Istanbul: US President Joe Biden s declaration that massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire constituted genocide is “simply outrageous” and Turkey will respond over coming months, Turkey s presidential spokesman said on Sunday.
Biden broke down on Saturday, and the White House has conducted decades of meticulous calibration of the 1915 killings over decades, which pleased Armenia and its diaspora, but the connection between Washington and Ankara, a member of the NATO military alliance, has further strained .
“There will be a reaction of different forms and kinds and degrees in coming days and months,” Ibrahim Kalin, President Tayyip Erdogan s spokesman and adviser, told Reuters in an interview.
Kalin did not specify whether Ankara would restrict U.S. access to the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, which has been used to support the international coalition fighting Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, among measures it may take.
After other Turkish officials swiftly condemned Biden s statement on Saturday, Erdogan would address the issue after a cabinet meeting on Monday, Kalin said. “At a time and place that we consider to be appropriate, we will continue to respond to this very unfortunate, unfair statement,” he said.
Turkey admitted that many Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire were killed in the conflict with the Ottoman army in the First World War, but denied that the murder was systematically planned and was a genocide.