armenian words. 

    Maro Badiguian

    1. Obama calls the events Meds

      Obama calls the events Meds Yeghern — is that English?! C’mon, it’s time to reveal the names of REAL perpetrators of Yeghern (Genocide): the Zionist Dohnme-s such as Carasso, Javid-bey, Ataturk himself along with other hard-code Zionists such as Jabotinski, Gelfand, and others. These puppeteers masterfully used Turks to carry out what they have planned for centuries — invade Palestine (which was under Ottoman empire at that time) and in the process pillage the wealth of the wealthy in the Ottoman empire (happens to be Armenians at that point int time — if these were Aleutians or Aborigines, they wouldn’t care any more or less). They and their modern "brothers-in-arms" descendants had managed to stay and continue to remain in shadow to this date, while the sheeple are tricked into the same old Armenian-vs-Turk and Christian-vs-Muslim trick, made up, mind you, by the same puppeteers.

      1. re: Your comments

        Could you tell me who Carasso, Jabotinski and Gelfand are?  Also, are you saying that the Zionist Jews played an active role in the genocide?  I have many books on our history.  Could you suggest one that addresses the relationship between the Zionists, Turks and Armenians?


        1. Who helped and Backed the Turks in the Armenian Genocide??

          Dear Adrienne,

          why don’t you google and just put <<Armenian Genocide and the Jews>>

          You will be surprised what you will find out.

          1. Thanks.  I’ll do that

            Thanks.  I’ll do that right now.  Incidentally, I find the connection between the Jews and the Genocide very disheartening.  But I need to know the truth.

  7. No surprise for me

    "Mets Yeghern"… I bet it took quite some time to come up with such a brilliant idea! Why couldn’t Bush think of it before?

    To hear the word "GENOCIDE" would be the real surprise. What were we thinking? Could we ever compete with our predator? Unless we were some kind of harmful virus…. 


  8. Recognition of the Armenian Genocide

                  Now  is inadmissible the denial  of Armenian Genocide

           It is  only the  recognition and confirmation  of  HUMAN RIGHTS

            IN the card  of UNITED NATIONS   subscribed  for the  majority

            of  NATIONS .

  9. Genocide

    Dear President

    Thank you for your wishes regarding the Armenian Genocide or as you mentioned it as "Medz Eghern" which is the same as Genocide and it ismore confertable for you. Whoever understands it is the same and I am more then sure the Turkish understands it very well. For me it’s not importand that other nationalities lets say arabs , frenches or hispanic people understand what you said, the imported is that the Armenians and the Turks understood what you said.Thank you again Diran



  10. Raphael Lemkin
    It is astonishing to read that President Obama did not use the word "genocide" to describe the slaughter of nearly 2 million Armenians during 1915-23, knowing that the word "genocide" was coined by Jurist Raphael Lemkin to specifically describe the barbarity that befell the Armenians at the hands of the Turks.

    Dr. Lemkin, a lawyer of Polish-Jewish descent and Holocaust survivor, used the word "genocide" in 1943 to describe the genocide of the Armenians and then the Holocaust. Dr. Lemkin played an important role in compelling the United Nations to adopt the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in 1948.

    In a 1949 CBS news interview, Dr. Lemkin talked about the UN Convention and the Armenian genocide. Showing footage of Turkish soldiers brutally chasing and killing Armenians, Dr. Lemkin explained that the Turks acted with the intent to annihilate nearly 2 million Armenians who were driven from their homes to perish in the desert or die before they got there.

    Before the word "genocide" existed, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and world leaders described the events as the "Armenian holocaust." President Obama, who does not speak Armenian, used the Armenian phrase "Medz Yeghern" (The great catastrophe) thus shielding Turkey of any accountability for its crimes of genocide under the UN convention and international laws.

    Imagine if back in the days of West Germany the US president refrained from using the word "Holocaust" not wanting to offend or sour relations with a strategic NATO ally, thus only describing the destruction of the European Jewry during World War II as "Ha Shoah".

    In 1985, the United Nations Sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities recognized the Armenian Genocide in an official report.

    In 2003, the International Center for Transitional Justice found that the events of 1915 include "all of the elements of the crime of genocide as defined in the 1948 U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide."

    And, in 2005 the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) unanimously affirmed the Armenian genocide.

    The Armenian genocide has been officially recognized by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliament of Europe, and many European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Slovakia, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Lithuania, and the Vatican.

    The Armenian genocide has also been acknowledged by Armenia, Russia, Lebanon, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Australia and 43 U.S. states, and by scores of international organizations worldwide.

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