Turkey Threatens To Recognize U.S. Genocide Of Native Americans As Retaliation
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to recognize the mass killings of Native Americans by European settlers as genocide after the U.S. House and Senate passed resolutions condemning Turkey’s massacre of Armenians as genocide last week.
According to The Independent, Erdogan said on the pro-government A Haber news channel that the deaths of millions of Native Americans should also be viewed as genocide: “We should oppose [the US] by reciprocating such decisions in parliament. And that is what we will do. Can we speak about America without mentioning [Native Americans]? It is a shameful moment in US history.”
Before modern-day Turkey existed, the Ottoman Empire was responsible for killing some 1.5 million Armenians in 1915. But Turkey claims this estimate is inflated and denies the killings amounted to genocide.
Congress took up the resolution after Erdogan’s incursion into northern Syria, following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the region, and subsequent attacks on American-allied Kurds.
At least some Americans are less defensive than Erdogan about atrocities committed in their country’s past. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) refused to back the resolution until the deaths of Native Americans and the transatlantic slave trade were held in the same light.
And on social media, others welcomed the notion of declaring the wiping out of Native American populations a genocide.
The Independent reported that “a University College London team estimates that 55 million indigenous people died following the conquest of the Americas that began at the end of the 15th century.”
Most deaths were the result of diseases brought to the Americas by Europeans, while many more were the result of war, slavery and displacement.